Small Business Marketing by Jillian Shaw Marketing, Advertising & Public Relations for the Small Business

Have we forgotten about flyers?

02.24.2010 · Posted in The Basics, Traditional Tactics

Never underestimate the power of the flyer.

You still see them around.  At the entrance of the grocery store, on a telephone pole with an arrow pointing toward a garage sale, and on campus sidewalks advertising club events.  But as a business owner, you’re too sophisticated and grown up to use a simple flyer to publicize a sale or event you’re hosting, right?  Think again!

Flyers are free to make.  You can whip up a Word document on the computer, if you’re really slick you can do it in Publisher.  Heck, you can even use a Sharpie and construction paper, if you’ve got nice handwriting.

More importantly, they get a simple point across to your audience.

“Up to 50% off this weekend only”

“Join us for coffee and doughnuts at Saturday’s open house”

“Book signing with the amazing Joe Shmoe this Tuesday”

You should definitely put your flyer up in your own shop (if you’re a brick and mortar business).  Depending on what type of business you have, there are probably other businesses, groups or associations that would also be willing to post your flyer.  Are you a member of the local Chamber of Commerce?  How about your Church?  Your kids’ school?  There are plenty of places that have walls, and you’d be surprised how many of them don’t mind if you put up your flyer.  Just ask permission first.

Try to make a flyer that stands out from the crowd without looking like a misfit.

A couple examples:

A religious books and gifts store like the Notre Dame Book Shelf wants to attract people looking for Confirmation/Dedication gifts, preferably before the last minute when everything is gone.  So, post flyers at Churches advertising a 5-10% pre-order or early purchase discount.  Your target audience will see it, and while the ‘deal’ advertised might not bring in someone that wouldn’t buy something otherwise, maybe it’ll get the people that were buying stuff anyway to come in earlier – and probably spend more, too.

A fantasy book author needs to generate some interest in a book signing.  Where are your people?  How about the library, for a relatively obvious example?  Any local gaming stores or a convention in town?  See if you can post your flyer there.  It certainly isn’t going to hurt your chances.  Maybe add an incentive to your flyer like “first 15 in line get half off cover price.”

Now, let’s not forget that a Word doc, if that’s how you created your flyer, can travel at super fast speed to the email inboxes of everyone you don’t mind asking a favor of.  If you have an e-newsletter or any kind of email list for your customers, that’s a core group of people that already want to shop at your store if you’ve got the sort of thing they want.

There are many other ways to distribute and use flyers, of course.  You are limited only by your creativity and your courage to ask for the OK at a few places.  So go come up with a great flyer right now.  It will probably take you less than fifteen minutes.  Did I mention it’s totally free?

Jillian's Currently Reading: Guerrilla Marketing, 4th edition: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business
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