Rest of lesson #1

When I first started out my business I began an inexpensive marketing campaign by using flyers with pull tags, and door hangers.  I began looking for every opportunity to hang a flyer at my local grocery stores, print shops, paint stores, restaurants, etc.  Community bulletin boards exist everywhere.  Look for them.  They are free advertising.  One thing to keep in mind is that the person looking to pull a tag from a flyer is looking for a killer deal.  You will not make much money but that job will lead to another job if you operate your business correctly.  Create a customer data base from the very first job you get.  I will go into detail on that in another lesson.

Pull tag flyers, you will find out, have some competition for space.  Yours will be pulled down in days or even sooner.  You have to be aggressive and check them daily.  To help me out, I gave my friends who lived near a grocery store with a community bulletin board, a stack of pull tag flyers.  I asked them to check and rehang flyers if mine were gone and they were more than willing to help.

Next on my list was door hangers.  You have to have an eye catching door hanger with a good offer or it is going right in the trash.  Target middle class neighborhoods that are dense with homes and need paint jobs.  It’s really hard to cover a lot of area on your own so offer to pay your kids or neighbor kids to help you out.  A penny a flyer, $5 for a call for a bid, and $25 if you land a job.  Be honest.  It works.

When you get a job, make sure you have invested in a yard sign and place it in front of the house for a week.  As soon as you complete the job hang a door hanger on ten houses to the right and left of the house you just worked on and ten houses across the street.  Next I would also use my door hangers to place on car windows at local high school football games, the soccer field parking lots on the weekends, and just where ever I had the opportunity.  Be persistent.  This is a true story.  I had a gentleman take a door hanger off his door and place it in a kitchen drawer.  He called me two years later and I painted the exterior of his house for over $2000.  You never know.

The big key to these 3 simple marketing tips is to create a very professional looking flyer, door hanger, and yard sign.  If you make is look like a 12 year old created it you will never get any jobs.  Well at least jobs that pay well.  You will have to invest in the software to do so but it will pay off shortly.  I see way to many business cards, flyers, yard signs, and vehicle graphics that look, well just horrible.  Why is anyone going to call you if your business card looks like your kids made them?  Is that what your work is going to look like?  You would be surprised how many prospective customers think that.  Microsoft Word is a simple software that will do most of what you need here.  I also used Photoshop Elements and Quark on these tasks.  They are very inexpensive and easy to learn.

If you are not the creative type and need someone to do it for you, hire them.  Having nice clean artwork well placed with appropriate fonts and worded properly with no errors is a must.  If you would like a copy of any of my documents to make your life a lot easier, they are available for download for $50.  Each document is fully editable and are ready for you to use.  I have a door hanger in Photoshop Elements, a yard sign using Quark, and a Microsoft Word flyer with pull tags.  Computers not your thing?  Send me you logo and I will make it for you.  Fortunately for me and my business, I have a college background in computers (networking, software, and web design)

Hope these simple marketing tips help jump start your business.  Stay tuned for my next lesson that will help you successfully market your business using all the available social networking avenues along with email newsletters and post cards.

Chris Berry

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