Give It Away, And See If It Returns

Sometimes, giving your services away can be the most rewarding marketing you can do.

I hear you, I hear you: “Uh, what now? Have you gone mental? Have you been Hanging with Weird Uncle Pete again?!?”

To which I say: You read that right, no, and oh HECK no!

Here’s what I mean:

Let’s say you’re the proprietress of a hair salon. Why? Because I need an example. Wouldn’t it be nice to be known as the hair salon that cares about their community? But how to make that work? Well, what if you offered your services for free? It sounds crazy, but hear me out.

What if, for one day, you offered a free haircut to food pantry patrons; to returning veterans; to shut-ins; to nursing home residents; to job seekers through a temporary agency. How about if you stayed open for 24 hours to help out those who work weird hours get a haircut, once a month? You could even let the authorities know ahead of time, if you’re concerned about safety – perhaps they would be willing to assist with extra patrols, or a nice off duty officer might be willing to trade a couple haircuts for keeping an eye on the place.

Suffice it to say, the possibilities are beyond myriad. The return comes in letting the press know ahead of time what you’re doing. Submit a press release to everyone you can find, and follow up with phone calls. Those agencies and services are there to let people know about things happening in their local world and, if they’re doing it right, they’ll do just that. Best case scenario, you get a snippet on the news. And who doesn’t want THAT for free?

This idea can be applied to numerous businesses. In fact, we have a client ( Steve’s Auto Repair ) who cyclically offers oil changes in exchange for donations to causes that they believe in. And that balanced benevolence has gained them a phenomenal following.

Give it some serious thought. Get feedback from friends, family, and customers. And, if it looks like something that will work – do it! Your community is important, and you can make a difference.

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~ by digitalninjasmedia on November 10, 2011.

 
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