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Advertisement and exposure for fairly new biz

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by ApexVinyl, May 2, 2020.

  1. ApexVinyl

    ApexVinyl Premium Subscriber

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    Sep 30, 2019
    Kaukauna, WI
    So I have only been officially active for about 6 months now as a legitimate business and I am curious about what some of all you fine sign folks did to boost your exposure and get your name out there in order to gain more leads.

    Facebook and google ads only do so much and haven't really generated much for me.

    Obviously this covid mess has really screwed up everybody and their bottom line but I want to be ready to get my name out there as soon as our lock down ends.

    What tips/ tricks did you use to advertise and increase interest?



    J
     
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  2. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Very Active Member

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    Use your feet, knock on doors. If I saw someone at the gas station with a uniform on or in a work van, Id go ask them who to talk to, then give them a card and ask them to give it to that guy. Do it every time you see one of their trucks. Do the same in home depot, the convenience store, mcdonalds or anywhere else, it takes 10 seconds. I'm also a big fan of meeting friendly competitors. Be a safe place for them to throw work that they don't want or don't have time for.
    We picked up 2 concrete companies by giving a flyer to mixer drivers, got a pump company by giving a card to a guy at an auction, the local city from a maintenance man at the hardware store and the garbage company from giving a flyer every week to the guy that picks up our dumpster. Once you get one in an industry, go call on others that do the same work. The best part doing it this way is that you pick who you want to do business with rather than letting advertising pick it for you. Sometimes that is pretty ugly, especially when you are new.
     
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  3. Hero Signs

    Hero Signs If they let me make it, they will come

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    this guy is right you got to hustle hustle hustle every opportunity for confined meet people say hi ask him what they do ask him up their business ask them about who they're looking for four clients and tell them the same for your business. I've been reaching out with Facebook during this covid and every job we do we hit the shopping centers to and from the stickers on the windows and I'll call easy targets of opportunity
     
  4. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Member

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    Sitting back waiting for facebook and ads doesn't make it for me. I was hungry the day I started and have never stopped. Once you are hungry you will find business
    Put your pants on one leg at a time just like everyone else. My wife understands that business is priority over movies or dinner. But we do have our closed time. If you understand those statements you will be fine.
     
  5. Rick Tennyson

    Rick Tennyson Member

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    Yes, yes & yes. Hit every real estate office, car dealers, even Staples or like business. Tell them you to send people your way for stuff out they can’t handle. Schools, colleges, banks, restaurants. You will have more business than you can handle, just take it slow. You can grow to fast and lose it all. Good luck and stay safe!!
     
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  6. ApexVinyl

    ApexVinyl Premium Subscriber

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    Kaukauna, WI
    Thank you to everyone who replied! I knew I needed to hit the pavement and start dropping my name and services around town.

    Imagine if you will for a moment that the very thought was already planted in my mind and then suddenly a virus messed everything up. I got a new batch of business cards and was doing to spend a week just chatting up potential clients. I'm hoping I can still do so after the lock down is lifted.

    Thank you for the tips everybody and if anybody had any other things they may have done to nab a good client or business sector please share (the watered down version of course! Not out to steal people's techniques, just inspiration!)


    J
     
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  7. FireSprint.com

    FireSprint.com Trade Only Screen & Digital Sign Printing

    While you're working in lockdown join Facebook groups of contractors or business in your area and contribute to meaningful conversations. Send personal emails to everyone you can. Get on the phone as well.

    We started out placing yard signs 13 years ago and it drove a ton of business.

    Something like these: https://www.firesprint.com/100-sign-special/
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. ApexVinyl

    ApexVinyl Premium Subscriber

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    Sep 30, 2019
    Kaukauna, WI
    Where did you place the signs? At customer jobs or just public spaces? I was planning like the others above said to go talk to local business owners and leave a flyer with my business card, obviously talk to them and see what they may possibly need in the future. I don't like to do push sales but I do enjoy talking to people so that would work for me. I have a good gauge of whether or not I'm bothering somebody so I would just say thanks and have a nice day and leave my info if that's the case. I have been floating around facebook looking here and there but most worthwhile potential clients are a ways away (not that that is a problem but there is more competition in that direction) so I haven't really been networking much...and I also haven't been taking pictures of my work so far so my facebook page is pretty sad at the moment. I don't want to make up a bunch of random stuff for examples and waste materials if I can help it right now. But I'm going to double down on all of these suggestions once the lock down lifts. Thank you! Your biz looks great by the way!
     
  9. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

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    Facebook and getting in with the schools works great! Try joining the chamber of commerce, they ususally do an email and or fb post of all new businesses. Word of mouth is really the best so once you get some work out there, people will start asking "who did that?" and it will go from there!
     
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  10. ApexVinyl

    ApexVinyl Premium Subscriber

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    Sep 30, 2019
    Kaukauna, WI
    I agree, I think referrals and word of mouth are king once you get going. I really want to get my name at the school's within a 8 to 10 mile radius of me but I'm not sure if going in person is best or sending an email. Most public spaces like that don't want salesman/businesses just waltzing in, especially schools. I'm still thinking about how I want to approach that area. I feel sending emails is not personal enough but leaving a business card and services list can end up just getting tossed out.
     
  11. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

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    Wisconsin
    Not sure how old you are but if you have kids, talk to the coaches or athletic director. It's likely you have a friend or a sibling that has kids at a school and knows "someone" to get you in.
    On a side note...
    I don't wait for the school to call me, I just start making things and put them on my FB and website for sale. Great example is the recent senior coroplast signs...sold hundreds of them and the school was not involved in most of them. I advertise for my home school and then others message..."can you make one for this school or that school?" - YUP I sure can! I also make tshirts, I do the same thing. My son is in football so every year I come up with a cool design and make him wear it to school, post it on my FB and I usually receive a fair amount of orders. If you are decent at designing JUST DO IT. If you aren't, there's plenty of people who design for cheap or create general mock ups that can be used for any school. I've attached a couple examples they aren't the coolest designs but they are better than most I saw in my area. Might be a little late to start now since my orders dropped significantly this past week but think about this for the next event!
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
  12. mameighan

    mameighan Member

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    Best thing I did was join a local BNI chapter. Has been fantastic for my business. We are conducting meetings online at the minute but that just means a great time to visit. If you are interested I can get you an invite to a local chapter. They are also waiving their one time application fee during May and June (saves $299).

    It is not for everybody but has definitely worked for me
     
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  13. Devon19515

    Devon19515 Member

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    Print your business card on adhesive vinyl and apply to glass doors of vacant/for rent buildings. We would only put it on the glass beside the door handle so that if needed it could be cleaned off.
     
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  14. ApexVinyl

    ApexVinyl Premium Subscriber

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    Sep 30, 2019
    Kaukauna, WI

    Hey, great suggestions. I actually don't have any kids and not many friends with kids so my in with the schools is limited. I am late to the party on the graduation signs and banners but like you said Ill catch the next round. I am pretty good at design...I am not the quickest but my motto has always been to design something that catches your eye fast, but then immediately and easily gets its message across to the viewer. I don't use flashy fonts too much or cursive unless they are fairly easy to read. I would rather dress up block/bold lettering with an interesting font using distortion and outlines. Thank you for the reply! I'm going to just go around to businesses and introduce myself and leave a flyer. Hopefully that will at least catch the attention of a few of them.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. ApexVinyl

    ApexVinyl Premium Subscriber

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    Sep 30, 2019
    Kaukauna, WI
    A friend of mine did this with his real estate business but he got fined for defacing property lol. Believe me, I thought about it!
     
  16. binki

    binki Premium Subscriber

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    The PRC
    Nothing beats cold calling. In just a couple of weeks of COVID we reinvented our business and have just as much work now as we had when everything crashed.

    Having said that, have you read any books on sales? Do you have any training in sales? Try talking to this guy, he seems pretty good.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYbJvTetIGsQgm2l_2iYSNw
     
  17. jkdbjj

    jkdbjj Active Member

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    Been a while since I've been here, but I recall spending 6,000 on a local Ad Agency to build a beautiful site in 2006/7
    After a few months, zip, nada, nothing. I called the agency and she said, "Mike you didn't pay us for SEO"
    It was at that moment literally I went home to add to my basic skills of online marketing. (took classes and everything)
    I relaunched the website at the end of 2008 after months of late night developing and fights with my wife who thought I was dumb for trying it. But I knew my passion was going to make the difference.
    Within two weeks of launching I got my largest order to that date for Alien Fireworks for three geographical locations.
    Soon after PNC bank called and simply said I like your site, and we are spreading to the southeast and want someone to manage our signage program.

    My point is, it changed my life to do it right, and by right I mean build a site based on true customer needs and their experience.
    I had my now pal Dan Antonelli who I met here and bought his books. Who is a great human and always willing to help people and his team make me a better logo and some fresh visuals. That too made a difference.

    I then started saying no to personal jobs like end users for birthdays etc, as it was not the market I wanted or was geared towards. It was nerve racking at first but I found my time began to fill with quality clients.

    Life was great for 7 years after and I broke my spine in 2015 and have since moved full time into marketing and brand management, and do signage occasionally for old clients, but I love marketing and branding now and it is better for my health at this time. I also believe that industry is rife with scam artists and time wasters and it is desperately open to talented passionate people.

    The take away here is, online works if done right, but it is not a quick fix. The only way to speed up online in a pinch is to have a great site and drive PPC to specific Landing pages for those ADs. Never drive people just to your home page. There are many best practices like this, but again they aren't always quick fixes.

    That is my two cents, and of course as everyone already mentioned that hustle or word or mouth, referrals goes really far too. I never had to resort to cold calling or hiring salesman. I mean I did hire them but quickly fired them, as they never came close to performing better than the website efforts and I couldn't find decent human beings.
    That is just my story and experience though.

    Best of luck to you.
     
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