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Old 09-28-2009, 12:07 AM
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Default Advertising: What has worked and what has not!

Hello all,

I will provide a lsit of what has and has not worked for me when it has come to advertising:

Door hangers - in 4 months, I received 1 call from my doorhanger - not good

Flyers/Business cards - I had the tops cut off of the door hangers and now I hand them out on the street.

Standing on the street handing out flyers/business cards - I don't bother trying to shove my business cards/flyers down people's throat. I stand on the corner holding my flyers and business cards in one hand and a little sign that says Computer Repair Service. People thank me for not harrassing them and they ask for my flyer/cards. I just started this about 2 weeks ago so i will let you all know later how this goes.

Posting online - Post your website everywhere for free...bing local business, yahoo local business, google, yellowpages, merchantcircle, anywhere you can find a free place to post your listing. Most of my clients told me that they found me by using yellowpages....in the computer services subdirectory.

Car graphics - I was washing my car in the apartment parking lot (the back of the car was facing the road) and a soldier stopped and sked me if I could fix their computer. So car advertising does in fact work. I am working on removing viruses on her laptop as I write this.

Newspaper - I tried this...spent $300 on it, got about 1000 hits in 6 weeks, but no calls. I am done with newspapers.

Well, I hope someone is able to use this.

Peace all, time to get back to watching paint dry.
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Old 09-28-2009, 07:33 AM
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Could you please post a picture of the advert on your car. I'm planning to do it this week and was thinking something like:

We Fix Computer << in yellow
... contact numbers here...
... business name here...

I'm also going to print like 1200 fliers (Malta is small compared to other places ), and have an advert on Yellow Pages which is being distributed this week. So, let's hope for the good.
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Old 09-28-2009, 07:58 AM
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The key is, also, consistency. You can't do a hit and run with the advertisement. I don't know what type of advertisement would best suit your business and your location. However, that's what you will have to find out. Try talking to other businesses (not necessarily computer oriented) and find out what has worked for them. Once you find the form of advertisement you want stick with it for a while. Don't do it for a week and then quit because you only get one call.

Edit: Instead of trying to hand out cards and fliers physically....have you tried getting restaurants or other stores to allow you to put out the material and let their customer's grab them if they are interested? This should allow you to cover a wider and targeted area without, like you said, forcing them down people's throats and having to physically be there. Who knows, maybe the businesses you ask will even require your services.

Last edited by basic; 09-28-2009 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 09-28-2009, 05:53 PM
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I use

1. Yellow Pages
2. My website
3. Google Local business center.

Consistency in advertising and customer feedback [like asking customers how they found me?] help optimize my advertising budget..
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:07 PM
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I use Yellow Pages. Pays for itself... I get a few new customers a month out of it. People still brainwashed to use them first, thanks Verizon... hehe.. But it's not cheap, 2 inch square ad no graphics is about $90 a month.

I have tried many things... That didn't work.

Like for instance:
1. Local maps (total WASTE)
2. Ice Cream truck (they had an ad on the side of the truck, and passed out my flyers. They gave me free ice cream, but other than that, total waste of money.)

My cousin uses the restaurant place mats, and gets a few calls from them. Also advertises in small town local fliers (not newspapers), says it works for him (he is also a computer tech, but only part time nights/weekends).

Last edited by wtigger; 09-28-2009 at 11:09 PM. Reason: ..
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:41 AM
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I have tried flyers - ended up with a littering fine because people ripped them off their cars and threw them on the ground. Results - No hits

Radio- $2k on advertising - 1 hit

Local phone directory - 3 to 5 a months not worth doing again.

Car advertising - I haven't tried it but I find ads on cars off putting.

WOMF (Word of mouth forum) just full of people who are only too ready to bag you out.

Website - 20 hits in 2 years.

Business cards: Most hits. Hand them out to clients when you have completed a job and offer a discount on their next repair if the referer another client.

The truth about advertising is that although 1000 people may read your ad only 1 or 2 will ever take any notice of it.

Do not get sucked into spending big money on advertising. The cheaper the better. A car ad will do better in the long run as you have a lot more exposure than anything else and after you pay to have it made and put on it costs nothing to have it on display.

The only reliable advertising is word of mouth from satisfied clients. This can have a snowball effect after a while but it also works the other way too. Screw a client and the whole town will know in a week.

Another method I use occasionally is to offer a free computer service as a raffle prize for the local school. (Case clean, system check, driver updates/antivirus check, DVD drive clean etc, I also throw in a free inventory of their computer by downloading and running Belarc and tell them to keep it with the household insurance papers) They do the advertising via the tickets and you get more exposure. People can see that you have a community spirit which will also make people remember you.
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Old 09-29-2009, 03:53 PM
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Although word of mouth is the best advertising method you could have, using other means should help spread the name to the world. It's impossible not to advertise and work with word of mouth only... especially when you're just starting out.

Can someone post a picture of his car / van advert?
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:02 AM
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Just to give you an idea of what I use for fliers:
http://cid-317a98cfbfe6efdd.skydrive...lic/Hanger.jpg

People love my fliers...all glossy and professional looking..

and here is a pic of what I have on my car:
http://cid-317a98cfbfe6efdd.skydrive...ic/IMG1297.JPG

and here is my business card:
http://cid-317a98cfbfe6efdd.skydrive...c/image001.jpg
they loves my card too.
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Last edited by jbutler9; 09-30-2009 at 02:09 AM.
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  #9  
Old 10-02-2009, 10:22 PM
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I've been toying with the idea of door hangers after looking at the Geek Squad's recruitment promo. It says they visit the businesses next door to their customer.

I work almost entirely residential and am thinking about dropping off a door hanger to either side of my customer (with the hanger specifying that their neighbour just got a housecall). This gives an implied reference and would, hopefully, make them a little more likely to call than would a cold canvassing.
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Old 10-02-2009, 10:31 PM
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Phonebook definitely.
Street sign definitely.
Website definitely.

Equal thirds the above.

What hasn't worked... Mailings! Waste of frikking time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbutler9 View Post
Hello all,

I will provide a lsit of what has and has not worked for me when it has come to advertising:

Door hangers - in 4 months, I received 1 call from my doorhanger - not good

Flyers/Business cards - I had the tops cut off of the door hangers and now I hand them out on the street.

Standing on the street handing out flyers/business cards - I don't bother trying to shove my business cards/flyers down people's throat. I stand on the corner holding my flyers and business cards in one hand and a little sign that says Computer Repair Service. People thank me for not harrassing them and they ask for my flyer/cards. I just started this about 2 weeks ago so i will let you all know later how this goes.

Posting online - Post your website everywhere for free...bing local business, yahoo local business, google, yellowpages, merchantcircle, anywhere you can find a free place to post your listing. Most of my clients told me that they found me by using yellowpages....in the computer services subdirectory.

Car graphics - I was washing my car in the apartment parking lot (the back of the car was facing the road) and a soldier stopped and sked me if I could fix their computer. So car advertising does in fact work. I am working on removing viruses on her laptop as I write this.

Newspaper - I tried this...spent $300 on it, got about 1000 hits in 6 weeks, but no calls. I am done with newspapers.

Well, I hope someone is able to use this.

Peace all, time to get back to watching paint dry.
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