As my friend Kelvin likes to say, sometimes we’re more suited to offer someone else advice than remember how to use it for ourselves. This happened to me recently, though, to be fair to myself, I’ve done the same types of things.

In a Facebook group, a lady was asking for advice on how to better offer her services, because she worked for herself and was struggling to keep her business afloat. Her business is that she owns a dance studio. She had done a few things such as advertising in the newspaper and putting flyers up around town, and she has a website.

I decided to take up the challenge; I’m such a helpful sort. I asked what kind of ads she had run in the newspaper, then asked if she’d ever run any specials for either visiting or discounts for signing up if they mentioned the ad. I asked her if she’d thought about doing the same type of thing from her website. She also writes a newsletter, so I asked her if she’d ever thought about putting something like that in her newsletter, or offer something to her present customers if any of them brought in a new client who signed up for lessons.

I asked more about her flyers, and wondered if she’d ever contacted any of her local production theaters and asked if she could put flyers up there, even those advertising events she might be putting on such as recitals. I offered a suggestion of putting on an exhibition at some of the local malls, as I know many in my own area who are always looking for some kind of entertainment on the weekends, and if kids are involved, she’s got a winner. At those exhibitions, she could have a table set up to sign up people for either dance lessons, her newsletter, or just to get names and numbers to contact later on. I also suggested the possibility of a dance contest that she could sponsor in some fashion, maybe giving away a free year of lessons to the winner, or maybe something else.

I also made the suggestion that she could offer clinics, more speaking than exhibition, in places such as her local library or chamber of commerce, on topics related to dancing or even physical education or exercise, which would help get her name and face out there. She’s extremely attractive, and I believe people would flock to see her and would at least check out her services in some fashion.

When I look at my businesses, after writing what I have above, I can easily say that I’ve done similar things like what I recommended. I’ve offered discounts from time to time on products I’ve created. I’ve offered special things to people who can get others to sign up for one of my newsletters (my main business). I’ve put on presentations and performed a good number of speaking engagements, both around town and in other states. I’ve actually taken out an ad in the past on an online newspaper, advertising local seminars I was putting on.

I’ve sent out letters, flyers, and postcards. I email people from time to time, though I identify and research who I’m going to send email to so that I’m not accused of spamming anyone. I truly believe that I’ve done as much as one could possibly do when it comes to marketing, other than making tons of phone calls; that probably isn’t going to happen, though. Oh yeah; I’m not launching a thousand ships with my picture either. 🙂

Marketing is definitely something one has to get used to doing if they hope to be successful in some fashion, especially if you’re going to work for yourself. I know my offline marketing has been much better than my online marketing, which is why I read so many blogs that talk about online marketing. I’ve learned a heck of a lot, enough so that I can at least talk the talk with almost anyone.

Now if I can just get over the edge online, maybe I won’t have to work as hard offline. That wouldn’t depress me one bit.

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