Who Needs Madison Avenue?
Advertising is an important part of any business. But it's not cheap - unless you get creative about it. A few local success stories might give you some ideas on how to spread the word on a dime.
Keller Williams Realty's Hauser Estates Team: Give Away Something of Value
Broker-realtors Ginger and Terry Hauser have found their business is mixing with their personal life -- and that's okay with them. The reason it's a good thing is because they're able to be there for their one-year-old daughter Alexis. "We each work in the field three days a week while the other one watches Lexy," says Ginger. Time with her is priceless, says Terry -- the proud father bragging how he was the first one to see Alexis roll over.
And as their family grows, so does the business. An important part of that growth is constant promotion. "Whenever you go out the door, you have some sort of advertising with you," says Ginger. "Business cards are the primary one that we use" she says, though they also rely on pens. "We'll hand business cards to the store clerks, or leave one with our waitress or waiter with our tip."
But business cards can easily end up in the recycle bin. Giving people something they will keep is a concept the Hausers find very effective. Pens and even flower seed packets printed with their company name and contact information get results. The seed packets grab people's attention and are easily snatched up during their open houses, which conveniently coincide with the spring planting season. People will often plant some seeds one season and save the rest for next year, so the packets stick around, says Ginger.
Weekly networking meetings with fellow business owners are another tool the Hausers use to expand their exposure. "We get to build relationships with them, get to know what the other members do, and then we can talk about them when we're out in the marketplace," says Ginger, adding that one networking group member developed so much business in less than two years that she had to quit the group.
-Madison Magazine - October 2005