I’ve just finished a mini-marketing workshop for the retail stores at Market Square in Lafayette. It’s such a great little community of shops with a local passion no mall could duplicate. Spending the day with them was a great reminder that the key to having a great business is having a passion for what you do and why.
Inspired by them, I thought I’d share with you 5 of the free ways we discussed to attract more traffic to their doors and increase sales.
You should be able to adopt all of these in a day or two.
Claim your Google+ Business Listing
If you haven’t done this yet, stop everything and do it today. Your Google listing is usually one of the top 3 listings that will appear when people search your business — but you don’t get the little red pin if you don’t claim it! Try this: Google your business name followed by the city and see what comes up for you. Take note of the source of every listing on the page. To claim your Google listing, start here: google.com/mybusiness
Claim your YELP, Mapquest, Foursquare and YP.com listings.
If you did the Google search exercise in the first step, you likely ran across several of these sites among your top 10 search engine listings. With these services, A basic listing is usually free and helps you get found via search engines. If you want a convenient service that manages many of them for a reasonable fee, check out YEXT.com. YEXT has some nice PR features too that make it easy to announce promotions and events across multiple platforms.
Create a Facebook page and update it at least once a week.
Even if you don’t like Facebook, you should probably set your disdain aside and join the party so that you take advantage of the search engine power it provides and because many prospects will look for you there. (This is a great project to delegate to someone that does like Facebook.) Don’t anticipate much newsfeed traffic if you post only once a week, but at least you’ll appear to still be in business. Anything less than once a month and you’ll give the impression your business is failing so put reminders on your calendar to post at regular intervals.
Create indoor signs.
Mini signs are a great way to entertain, inform and promote your products and services and I’m not just talking about SALE signs. You can teach, give product use ideas, post magazine and news clippings, show pictures of people using the products, make them laugh, whatever! For an inspiring book on this subject, read “Signs Sell” by Rick Segel.
Get MailChimp and start an email newsletter.
It’s a bit of work, but having an email newsletter is a great reason to stay in touch, help and encourage them, and drive traffic to your business. The basic Mailchimp email service is free and they offer great training on their site. Having a long email list of loyal clients can also add a lot of real value to your business should you want to sell it some day.