Making your own calendar is fun and a great way to promote a small business. Giving away a free calendar to customers and prospects is not only a nice favor to them, it can help keep your company top-of-mind year round. To create a calendar that effectively markets your business, gets the phone ringing and generates sales, be sure the end product meets these three criteria: it’s convenient to use, inspirational and includes marketing messages.
For more information about these three criteria for calendar success, read on. 1. Convenience Making your own calendar and distributing it to clients is a bit of a risk. What if customers don’t find the calendar useful and toss it in the recycling bin? To be sure the calendar is a welcome convenience to clients, so think about what they might use the calendar for. Be sure to include all the national and major religious holidays on the calendar. If you can, try printing a 16- or 18-month calendar, which will give your printed piece a long shelf life. Some of the best calendars out there come with a set of stickers pre-printed with useful symbols for birthdays and appointments that users can stick onto the dates. It’s also great to come up with a list of business tips and include them throughout the calendar. If there's anything you can think of that will make clients' lives easier - go for it! 2. Inspiration A calendar is something folks look at every day. Sometimes it’s the first thing they view before starting off the day. A good calendar provides a sense of orderliness and should also provide a bit of inspiration. Successful calendars have a clean, easy-to-see design and layout and also feature beautiful photographs. Start by brainstorming a few possible calendar themes so that there is continuity from one month’s image to the next. Then, consider hiring a freelance photographer to come up with original images for the calendar. Or search for unique stock photography. The following search terms will yield some amazing shots: nature, landscape, aerial, ocean, beaches, forest, mountains and city. In addition to inspiring images, think about including great quotes from famous authors and thinkers on each page. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations is a great resource for quotes. 3. Marketing and branding So now you’re clients have a free, useful and beautiful calendar. Here’s how to make the calendar work for you. On every page be sure there’s a footer, or a block of text that includes your company, logo, website and phone number. Additionally think of creative ways to intersperse information about your business, products and services throughout the calendar. You can mark dates when you will be holding future events, sales or releasing new products. Just be sure that there’s a clear way for customers to take advantage of the sales, such as a promotion code. Coupons are another great marketing tool that you can incorporate into a calendar printing. If you issue the calendar in the winter, and include a coupon for the month of May, that will give customers a good reason to hang on to the calendar.