Small Business Marketing: 3 Old School Strategies that Still Work

Cleveland’s old school rap concert really got us thinking about the effectiveness of traditional small business marketing strategies.

Old school rappers LL Cool J, Ice Cube, De La Soul and Public Enemy rocked the mic in a SOLD OUT concert in Cleveland. What does a rap concert have to do with small business marketing?

old school marketing, small business marketing
Cleveland’s old school rap concert really got us thinking about the effectiveness of traditional small business marketing strategies. Well, first it shows us that “old” doesn’t mean washed up and outdated.

The Internet is buzzing with talk about social media, video blogging, content marketing and other online marketing strategies. But you don’t hear much about the old school marketing ideas that continue to help transform small businesses into global giants.

Developing and executing online marketing strategies can be time consuming, which is why many small business owners throw up their hands and say, “to hell with it.”

Don’t fret if you don’t have time to post on Facebook, share tweets and blog. Go old school!

The key is not how you market your business; it’s whether your efforts expand your client base. Let’s look at 3 simple old school small business marketing strategies we know still work.

1. Join your local chamber of commerce
Participating in your local chamber of commerce can give your small business a big publicity boost and connect you with other professionals, some of whom will undoubtedly need your products and services.

What are some cons of joining chambers? Many small business owners squawk at the idea of membership fees (typically a few hundred bucks a year). We say compare the cost of business promotions and advertising on your own to determine if the price is worth the benefit.

2. Reach out to your local urban league
Urban leagues are full of gems for small business owners. Not only can you get free education on how to run a business, write a business plan and much more, but by attending the classes, you’ll connect with other business owners.

We work with the Urban League of Greater Cleveland and have provided services for countless small business owners. So we know firsthand that this strategy works.

3. Call old employers
Have a service or product that your previous employers could use? Call them and share information about your business and how you could offer assistance. Yes, picking up the phone and talking to prospects still works.

If your product or service is truly valuable to your old employer, these should be easy sales because they already know your character and work ethic (hopefully you were an amazing employee).

What’s the Word: Old school small business marketing strategies is where it all started. I used to sing a song with the Girls Scouts, “make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold.” The same goes with old versus new marketing strategies. The best way to promote your brand is through a combination of old and new marketing ideas that strike the right chord with your target audience.

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