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Advertising a small business - October 15th 2021, 12:11 PM

Dear TeenHelp,

I opened a small local massage business a few months ago. I have tried many different forms of advertising, but they don't seem to work. I would like to ask whether you have any ideas for advertising (especially online and on social media), or what would be attractive for you as a customer.
Many thanks for your help! Have a good day.
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Re: Advertising a small business - October 16th 2021, 03:38 AM

Have you advertised on Facebook and/or looked into Facebook groups in your area where you could promote your small business? I know, some areas have online advertisement websites with a variety of listings (houses to cars, jobs, so on) you could try there? (where I am it's called, Kijiji)

If you have done that, it could be other things. Could be due to COVID and people not having money to spend, the risk of going out, to other factors. It could also be in the way you are marketing it, the words you are using, how you are advertising; where, to sometimes unknown factors.

Small businesses can either go slowly to generate business, go fast, or remain stagnant. Have you asked your customers to review your business? Is it searchable on Google search? It's easy to add a business to Google search, from there customers are able to write reviews and you can add your address to other review areas (here we have a few places besides Google review that comes up, like Yelp, Yellow Pages, to name a few).

After a customer visits; consider giving them a card to invite them to review you and maybe a nudge to come back with a small discount on products or something (they would need to bring it back to show proof for the next visit). It may not seem like the best financial plan; if that customer returns, it's a repeat and they most likely will return thereafter.

I can't think of anything else right now. I hope this is helpful. If you have any questions let me know.


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Re: Advertising a small business - October 17th 2021, 08:36 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MsNobleEleanor View Post
1) Have you advertised on Facebook and/or looked into Facebook groups in your area where you could promote your small business? I know, some areas have online advertisement websites with a variety of listings (houses to cars, jobs, so on) you could try there? (where I am it's called, Kijiji)

2) If you have done that, it could be other things. Could be due to COVID and people not having money to spend, the risk of going out, to other factors. It could also be in the way you are marketing it, the words you are using, how you are advertising; where, to sometimes unknown factors.

3) Small businesses can either go slowly to generate business, go fast, or remain stagnant. Have you asked your customers to review your business? Is it searchable on Google search? It's easy to add a business to Google search, from there customers are able to write reviews and you can add your address to other review areas (here we have a few places besides Google review that comes up, like Yelp, Yellow Pages, to name a few).

4) After a customer visits; consider giving them a card to invite them to review you and maybe a nudge to come back with a small discount on products or something (they would need to bring it back to show proof for the next visit). It may not seem like the best financial plan; if that customer returns, it's a repeat and they most likely will return thereafter.

1) Yes, I run a Facebook page with regular posts/photos/videos and I post stuff on local Facebook groups as well.


3) I have asked for reviews on Facebook, but I haven't tried Google.


4) I have a loyalty card available (and a gift card as well). Currently I'm running a giveaway to attract new customers.


3) I'm afraid you may be right about covid - not only are people more cautious with their money, but also not everybody wants to have unnecessary contact with others.


Thank you very much for taking your time Chantal, I'm grateful you shared your ideas


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Re: Advertising a small business - November 17th 2021, 11:48 PM

I know this thread is a month old and I'm very sorry, I've only just seen it.

I just want to chime in with a few comments of my own, being a small business owner as well. Hopefully they help and give you something to think about if you're still having ongoing issues.

Target audience

Who are you trying to market yourself towards? By this I mean demographics. Adults, children, elderly? Is it sports massage? Swedish? What are your age ranges? Genders?

You need to create the idea customer that you're looking to market yourself towards.

Adding value

Your service needs to have value. Why should a person pay you for your time over another? What is your unique selling point? What makes you special over someone else? Is it your location? Pricing? Knowledge? Customers are unfortunately very selfish. You need to create a service that benefits them. Think about all the ways your massage business helps that individual you're aiming to market yourself towards. Many people love a good massage, but what makes your massage the go-to over a wider known business? You need to come up with a way to make yourself stand out from the crowd.

Recognition

You need to build up your reputation through recognition. People won't sign up for something they cannot see doing well. You can make all the advertisements in the world, but you need to demonstrate you have clients and are willing to approach you. You can use friends or family to be 'models' for social media posts. You can have them provide a review of recommendation. Getting friends and family on board with spreading your name brings recognition. And this recognition is what helps bring in clients.

Knowledge and experience

What knowledge and experience do you have in your field of work? You need to be able to demonstrate you know exactly what you're talking about. You can do this through your 'models'. For example, if you're performing a deep tissue on a particular area of someone's body, perhaps explain the benefits of how it can help a person. Remember that your service is about the customer. Tie your knowledge into how it can help a future customer. Show how your knowledge of a particular massage can help relieve a problem. People like problem solvers.

Cost

Think about how much you're charging for your service. If you price yourself too low, sure it's cheap, but as any customer would think, 'Why?'. Having something too low is going to attract a certain type of client. Having your service cost too much will either attract very few, or no one at all. Remember that we're still in a pandemic and people's money is valuable. Show why your service is worth its money. Why should they invest in you?

Competition

Research your competition. Find out who operates in your area. What type of massages do they do? What's their reputation? What are their skills and knowledge levels? How much do they charge? The more you get an idea of what service they provide, the more you can get an idea of what service you want to be.

Social skills

No business works without good communication and personality. You have to be likeable, personable, and have patience. Each client you take on will be completely different. They have different lives, different problems, and different bodies. You need to be able to be the sort of person they're going to want to approach and have a laugh with, but also one that's understanding and respectful. Not only that, your personality has a direct effect on how well your service does. If you're miserable, complain a lot, seem to lack energy, and don't seem interested in your client, they're not going to want to come back and may end up damaging your reputation. You need to have a certain personality where you can be upbeat, cheerful, and the kind of person you develop regular and repeat customers from.

Social media content

What are you putting up on your social media? Is it just advertisements of costs? Is it about you and/or your service? Remember that again, your service needs to be about how you can help somebody else. Create content that is going to generate enquiries. If you put up a paywall instantly, demonstrating that your service costs X for Y type of massage, you're instantly cutting off a stream of lead generation before it's even started.

Lead generation and service exposure

This is a big one. What are you doing to expose your service to generate potential clients? You've mentioned online and social media which is great, but you need more. You need to physically be able to put up flyers, posters, leaflets. Hand out business cards. Meet people face to face. The more streams you expose yourself to, the more people are going to recognise you. Lead generation is one of the most difficult things. You need to constantly think about the various different ways you can possibly expose yourself and get yourself noticed.

Ask people to sign up for a mailing list. Hand out leaflets in a busy street or market area. Provide business cards people can take away at a reception desk in a busy location. The more enquiries you get, the more you're one step closer. That enquiry is then your moment to shine and show what kind of personality you have. This in turn comes back to social skills. Dazzle that potential client with your positivity and behaviour.


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Re: Advertising a small business - November 18th 2021, 02:15 PM

Sarah, thank you so much for your reply. You put a lot of effort into writing it and I appreciate it a lot. I will try to think over everything you have suggested.


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Re: Advertising a small business - February 10th 2022, 03:15 PM

Thank you for this informative thread, I would like to promote my business too
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