I am in a small alternative wellness studio and need help with getting my name out.  When I opened I went around to all of the businesses close by and gave out cards.  I have a Facebook and Twitter account.  My budget for marketing is very small.  I have considered doing a Groupon type deal to get my name out there.  What have others found that works for them?

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Can you do a mailing - email or postcard - to the studios clientele?

This worked very well for me.

Cross promotions and specials worked well too (combined services).

IMO - Groupon sucks but if you have a client list you can do your own special discount/promotion without as much financial pain.

Here's an idea: through vistaprint.com you can get a very specific mailing list....radius from your location, age, home owner, income level, etc. It's really inexpensive. I think I paid about $22 for 350 name/addresses. Make up some cute postcards and do a local mailing. I didn't get a huge response but it gets your name out there and then when they see something else about you somewhere else, they'll think..."oh, I remember getting a postcard from his gal."

Oh I didn't even think about a mailing to the studio's clientele.  

As far as Groupon, etc, go, I may do one as a way to get my name out there.  I'm not really excited about them but it would be a way to get exposure.  

Leigh - I really think that you can do better than Groupon. Seriously - they don't deserve the business and should be your last resort. Really - you don't want those clients.

There is also "in-house" marketing to current clients of the center - you can make your own posters and flyers. You can also make very inexpensive posters at VistaPrint.  Put them around the center, in the bathroom and at the front desk. Give out discount coupons to current clients if you want, a $20 coupon or half-off a waxing will entice a LOT of people.

In our area there is a free local paper called "Penny Power" that EVERYBODY reads. It's all ads and listings (has yard sales, private sales, local jobs, realestate, lots of local business ads). Something like this is very affordable if you have a paper like this - usually it's less than $200 for a large ad.

I LOVE VistaPrint postcards! I had a huge mailing to my list(s) over a couple of months at the beginning of the year. I did not have a a stellar response (about the usual direct mail response) - but it's like Shelley mentioned, they have to see your name a few times for it to stick. I was going to try their list service but the area I was targeting is heavily populated so I wasn't able to figure out the right filters for that. (actually now that I think about it, I want to do another postcard mailing in the fall...just have to think of something fun and exciting...)

It's great that you have your own facebook page, I would also suggest you get your own website up too.  If the center has a FB page and website hopefully they will give you a nice plug on there too.

As you can tell, I am not completely sold on them.   

The studio is going to send out an email about me to their clients.  I am looking at participating in Spa Week as well.  

Hi Leigh,

Here is a suggestion for anyone looking for marketing for a small business: it is a book calledGetting Business to Come to You, 2nd Edition, by Paul and Sarah Edwards.  It is a bit older but found it in my library and couldn't believe the excellent advice in it.  It is a 675 page book you can find for as little as .99 cents on-line.  It is written by two people who made helping small business owners and home businesses their specialty.  There are many excellent examples of what people did to become successful, even shy and retiring types.

The best piece of advice I got was "market your business in a way that is fun and natural for you".  There is a whole chapter on this.  The other is niche marketing, what it is and how to use it to capture a specific market for your business.

I highly recommend this book to anyone marketing a business.  Here are three of seven lessons about marketing from $100,000. a year businesses:

* Develop a Marketing Mindset; *Do What Comes Naturally; *Market in Fertile Ground

This list is on page 116.

Marketing is part of the daily pie of owning a business; do yourself a favor and read the parts of this book that apply to you and then keep it as a resource guide, as your business grows you will use different marketing techniques.  

One other suggestion, join a professional women's association, there are several.  Here is a place you will meet other successful women and learn things from seminars and webinars about building a successful life.  They are a gold mine of contacts and education.  Also consider joining the Chamber of Commerce in your city.  If your employer is a member, then ask if you can go to the monthly mixers, another source of professional women, and a way to make one-on-one contact, which may be easier for you in the beginning.  Think about being out in the community and building relationships instead of marketing per se.  In a group like the Chamber mixers you wil bel touting your own horn many times, easily.  Find some groups you would like to be involved in anyway, like Meet-Ups, and just go and have fun, the clients will come, just keep the faith!

Good Luck

 

Hi Leigh! I see that you are an ASCP member. Did you know that you get a website with your membership? You can also create brochures with our brochure generator. Those would be nice to put up in gyms and coffee shops so people can see what you do, not just a business card. You don't have to pay more to create these, just to print if you have them printed professionally. Also, I specialize in helping our members with their websites and enhancing their online presence through SEO (basically getting found on Google). You don't have to pay to get on Google, you just have to know what to do. I can explain that to you if you want to give me a call. It takes some work, but if you don't have the budget to spend on marketing then this is a good strategy. I wouldn't throw Groupon out the window completely. I can tell you how to calculate the net profit for your services and then do a feasibility analysis to determine if Groupon is a good strategy for your business starting out. Groupon should be looked at as a marketing strategy; you want to be reaching your target market and getting return on investment. 800-458-2267 x654

I have a website, cards, rack cards, etc.  Will try to call you this week.

I did a groupon and while not wild about it. It did get my name out there and I did keep a huge portion of clients and it did give me a huge mailing list of clients as well. Some have gotten other services erc. Just bump up your prices if you do one so you can make more. I also offered upgrades to my groupons that they paid to me directly, that was a help as well. Good luck!!!

Hi Leigh, I was exactly where you are now 16 months ago! Worse, I think, because I had just moved from San Fco to Tampa and didn't know a soul!

I was working part time managing a yoga studio when the owner offered to rent a small empty room and so I opened my business :-)  This is what I did:

1) advertised (flyers, business cards, postcards) at the studio

2) Negotiated with the owner that for every new student to sign up for unlimited monthly yoga membership, they would get a free express facial (valued at $50). Yes, very generous, BUT, every single person who got the "free facial" upgraded to a full facial ($85) and I was able to get $35 from it.

3) I did get a Groupon deal. I didn't know anyone, I had no network and no one knew me. I had to get my name out there. groupon helps with SEO.  So many people purchased the groupon, that I had a very generous lump sum of cash flow to get my business rolling. Truth is, most people won't return. And I will never have another Groupon deal, but I got some very needed cash upfront, and I was able to upsell and still today over a year later, I have a few clients from back when. Sometimes people just want to try you out. If you give them a great service, they will stick with you. 

I long moved to another location - more upscale. I joined a networking group (BNI), I have a website, have a virtual admin assistant doing my social media and this month I am working on expanding services.

So, in summary, do the Groupon. It doesn't hurt. Do it because you're starting. Don't do it again. And network, network, network. With BNI, my initial investment was $465 and I recovered that and more within my first 2 months. And don't put all your energy on Twitter and FB.  Get a website and work on your SEO and ROI

Best wishes!!!

What did you do for your free facial

Ok so I have been in business 11 years. I have tried it all

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