Pricing and Payment
- Analyze your fee structure; look for areas requiring modifications or adjustments.
- Establish a credit card payment option for clients.
- Give regular clients a discount.
- Learn to barter; offer discounts to members of certain clubs/professional groups/organizations in exchange for promotions in their publications.
- Give quick pay or cash discounts.
- Offer financing or installment plans.
- Publish a newsletter for customers and prospects (it doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive).
- Develop a brochure of services.
- Include a postage-paid survey card with your brochures and other company literature.
- Include check-off boxes or other items that will involve the reader and provide valuable feedback to you.
- Remember, business cards aren’t working for you if they’re in the box. Pass them out!
- Give prospects two business cards and brochures – one to keep and one to pass along.
- Produce separate business cards/sales literature for each of your target market segments (e.g. government and commercial and/or business and consumer).
- Create a poster or calendar to give away to customers and prospects.
- Print a slogan and/or one-sentence description of your business on letterhead; business cards, rate cards, and invoices.
- Develop a WordPress, owner-managed website.
- Create a signature file to be used for all your e-mail messages. It should contain contact details, including your web site address and key information about your company that will make the reader want to contact you.
- Include testimonials from customers in your literature.
- Test a new mailing list. If it produces results, add it to your current direct mail lists or consider replacing a list that’s not performing up to expectations.
- Rather than sending direct mail in plain white envelopes, use colored or over-sized envelopes to pique recipients’ curiosity.
- Announce free or special offers in your direct response pieces. (Direct responses may be direct mail, broadcast faxes, or eMail messages.) Include the offer in the beginning of the message as well as on the outside of the envelope for direct mail.
- Update your media list often so that press releases are sent to the right media outlet and person.
- Write a column for the local newspaper, local business journal, or trade publication.
- Publish an article and circulate reprints.
- Send timely and newsworthy press releases as often as needed.
- Publicize your 500th client of the year (or other notable milestone).
- Create an annual award and publicize it.
- Get public relations and media training or read up on it.
- Appear on a local or Internet radio or TV talk show.
- Create your own video programs on your industry or your specialty, and post to your YouTube channel.
- Post videos to your company website.
- Market the show to your local cable station or public broadcasting station as a regular program, or see if you can air your show on an open access cable channel.
- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper or trade magazine.
- Take an editor to lunch.
- Get a publicity photo taken and enclose with press releases.
- Consistently review newspapers and magazines for possible PR opportunities.
- Submit tip articles to newsletters and newspapers.
- Conduct industry research and develop a press release or article to announce an important discovery in your field
- Create a press kit and keep its contents current. Make it available online as well as the traditional print version.
As a retired SBDC counselor, I know where to find business-related information — both online and IRL. In this case some of my marketing source is a SBA publication (National Women’s Business Center, Washington, D.C., 4/97). The balance is just years of experience. For individual business support with any aspect of your business contact the nearest SBA-sponsored Small Business Development Center.
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