1. Advertise in offbeat weekly community publications: Those quirky
weekly publications almost always have advertisements for Information
Technology (IT) opportunities. Most of them are local and for many small
businesses, it is easier to attract new clients locally than online where it is fiercely
competitive. Make your ad catchy and display a little of your talent. Make sure
it’s not overly busy.
2. Direct mail: Direct mail is still one of the cheapest ways of getting your
message out to a large audience. The cost of a well presented direct mail piece is
easily justifiable given the almost guaranteed results if you target your audience
correctly. Make sure you copy is done by a professional direct mail copywriter –
spend the money for a one page letter. Most people think they can write good
copy but most cannot – even people who draft marketing copy frequently do not
know how to write good direct marketing copy.
3. Chamber of Commerce membership: Joining a chamber introduces you to
other businesses and other businesses to your talents. An advertising listing is
often included in most chamber memberships and a majority of businesses
belong to local chambers. Do not assume that because you are small a chamber
can not help you or has no role for you to play. Offer to do a class on web design.
Connect with other IT professionals.
4. Rotary Membership: Rotaries are good places to meet business leaders and
introduce yourself and your company to the local economy. Also, because
rotaries focus on issues affecting the business community, you will get a good
idea of how the local economy succeeds and what it is facing. Involving yourself
in a rotary also says a lot about you as a community member. Remember that
most successful businesses start local and “go global” after they have established
themselves as viable.
5. The Moose, Eagles and Elks: Local social organizations serve as good ways
to make connections, enjoy socializing with the local community and do a lot of
charity work. Do not under-estimate the reach of these types of organizations.
By spending time getting to know your community or establishing yourself as a
viable professional, you also help your business. These groups are great “social”
opportunities, but familiarity in this case can help you get started or build your
6. Join a community organization: Apart from the different clubs you can join,
many communities have “community action” groups that are always in need of
7. Sponsor a local youth sports team or league: Depending on how much
you want to spend, your advertising exposure will vary. Sponsor a team and you
can get your name on a program every time they play. Sponsor the end of year
tournament and you might get a billboard at the local little league park. Most
importantly, sponsoring a local team gets you access to your local community and
just about every parent present works somewhere.
8. Sponsor a local theater group: Many cities and towns have local theater
groups that perform throughout the year. They are often volunteer supported
and the actors are amateurs. By helping to sponsor these groups you open your
company up to a very artistic environment. You will also have your company
listed in a brochure or sometimes even mentioned at the beginning or ending of a
show depending on the category of your donation.
9. Sponsor a school program: Most schools are always looking for local talent
to visit, have help in teaching or to run instructional workshops for students.
Often, just volunteering will create a “buzz” among faculty. By doing this two or
three times a year, you give back to your community. Additionally, your
participation will be discussed at home by students.
10. Teach a class at a community college: If you possess a higher education
degree, many community or technical colleges are looking for instructors at a
part time level. This is because these jobs typically are held at night and do not
pay all that well. If you can invest one or two nights per week in these types of
classes, however, they are a great way to get your name out there. Most of the
students will be adults and work in some sort of business so you are opening
doors as you teach. You also are building your own resume to offer to other