Apr 22, 2005
Los Angeles
What do you think the best method for advertising/marketing your business if you don't actually have a, out of your home? I'm in a big city - I thought about bus stop benches...any other ideas (obviously not enough money for TV/Radio or that kind of thing)
You might want to try local High School sports programs, or theatre programs. Some cities have a regional or neighborhood "penny-saver" newspaper. To make it work, I would do the ad in the form of a coupon or some other "special" that way you can track your results.
I don't know which would be worse - big city or out in the country (in terms of marketing only - I love where I live.)

I use the "E-I-E-I-O" method of marketing.
E - engage others in conversation. Every where you go, talk to people - ask them what they do, and they will invariably ask you what you do - then tell them!

I - investigate opportunities for work. Go to art, craft, and photography shows - look for artists who need work done.

E - enjoin other organizations. There are countless posts and topics concerning Chambers of Commerce and other business organizations. Even the local PTA and other school groups offer lots of promise. (But one word, don't join if you're not willing to work in these groups. Joining just for business contacts never works.)

I - inventory. "Find a need and fill it." Look for what can set you apart from the crowd and make it worth the customer's time and effort to find your place of business.

O - Outlook. Always be on the outlook for ways to market your business in unique ways and areas.

In short - become a guerrilla marketer. Just "advertising" and then setting back and waiting for the customer to appear never works - and works even less than that for the homebased business! Get involved, build relationships, and above all, be visable.

That has worked for me for over 15 years now...
You can't go past Betty's advice, she really is a marketing guru. Marketing can drain your money quicker than anything else. Start by building relationships. Concentrate on meeting people and talking to them always be friendly and open. Spend the time on the customers you have by sending thankyou notes for each of the jobs you complete. The PPFA have a couple of really good briefs that you can look at if you are a member and I would recommend membership for that alone.
Lastly go to for some good tips.
Gosh for a minute I thought our Betty was talkingabout ANOTHER EIEIO--Examination of the Implementation of Embedded Intervention through Observation. It's all about research on children with disabilities in a typical childcare setting.
the only other EIEIO I know about is concerning Old MacDonald...
Certainly we’ve had a lot of marketing/advertising failures, but I wouldn’t think that bus bench advertising would be that successful. I would think that most folks who ride the bus (other than the ecologically aware) would not be in the economic group that would be likely to use custom picture framing. It may be different in L.A., though.

We’ve had pretty good luck in convincing a local library to let us print book marks for them. We figure that people who like to read are a good target audience for picture framing. We deliberately make them oversized with a lot of white since many people like to make notes on them. At a small mom and pop printing outfit, they cost us about $200 for 10,000. They last us about six months. A fair number of customers from Londonderry mention these bookmarks when they come into the store.


Great idea on the bookmarks!

I'm gonna try it.

I had the same knee-jerk response about the bus stop advertising. At first.
But I got to thinking about it, the bench advertising isn't directed to people waiting on the bus, it’s for people in cars waiting for the light to change. Lets say the average driver goes thru that intersection twice a day, five days a week. That’s forty times a month for one person. Lets say that intersection averages twenty thousand cars a day, that bench may be pretty good advertising.
I have found that relationship works very well,but you need to add to that. Something to remind people you are there.

I do a newsletter 3 times a year and it always brings people in. I always have a coupon in it.

I started out with just customers and as I met people, I would send one to potential clients as well.

I do this and one other form of advertising which is a local magazine (very high-end). I try to put my newsletter out close to the time my ad will run in the magazine. It's like a double whammy!