Guerrilla marketing is the process of marketing one’s self through the use of non-traditional marketing concepts, using unusual approaches to advertising. Typically, guerrilla-marketing campaigns are unexpected and unconventional, sometimes interactive, with consumers being targeted in unexpected places. The objective of guerrilla marketing is to create a unique, engaging and thought-provoking concept to generate publicity. Below are some tips and ideas for guerrilla marketing to gain new web design clients.
1. Proactively Promote Yourself Via Frequent Online Exposure
Consider innovative ways to present yourself and your business that will develop a surprisingly compelling online presence. You want to surprise people with your blog so thinking of something unusual should distinguish you from other bloggers. Perhaps your writing style is non-conventional, or you have a more recurring output of information, like daily posts and videos that are well put together. Starting a blog on your own website, writing guest posts on other popular blogs that receive high traffic and creating fun YouTube videos on a daily basis will stimulate people surfing the net to recognize you. If you are targeting prospective clients, you may want to divulge your credibility by discussing topics like how you handle business transactions, your creative process and the benefits of hiring you as their web designer. Creating online how-to tutorials is an excellent way to showcase your skills. It allows you the opportunity to show potential clients through providing step-by-step tutorials of your process, that you are a true expert at your business. It needs to capture and hold the interest of your followers. It will be what attracts them to keep revisiting your stuff. In addition, inquire about posting static image web banner ads or gifs on popular sites that direct people to your site. This will cause more viewers will discover you, and this type of exposure could lead you to some new clients.
2. Leave Your Mark
Self-promotion is key to gaining new clients, and who doesn’t love getting free stuff? It’s a trade off; you give people free stuff and in exchange they agree to become walking advertisements for your business. Gain attention by slapping an interesting slogan along with your logo and a QR code that directs to your website on something fun that people will enjoy receiving. Typical freebies include things like pens, t-shirts, hats, bags, magnets, stickers, office supplies, post-it notes, calendars, pens, mouse pads, notebooks, USB drives and bookmarks. A good way to take this traditional marketing technique further and make it more surprising is to hand them out in public areas in a subtle way. For example, when you go out to eat, leave a few pens on the table that has a clear, bold slogan along with your website URL. Waiters and waitresses are always in need of pens and they will circulate throughout many patrons, aka potential prospective clients. More freebie ideas that are relevant for gaining web design clients include creating free WordPress themes or a free app and offering free consultations. The potential for guerrilla marketing ideas is limited only by your imagination. Your freebie items should be unique, showcase your design skills and also give some information on your business. Including compelling statistics regarding web design is a great way to make the giveaways more interesting. That way, it doesn’t look like a marketing campaign, thus increasing your chances to make a sale with them. Be proactive in your advertising efforts.
3. Offer Special Bargains
Promote special bargains you are offering to gain a following and potentially gain new clients. One idea for a special deal you could offer an existing client is a free web design service in exchange for 2 referrals. Your promotions could be indefinite or for a limited time only. Another idea is promoting your business as a charity-giving one. You can make an offer to agree to donate a certain percentage of your earnings from your web design services to the client’s charity of choice. You can promote these special offers via your website, blog, guest blogs, advertisements and word of mouth. Contact your local newspaper and request a space to advertise your services. Include something unique like a coupon or call to action. Maybe the first caller receives a free service.
4. Social Media Incentives
Be active on popular social media networks. You should have personal accounts as well as accounts for your business. While keeping your social media networks branded according to your standards, create professional yet striking timelines and profile designs. This is important for impressing potential clients. To save time, there are apps out there that allow you to sync your social media accounts so that when you make one post to Facebook, it automatically updates your other accounts too, like Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, etc. Creating fun games and contests on your social media pages is great way to gain attention and following, too. Share a special contest promotion; for example, when your business’ page reach 1000 followers, you will select from them a random lucky winner, and offer a giveaway prize of a free web design service. This way you are rewarding your followers and increasing your popularity.
5. Party On
Event sponsorship can be a great way to get your business name out there and have people recognize you from something memorable and meaningful. You can bring in guerrilla marketing tactics by getting creative with how you participate, or coordinate your advertising at the event. A hosted event provides an opportune time to give away free promo materials. What better way to get people’s attention than to throw a party in the name of your business? It’s a simple concept, yet effective. If people have fun and they relate it to your business, they will like your business. One way you can promote your business through an event is host a client appreciation barbeque at your local park. You can make it open to the public and advertise in your local newspaper or personal blog. You could set up booths that showcase your business’ portfolio. Perhaps you could hire spokespeople to answer questions for your guests and even set up free consultations. Have unique decorations that double as a souvenir from your party, like a room filled with balloons that have your logo, QR code and website information on it. It could be fun and successful hosting an interactive event to meet new people and potentially gain new clients.
6. Make Partnerships
Consider partnering with another business similar to yours but one that is not within the exact same niche. For example, web designers may want to team up with web hosting companies or web developers. This way you can offer your clients more and you won’t have to worry about competing with them for clients. If you’re a web designer who creates website designs for musicians, why not team up with a CD publishing company and co-promote each other’s services? Start collecting business cards from people you normally wouldn’t talk to. It could pay off!
7. Pay it Forward
Host a charity event that supports a special cause that you would like to help through fundraising efforts. The promotion from having your name associated with the benefit could do really well for your business and also show your local community that you’re a business that cares about others. On a smaller scale, a generous way to market your services is through random acts of kindness. Go to a local coffeehouse and when you go to pay for your own, tell the cashier that you would like to pay for the person behind you. Leave your business card for the cashier to give to the lucky person whose coffee is on you. It is an unexpected way to get your name out there and earn a good reputation. Even if it doesn’t land you a client, you still did a generous deed regardless, and you’re still earning a good business reputation.
8. Sweet Talk ‘Em
Sometimes you’ve got to woo your prospective clients with some sweet-talking. Nice gestures and compliments can work wonders in winning people over. So maybe you seek out new businesses in the area. As a traditional neighborly gesture, send a box of cupcakes or candy. But not just any kind; you have to do something surprising and creative to get the full woo effect. Send a box of cupcakes, 9 chocolate and 1 special flavored one covered with decorative icing. The outside of the box could have some kind of slogan like “Among a crowd, there are always those that stand out” then when they open the box to see the distinguished one, it could have a plastic pick in it with a message, which will be your brief sales pitch in the form of a one-liner like, “Does your business need a website design makeover?” Include a “welcome to the neighborhood” note along with your business card, website URL and contact information. Or maybe you would rather target a more general audience rather than target a specific new business with the same concept. You could install a large mirror somewhere in a public, busy area (or in more targeted areas) and somewhere prominent on the mirror could say something eye-catching and thought provoking like “Want to look even better?” or “Need a makeover?” Then somewhere subtly on the mirror would have your slogan, logo and business name along with your website URL or way to direct them to you. While these gestures are not directly related to web design, you have creatively turned in around to reflect your web design business. This will show people that you are creative and willing to go above and beyond the norm.
9. Hire Commission Based Sales Reps
Find people within your network of friends and colleagues to get out there and hustle for you. You could probably find a few people who would be interested in this sales job opportunity and who could do it as a part-time side job to supplement to their main job. They would work as your personal recruiter and you could pay these people a commission from the earnings in the business exchange among the clients they land for you.
10. Be Sketchy
Go around to busy areas like parks, business parking lots, malls, etc. and put your creativity to work on the black top. That’s right, get out your sidewalk chalk and start sketching. The more captivating of a design, the more attention it will attract, but ultimately all that is really necessary to include is your business name and contact information along with a catchy question something along the lines of “Need a new website design?” This may seem desperate to some, but I see it as an ambitious move especially among web design entrepreneurs. It is a creative, innovative and best of all, free way of advertising your services.
These are just a few ideas for guerrilla marketing for web designers. These techniques may not be comfortable for everybody; some prefer the more conventional advertising approaches. However, if you are looking for more innovative approaches, guerrilla marketing might be the route for you. Remember, what is unique about this strategy of marketing is that it is targeted in unexpected places and creates thought-provoking concepts to generate publicity. If you can shock them or make them laugh, people will remember you. If you come up with a boring ad that looks just like every other ad, people won’t even look twice. The point of guerrilla marketing is to do something different to grab people’s attention.
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