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  #21  
Old 05-19-2012, 05:51 PM
jdpetrov jdpetrov is offline
 
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What I've learned over three years of trying to advertise my company:

1) YOU CANNOT GENERATE COMPUTER ISSUES (without resorting to unethical means). You can spend BILLIONS of dollars on any sort of advertising, but people will only call you if they have a computer problem. I watch a lot of television, and I've seen hundreds of TV ads for a local plumber. Probably cost him tens of thousands and I've never ever called him. Why? Because I've never had a plumbing problem. Now, if I HAD a plumbing problem I'd call him. Why? Because I've heard of him, am familiar with what he offers, and have heard good word-of-mouth.

2) When you do advertise, you are building "top of mind awareness". This method has significantly higher up-front costs than, say, if you were advertising for a weekend farmer's market sale. You want people to remember your name, so when they have a computer problem you are the first one they call.

3) YOU'RE NOT ALONE. Before you came onto the repair scene, there were most likely multiple competitors ahead of you. People that need their computer fixed will have already used your competition, and probably have an ongoing customer relationship with them. So CRITICAL to any advertising effort is built-in persuasion techniques to get people to consider switching from their current repair shop to yours.

4) DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF. Commonly called the Unique Selling Proposition (USP), it's what makes your business unique when compared to your competitors. Hopefully you've made it a POSITIVE USP. Everyone talks about Domino's Pizza, where you can get "Fresh pizza delivered to you in 30 minutes or it's FREE!". Everyone says they repair computers, but DIFFERENTIATE yourself and make yourself STAND OUT with a BOLD USP. This is what persuades people to pick you over your competition.

Good luck, and try everything in moderation. You WILL fail at advertising, but eventually you'll find something that, for whatever reason, just WORKS for your business. Everyone on here will say "That never works for me" but when you do it you become a millionaire (exaggeration added). So just keep trying anything and everything, and eventually you'll find yourself becoming ever-so-slightly more-and-more successful.
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  #22  
Old 05-19-2012, 07:26 PM
Hello Hello is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornerstone Technologies View Post
Im not sure if you are trying to be funny or what, but your comment irks me.
SOrry, I apoligize.....
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  #23  
Old 05-20-2012, 04:09 AM
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StableSolutions StableSolutions is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reegs View Post
I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I'm just going to add that I am also in the startup stage. I have a very tight budget to start up on. The only thing that I have spent money on is my domain registration. I have done all of my website design, implementation and graphics.
Advertising is the thing I'm focusing on right now. Again, I have to rely on "free" methods for the time being. I printed a few businesses cards up from an Avery kit I got from walmart a little while back . Not the best, but they'll work until I get some regular business. I have also made some flyers in MS Office to hand out and hang up around town. I started a FB and a G+ Page. Hardly any followers yet, but it's there.
.
About your business cards... You're honestly better off designing something nice and ordering them online. You will save yourself money right off the bat. While at Staples the other day I saw a kit with 100 business cards that you print and tear off, the kit cost about $20.00 or so... However, if you order your cards online you can easily get 500+ much higher quality cards for much less money.
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  #24  
Old 05-22-2012, 12:58 PM
nanodroid nanodroid is offline
 
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Thanks, jdpetrov

You gave a lot of great advice on the subject of advertising for a startup IT company...It really was insightful to have a confidence builder at this point in my Endeavour’s. I'm trying something very different this weekend. I'm targeted several neighbor hoods in my area and blasting them with the USPS Every Door Direct Mail. I’m send 200 hundred mail pieces this weekend along with ten lawn signs right in front of their entrance. They will stay there for the weekend then I will pick them up and repeat the process next week. What do you think?
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  #25  
Old 05-22-2012, 06:24 PM
Jobrien Jobrien is offline
 
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I've done the Direct Mail "Post cards".. Ad's, Papers.. everything except radio..and TV.. Here is what I found..

If you put a small discount on the post card people hold on to it. Put it on their fridge, or by their computer.. Something insignificant like $5.00 off their next service. Also don't put an expiry date on it. I had people bring them into my shop a year after I sent them out. The ones with no discount I never saw again. I can't say people didn't keep them but 5 dollars off likely brought in 50 jobs and most everyone who come in becomes a repeat customer.

I tried adwords which was ok but by far.. the most effective money I spend is on facebook ads. $20.00 on facebook will generate me about 10 new customers.. and possibly more jobs, and I have no idea the name recognition it brings. I usually set up and ad, $20.00 max and pay bout .18 cents a page page view. Most people don't click the ads on the side unless they are interested. Make sure you put your town name or Area in the actual ad, and be VERY specific to the people you are targeting. Make sure you add an age range too, try to avoid the 16-18 year old heavy facebook users. Most get their parents to fix the computer anyway.

That's how I typically work advertising now.
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  #26  
Old 05-22-2012, 06:56 PM
BDNTech BDNTech is offline
 
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Direct mail worked well for us a few times but a others was a bust.
I usually work on those projects when there are no repairs pending and i wonder if all our clients have left the country for a while.
But I agree with a few others here, multiple lines of communication to your target audience, direct mail in conjunction with other local advertising. Become a member of local chambers of commerce or other clubs, face time is the key here and the best way to promote yourself and your business, meeting people and advertising yourself. I've thought of dressing up in a computer outfit to get attention but your more than welcome to try it first.
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  #27  
Old 05-22-2012, 08:01 PM
nanodroid nanodroid is offline
 
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Default Great input....

I must say by far this is the best forum that I have ever been apart of, you guys give great an useful informaton without the sarcasm...this is awesome. I will have a very successful computer repair shop in no time....trust me I have about 2k in marketing dollars and I will keep you guys posted on my progress.
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