Business-Hand-Drawing-Trend-123RFMost of the talk around marketing circles these days is all about how to grow your business using online tactics. While online marketing certainly plays a significant role in business success, however, it’s the relationships that are built offline that can often create lifetime customers. Offline marketing techniques can be the key to establishing solid relationships and growing your business.

1. Hang Flyers

I’ve mentioned it before, but the good old fashioned printed flyer is a great way to get the word out about who you are and what you do especially in a local market. Local coffee shops, community centers, and even community colleges often have bulletin boards where you can post flyers. Create a professional looking and attention-grabbing flyer that drives traffic to your site or your store.

To track whether the flyers are working for you or not, give customers a code or secret word they can use while shopping with you to get a discount.

2. Donate Gift Certificates

There are organizations in your community that are always looking for prizes to give away and items to auction off at silent auctions. Become an active participant in these events. You’ll not only make solid friends in your community, you’ll also broaden awareness for your business.

And, as a bonus tip: If you win a prize of some sort, be sure you write a thank you note to whomever gave the prize. They’ll be astounded and pleased that you would take the time. And you never know what kind of relationships may develop out of that one kind act.

3. Host Events

Speaking of events, you can draw a crowd to your doorstep by hosting events or participating in large community-sponsored events. For example, host a 5k run or a fundraising event for a cause that’s close to your heart and your business values. A pet food store might partner with The Humane Society for an event, or a professional coach might hold an event for a health condition that’s near and dear. Get involved in your community and draw attention to your business while doing some good at the same time.

4. Publish a Book

Independent book publishing has never been easier than it is today. In addition to using the book to help build credibility and authority in your industry, you can also hold book signings, book giveaways and other promotional events that call attention to you and your business.

By the way, if you need help getting your book independently published and don’t want to learn all the ins and outs of successful publishing, then the services I offer at Supported Self-Publishing will help.

5. Teach

Your community probably offers several different opportunities to educate folks in your niche market. You may have access to an adult education program; your local recreation centers may have educational opportunities, and your chamber of commerce is always looking for speakers and workshop leaders.

Identify a topic that provides value and interest to your audience and offer free classes on that topic. You also don’t need to go through an existing organization to teach a class or hold a workshop. You can promote the class and reserve space at your library, a conference center, or even at your own place of business if you have space. It’s a great way for people to experience you and to make connections and that drives traffic to your business.

6. Press and Publicity

Do something newsworthy and submit a press release to your local media outlets. Get your car wrapped with your business logo and information. Hold a contest in your local schools, sponsor little league teams, or youth soccer teams.

Our local non-profit theater company offers the opportunity to sponsor an actor. You get your name in all the programs as well as in other public avenues.

There’s no end to the possible ways you can get out and market your business offline. It just takes a little imagination and some good old-fashioned follow through.

I’m happy to help with your offline as well as your online marketing programs and campaigns. We can talk about what you might need in my No-Selling Zone with a CoffeeChat.

Got some good offline marketing ideas? Share them in the comment section below.