A lot of small business owners, especially those who have local markets, are at a loss for creative ways to promote their businesses. I tell them to print calendars for local distribution. Yes, postcards, brochures, large-format banners, and newspaper advertisements are great ways to advertise locally; but nothing gives you more bang for your buck than a calendar.
Think about it: Calendars are perfect for promoting your business because they have inherent value. People use calendars every day. And when you can place your pitch in front of prospects 365 days a year for a few bucks each, it's tough to beat the brand and direct sales power of calendars. Here's how to make your own calendar to market your small business in three simple steps. 1. Design your calendar. Your calendar design should be relevant to your target audience. If you target men between the ages of 21 and 25, then your design should consist of images that audience will appreciate. If you're targeting dog lovers, then your calendar design should depict dogs. But there's more to calendar design than relevance. Strive for creativity with eye-catching, thoughtful, poignant images that have meaning and become conversation pieces. Brand your company by ensuring your logo, tagline and contact information are listed on every month. Earn direct sales by including specials by month, or clip-out coupons in your design. Be different and creative, and your calendar will win the wall space so you get total exposure all year long. 2. Print your calendars. The better your calendar paper quality, the better your company looks. Try 100-pound gloss text with a 100-pound gloss cover, and choose a Wire-O over saddle stitch to add professionalism. The cost to print calendars can seem hefty to those on a budget, but not when you think of it in terms of your cost to reach your customers. Printing 100 8.5-inch by 11-inch full-color calendars, for example, might cost $800; but if 100 potential customers hang them on their walls it costs you about two cents per customer, per day. 3. Distribute your calendars. This is the easy part: simply drop in and give your customers a calendar, pass them out when they're already in your place of business, and/or mail them out to everyone on your mailing list. Next step: Wait for sales. If you make your own calendar know that calendar printing isn't a be-all-end-all solution to marketing your business, but it is a powerful piece of a profitable puzzle when implemented correctly. To establish your brand as a trusted household name and increase direct sales, your small business can't go wrong with calendar marketing. Image use Creative Commons license via Flickr.