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View Full Version : I need ad tips! Where to run ads?


bytebuster
06-11-2010, 09:14 PM
Hi, my old methods of advertising no longer work and I need new ones. I currently live off $927 in Social Security (USA) survivor's benefits, so I can't spend hundreds of dollars a month on advertising. The AT&T yellow pages wanted several hundred dollars a month every month for a year! The Sacramento Bee wants $200 a month! I'm reduced to advertising in the News and Review (local alt/liberal newsweekly) because they don't charge much, but it's no longer working.

I have crossed off all online ads because I find that customers only call me when they can't access the net, thus I only run print ads. I took down my website because it got zero hits. I need new sources of print advertising. I tried running an ad in Gold Country Classifieds (as the name suggests, it's an ad clearinghouse for several small Placer County papers) and the only calls I got were from people trying to sell me outrageously expensive ads in cheap, never read yellow page directories, or in obscure internet sites. I'm at the end of my rope. What should I do? I live in Sacramento and there are simply too many computer techs here. I can't afford to move elsewhere, I have no money.

activeits
06-11-2010, 11:32 PM
Hi, my old methods of advertising no longer work and I need new ones. I currently live off $927 in Social Security (USA) survivor's benefits, so I can't spend hundreds of dollars a month on advertising. The AT&T yellow pages wanted several hundred dollars a month every month for a year! The Sacramento Bee wants $200 a month! I'm reduced to advertising in the News and Review (local alt/liberal newsweekly) because they don't charge much, but it's no longer working.

I have crossed off all online ads because I find that customers only call me when they can't access the net, thus I only run print ads. I took down my website because it got zero hits. I need new sources of print advertising. I tried running an ad in Gold Country Classifieds (as the name suggests, it's an ad clearinghouse for several small Placer County papers) and the only calls I got were from people trying to sell me outrageously expensive ads in cheap, never read yellow page directories, or in obscure internet sites. I'm at the end of my rope. What should I do? I live in Sacramento and there are simply too many computer techs here. I can't afford to move elsewhere, I have no money.

I do not know if you do something like this in the States, but here in the UK most Newsagents have a notice board and they charge an average 20p to put an A6 advert up.

Most of my business comes from word of mouth, then cheap adverts like the above and free online adverts i.e. free ebay classifieds (it is free in the UK, do not know about the States).


Thanks

vdub12
06-12-2010, 05:11 AM
I have a very good friend that runs a repair business in Sac. He does pretty well but it took him a number of years to get there.

To get started he did lots of marketing like pens, magnets, mini screwdrivers, letter openers, mouse pads all with funny slogans on them. Like his screwdrivers said "quality service without the screwin'". Each slogan went with the product he was advertising on. Also he did stuff like vinyl graphics on his car, thats cheap, about $50. Also fliers work well to. Just get a few hundred printed out and start passing them out. He would also drive around town war driving looking for neighborhoods that had a lot of open wireless connections. In those neighborhoods he would pass out fliers about how dangerous open connections can be, offering his service of course. This was about 6 or 7 years ago and he was charging $200 each for wireless security, I don't think you could get that now but he got a lot of word of mouth from it.

There are tons of free and cheap forms of advertising you just have to put in the work. Just don't hang up fliers in Starbucks, lol.

In regards to Gold Country thats not sac county. Gold country is technically the Amador and Calaveras county areas. Thats where I operate out of, its about an hour or so out of Sac.

Anyway hope this helps.

lassenpc
06-12-2010, 01:39 PM
Check out this book, Guerrilla Marketing for Free: Dozens of No-Cost Tactics to Promote Your Business and Energize Your Profits (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0618276793/guerrillmarke-20)

I read it, has a lot of different advertising strategies (that are free) that we commonly do not think of.

rightontimecomputers
06-12-2010, 02:36 PM
Check out this book, Guerrilla Marketing for Free: Dozens of No-Cost Tactics to Promote Your Business and Energize Your Profits (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0618276793/guerrillmarke-20)

I read it, has a lot of different advertising strategies (that are free) that we commonly do not think of.

I should check out that book myself

Mushin
06-12-2010, 03:03 PM
If what was working before is no longer working.... you may want to find out why before you spend money doing the same thing with a different type of media. Is this a matter of timing... like a slower month... is someone providing a more attractive ad that takes attention away.... is your service not up to par with competition.... do you have a compelling message that makes you stand out?

The last question is probably the most important.... the computer repairs services that we all offer are not that much different from company to company. So... this means that it can be luck of the draw when it comes to attracting customers. UNLESS.... your marketing message is compelling and stands out from the rest.

Some ideas that have worked for us.....
Business Cards with the message "Keep this Card to get free computer diagnostics for life!"
Business cards in general... give them out to everyone you meet.
Branded Shirts (Wear them everywhere)
Market to people you feel confortable working with.. If you are a college student market to college students.

I am assuming you don't have a physical location.... so this means that you need to find ways to constantly get in front of people... so they don't forget you.

Codemonkey
06-12-2010, 05:09 PM
I'd use Google Local http://local.google.com. Lots of people use that, especially on smart phones. I'm sure you'll get some work from that.

Also, try church bulletins. For some reason only the Catholic churches would accepts ads last time I tried that. It did work though.

Consider co-sponsoring an event or aligning yourself with a charity. I'm personally a huge supporter of the local humane society. I had my logo on their t-shirts from events and plugs in their newsletter. I got quite a bit of business from that. It's not immediate but humane society members always remembered my name and called me first.

Abet Computers
06-15-2010, 06:29 AM
http://www.bootstrappingblog.com/ebooks/50_Guerrilla_Marketing_Tactics_You_Should_Be_Using .pdf here is a free ebook with some great free tactic ideas

activeits
06-17-2010, 05:05 PM
I presume you have eBay Local Listing in USA, in the UK i have been using their free Classified Ads, which they are just moving over to Local Listing.

I know it worked for me, along with Newsagents ads etc. But i do not pay for ads, as i think around 90%+ comes from Word of Mouth, great way of been in business.


Thanks

kagman
06-17-2010, 05:52 PM
You can also look into advertising in the local papers. I've been looking at some of them where i live.. Now the major newspapers are way to expensive.. But the smaller local papers that are free for readers give you some nice deals. There are penny saver magazines, consumer shopper magazines, etc etc all offering very cheap rates for ads and classified ads to.

For example one of the local free newspapers near my place has a nice 13 week special for only $390. The price includes a business card size b/w ad in the classified section, they add you to the business listings of their paper and also add you to the local chamber of commerce listings, free ad creation, able to tweak the ad over the 13 weeks, and for first timers they do some type of small write up about you and your business. To me that's a deal. This will be a hit or miss for me, so i will have to wait and see if this ad works for me. However I am also looking into other cheap forms of advertising.

Advertising your business is a full time job:)