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Old 03-11-2010, 05:17 PM
mooncat mooncat is offline
 
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Default Advertising in Church Bulletin

Has anybody tried advertising in their church bulletin? I didn't see it listed callthatgirl's list, so was wondering if anyone has tried it and how it's worked for them. My church is a fairly good size in an upper mid class area, and has more percentage of older adults. They are asking $440 per year for the ad (57 issues,goes out weekly). Plus there is no other computer repair company in the bulletin. Your thoughts?
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Old 03-11-2010, 05:19 PM
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Let me start with saying I have never done this. But, I do have a friend that did do this type of advertising. It did not work out too good. First, he did get jobs from the ad but most of the people expected a "real good" deal due to him being part of their church. He actually said 9 out of 10 jobs made him uncomfortable due to the pressure he felt with needing to give a good price becuase he was going to see them all again on Sunday.

Just something to stick away and keep in mind.
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Old 03-11-2010, 05:45 PM
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Having been heavily entrenched in the church a while ago, that's pretty much the reaction I'd expect (and why I wouldn't do it). There's a common expectation within the Christian community that they'll cut deals for each other.
You could, though, set a slightly lower rate for those responding to that ad and make that your firm deal.
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Old 03-11-2010, 05:53 PM
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Advertising in church bulletin is one of the best advertising for beginners and startups, in small towns it is simply a must.
If it is going to work for you essentially depends on several things:

- is the church bulletin "validated" advertising or can just anyone post an ad if he pays. Many churches will handle le advertising strictly as an income and will admit as many ads as they can possibly fit in. In this case there will be no benefit for you, your ad will be drowned by sheer mass. Other churches and communities will have a board to which you have to apply to before your ad will be accepted (or rejected). This is "validated" advertising and is precious for building a customer base.

- are you member of the community? Don't advertise in the bulletin. Rather do freebies for the church, layouts, posters etc. You will get known but you can still separate business and 'pleasure'. People will respect your business more and haggle less.

- sooner or later (usually sooner) the communities don't have to offer anything more to you. You will have serviced many, if your job is well done they will be back but not before some time, too long a time. Communities, like church, only have a limited number of members, you need lots and lots more. No sense in advertising anymore, and here is the problem: communities usually expect you to continue to advertise (and to pay your dues). It can be quite hard to get out without leaving some skin.

Keep your distance from the beginning, look at it as just some other customers and it's going to be a beneficial experience. It will however not lead you to riches and success, only small businesses will.

Good luck
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:25 PM
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I have an advertisement in my church bulletin. My ad was for one year, but it cost me $375 for one year. I think that I have made my money back on this investment, but I don't think that I will be able to do it again (at least not until the future when I have enough money to pay for another year of advertising in the bulletin). I think that there are some people who will look to their church bulletin first for services because they want to help out those who are generous enough to help support the church and pay to print the bulletin. It will also help to introduce yourself more to those in your church (if you do not do that already) in order for people there to get to know you and be comfortable with you. I do this, but not solely to get customers, but also to make friends in the community.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:51 PM
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I am going to start an ad in my church's bulletin soon, so I will post the results when I actually know more.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:56 PM
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Quick thoughts after reading this

If you place the typical computer ad listing your services and your credentials then it will flop, now if you use this as an opportunity to position yourself as the local expert then you can set the bar for perceived value and charge more( $$ = perceived value) and then give them a discount because of where the ad is.

Example;

The ad could say something along the lines of

"Free Community Service!
Go to www.yourwebsite.com/tips for free computer tips and tricks” or “…to sign up for our weekly/bi-monthly news letter that has tips and tricks”
If you send out an regular e-mail or blog like CTG does with useful advice or tips then you are setting yourself up to be known as the EXPERT. This type of marketing takes time but by creating little posts about common computer problems and how to stay safe on the internet or protect from viruses etc you are creating an environment where people visit because they want to hear what you have to say, then you throw out little carrots/coupons for $20 off or free cleaning or something. Once they like and trust you they will call for everything. This is when you use other tips on here about not giving out free support over the phone by saying “It’s really hard to say what could be causing the issue, and even harder to say what could be the fix without seeing it first hand, would you like to setup an appointment for me to have a look??

I am telling you, throw out all the typical ways of promoting yourself or use them as add ons to this type of marketing and you will get results. I don;t mean don;t have business cards, or do ads jsut change the message. It takes work, dedication, concentration, if you are always busy then you have to prioritize, even if that means losing sleep to type up a paragraph or 2 for the next weeks tip. Letting a clients computer sit on the bench a few extra hours is worth it to keep your messages flowing to the people that want to listen to you. The better quality your message the more people will read it and tell others about it, they want to look smart to so if you send out some great checklist for “computer spring cleaning” they are going to send it to all their friends that don’t go to church with them.
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Old 03-11-2010, 07:35 PM
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$440 is out of my budget. I have a $0 budget for marketing and advertising.

That's why I don't do Church ads
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