5 “Out- of-the- Box” Ways to Promote Yourself


October is “Self-Promotion Month!”  While that may not sound appealing to you, self-promotion is crucial to success as a small business owner.  After all, if you don’t promote yourself, who else is going to? 

Don’t worry, self-promotion doesn’t have to be “in your face” or obnoxious.  In fact, I’m sharing some of my favorite subtle, though “out-of-the-box,” promo ideas that most people never think of doing.

  1. Grab your business cards and head to the library.  When I first started my business I bought a bunch of business cards that I really didn’t care for so I quickly ordered new ones.  Not wanting to trash 250 perfectly good business cards, I came up with the bright idea to stick them in library books.  Not just any library books.  I had checked out about 50 books that were related to my expertise.   Two years later, I was still getting clients saying they saw my business card in a library book.
  2. GROW UR BIZ with Bumper Stumpers.  When I was a little kid I used to love to watch the 80’s game show, “Bumper Stumpers.”  Contestants had to decipher vanity plates in order to win prizes.  As an adult, I still love reading vanity plates.  I own vanity plates that promote my business, as well as custom plate frames with my website printed on them.  It’s not as flamboyant as painting your car or as mundane as slapping on a magnet.  You’d be surprised at how many people stop and ask me about my plates, which gives me the opportunity to tell them about my business.  People even ask my husband what my plates mean–that’s how memorable they are.   And yes, I have had clients say the decided to contact me after seeing me driving around town.
  3. Go make a difference.  One of the ways to quickly establish yourself as an expert and meet key influencers is to get involved in your industry on a local and national level.  Volunteer for organizations that impact your industry, bring together your colleagues, and/or serve your ideal clients.  This will quickly raise your visibility and credibility.
  4. Get out more.   Get out of the house and just meet some people.  Whether you’re networking at the Chamber of Commerce or going to Yoga class, you have the opportunity to meet people and build relationships.   Like I always say, “You have to build relationships to build your business, and your cats don’t count.”
  5. Gain attention by being relevant and newsworthy.  This is my personal favorite.  People love to celebrate and they love to be “in the know.”  Look at how your business relates to current events, trends, or holidays and then capitalize on that by writing a guest blog post, running a contest, holding a promotion, hosting an event, or writing a press release.   Never miss an opportunity to have eyeballs on you.

I would love to hear your favorite “out-of-the-box” self-promotion ideas.  Feel free to leave your tips or comments below.

© 2011 Tiffany deSilva, Order and Balance, LLC

Want to reprint this article?  Be my guest; just remember to include the following message:

Tffany deSilva, founder and CEO of Order and Balance, LLC, specializes in helping women entrepreneurs  build rock-solid, financially successful and sustainable businesses that not only run seamlessly, but integrate seamlessly with their ideal lives, so they can overcome overwhelm and make great money doing what they love. Visit http://www.SeamlessSuccess.com to your copy of the FREE report, “Get the Money You Deserve and the Time You Desire: How to Avoid the 7 Biggest Mistakes Women Entrepreneurs Make.”

 

9 Response to “5 “Out- of-the- Box” Ways to Promote Yourself ”

Jennifer Bourn
October 18, 2011
11:54 am

Comment :

Oh my goodness … I LOVE the library book story! Now that is creative!

Volunteering is one of the ways I grew my business. I researched the key decision-makers at the companies I wanted to do business with, found out what charities they volunteered for and I got involved.

Not only did I get to help some amazing charities and make a valid contribution that made a difference, but I also built relationships that I still have today, and gained new clients from the network of other givers.

Jeff Brunson
October 19, 2011
6:06 am

Comment :

My favorite (most congruent) marketing strategy is simply to ‘give.’ Actually, giving is only part of what I call my Marketing Methodology. It is founded on Connection and leverages a key strength to push my Gift out into the world. With that said, I know that ‘giving’ is talked about quite a bit … the problem is that I don’t see very many doing it. I think it is a lack of trust; trust in the process that is freed in one’s network when one simply gives. Your number 3 and 4 are right in the area to which I refer. Thanks Tiffany!

Mary Ellen Miller
October 19, 2011
5:52 pm

Comment :

Great tips Tiffany! I especially love the library business card idea. That is marvelous and definitely worth replicating at my local library. Why waste those old cards?

Sue Painter
October 19, 2011
6:37 pm

Comment :

I love that idea of biz cards in library books. Very original! And the thing about getting out and meeting people – vital! Great tips, Tiffany.

Linda Pucci
October 20, 2011
11:08 am

Comment :

Business cards in library books–now that is a really creative strategy that I never would have thought about. It really IS about getting out of the house or office and connecting with people. When I first moved to TN one of my first clients turned out to be the head shot photographer’s assistant. You just never know, but you’ve got to be out there and willing to talk about your business and let people know what you do.

Joann Snell
October 20, 2011
9:32 pm

Comment :

Wow, I also like the library idea! The bumper sticker idea is pretty cool to promote a business too.
Thanks for the ideas!

Courtney
October 28, 2011
9:10 pm

Comment :

Tiffany.. enjoyed your article..
I agree with #4, people have to get out and meet people in order to enjoy the success that comes with business. Meeting people is a great way to learn how to produce an introduction line for yourself. As we all know. first impressions are the greatest impressions. Your business card can only say so much about who you are.

EDITH STALBORD
April 19, 2012
9:42 pm

Comment :

I REALLY APPRECIATE ALL THE TIPS I HAVE BEEN IN BUSINESS FOR OVER 7 YEARS , FOR ALONG TIME I GOT ALOT OF CLIENTS BY WORD OF MOUTH I SEE THAT I NEED TO IMPLEMENT SOME OTHER MARKETING STATEGIES. I LOVE THEM ALL.. I AM IN THE CABINETS BUSINESS, PLEASE ANY ADVICE I WOULD APPRECIATE IT

THANKS

Tiffany deSilva
April 20, 2012
2:20 pm

Comment :

Thank you, Edith!

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