We often hear from clients that they don’t have money to do direct mail marketing, or any kind of marketing for that matter. Yet the old adage “you have to spend money to make money” is especially true with marketing. If you make financial sacrifices in the beginning, you’ll reap big rewards.
One of our most successful clients, Brett Smith, has proven this to be true throughout his career. When Brett started in real estate he didn’t have a brand, he didn’t have much activity to report and he didn’t have a big income. Yet he consistently sent generic mailing pieces to his social list and farm. As he continued to mail, people became familiar with him and began calling him when they were ready to buy or sell a home. Through direct mail marketing, he was able to connect with people he would have never met otherwise.
As Brett’s business began to grow, so did his marketing efforts. He started to mail postcards advertising each listed and sold property. He continued sending out important real estate information and began to mail holiday cards throughout the year. He also used direct mail to stay in contact with past clients and generate referrals. Thank you cards, personal letters and newsletters kept him in the forefront of past clients minds and encouraged them to refer to clients to Brett.
Eventually, Brett realized that he needed a cohesive business brand that could be used on all his marketing pieces. He works predominately in Orange County coastal cities and he wanted a brand that subtly hinted at that. The graphic designers at One Step Services came up with an awesome brand that is cool, crisp, and professional with a subtle beach theme. This branding appears on every piece of Brett’s marketing, from postcards to open house signs, websites to letterhead.
Today, Brett is reaping the rewards of his early financial sacrifice. He has a fully integrated marketing strategy that includes online, email and print marketing. Of course, he is still consistently sending direct mail pieces 2-3 times a week to his farm and social list. He continues to send just listed and just sold postcards, property flyers, holiday cards, generic articles, thank you cards and personal correspondence to past clients. His advice to new real estate agents is to create a business brand as soon as possible.
“When it comes to real estate marketing, you’re wasting your time if you don’t go to One Step Services first. Once they created my custom brand, everything else just flowed from that. That brand brings a higher level of professionalism to my business and makes me easily recognizable in my target areas.”
If you’re ready to get started on your own brand and/or direct mail marketing campaign, call us at 949-587-5301. And if you want to talk real estate with Brett, give him a call at 949-240-2397.
It’s simpler than you might think. Just keep mailing, keep blogging, keep posting, keep emailing, keep advertising, KEEP MARKETING! Whatever small business marketing strategies were effective for you throughout the year, continue doing them through the holiday season.
Continuous marketing will do two things. One, it will put you in contact with the people who need your products and services. No matter how slow a business may get during this season, there are always people who need what you are offering. Second, marketing today lays the foundation for business tomorrow. Most people aren’t going to go to the dentist during this time, but in January when they have a killer toothache from eating all of Grandma’s maple candy, they’re going to need a dentist. If you were the dentist they claimed a Groupon from or the one who is showing up on their Facebook newsfeed, you’re going to be the dentist they use.
Need some small business marketing ideas to keep you going through the holidays?
Run a contest. If you are in an industry that slows down during the holidays, getting people interested in your business during this time is going to be hard. However, you can almost always interest people in a contest. Your first step is to come up with an enticing prize (maybe a gift certificate to the local toy store.) Then you have to promote it EVERYWHERE! Run Facebook ads, send out entry forms through direct mail and email, and put an entry form on your website. You’ll be able to capture contact information for potential leads and start to build a relationship that will become profitable after the holidays.
Shameless plug: We can create coloring contests, or any other contest form, for your small business. We’ll send them out for you, and then clients send them back to you along with their contact information. These typically see a high response rate because, honestly, who doesn’t love coloring?
Host an event. The holiday season is a great time to connect with old clients face to face and show your appreciation for their business. Host a Halloween Carnival, a leftover Thanksgiving potluck, a cookie decorating party, or a white elephant gift exchange. Give back to the community by hosting a toy drive, feeding the homeless, crocheting caps for cancer patients, or running a race to raise awareness. While none of these events directly promote your business, they help you stay connected with past clients and give you the opportunity to meet new potential clients. Plus, you’ll have a ton of fun doing them and make a positive impact on the community, which is what the holidays are all about.
Make your business “giftable”. At this time of the year, most people are spending most of their money on gifts. Cash in on this trend by making your products and services easy to give as gifts. If you run a service based business, create gift certificates so clients can gift your services to others.
Make a deal. If you want to draw attention to your business during this time, make clients a deal they can’t refuse. Offer discounted services, buy one get one free deals, or free gifts. Tell people about these deals through direct mail, email campaigns, Facebook Offers, Groupon, and Living Social.
Make your Facebook more festive. Even something as simple as changing your Facebook cover photo will draw attention to your page and your business. Make sure your posts relate your business to the holidays. If you’re a real estate agent, post pictures of holiday decoration ideas. If you’re in heating and air conditioning, give clients tips on how to maintain their furnace during the winter. These things may not create business for you now, but it will keep you on the forefront of people’s minds and they’ll turn to you as soon as they are ready to do business.
Send out holiday cards. Like the Facebook posts, sending holiday cards may not immediately drum up business. However, the kind gesture will give recipients the warm fuzzies and they’ll associate your business with kindness and holiday cheer. By making yourself visible, you are laying the foundation for future business.
Shameless Plug: If you don’t have time to send out hundreds of holiday cards, order holiday postcards from us. They’re beautifully designed and you can choose from a pre-written message or customize your own. We’ll even address and mail them out for you. How easy is that?
Do you have any other ideas for marketing during the holidays? Let us know in the comments below.