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Lack of work. Best Advertising techniques?

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Post Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:14 am

Lack of work. Best Advertising techniques?

Sorry couldn’t figure out where was best to place this type of post.

Hi, I’ve been trading on and off around my full time employment for a few years now before this year finally putting my complete focus on my signs.

We’ve done a fair bit of work this year so far and have plenty of happy customers but that was mainly through word and mouth.

The work really seems to have dried up, have done the website, social media pages and currently advertising with sponsored Yell posts.

Paying for advertising is no issue either.

We’re based in Kent, UK by the way.

Just wondering if anybody (who isn’t local to me ) has any advice in generating work for s small company looking to grow like myself.

We do pretty much all, I guess shop signs, vehicle graphics and sticker supply are our most productive work so far.

Thanks in advance guys.
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Post Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:14 pm

Re: Lack of work. Best Advertising techniques?

Levi Summers wrote: currently advertising with sponsored Yell posts.



Why would you do this, and not Google Adwords?

Yell are brilliant at constantly contacting you, after you take a free listing, saying how much better you'd be if you paid for this or that or blah blah blah. None of it works. Yell are up the poop stream, paddle was lost years ago and the canoe is as holy as the Pope. They've been destroyed by the likes of rated people etc directories. They could have done better, but thats another story. It always used to be that you HAD to be in Yell and Thompson, not any more.

As I said, why not Google Adwords? A well set up campaign can target people in just your local area, looking for things that you sell.

If your car or van is sign written, drive it around, park it in Tesco for 3 hours at a time (see local parking restrictions), always wear work wear when out and about.

Above all, it takes time. We're East Sussex (waving over border), and have had a year struggling, and are now flowing with the signs.
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Post Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:18 pm

Lack of work. Best Advertising techniques?

Google Adwords. Plenty of videos on YouTube explaining how is done. At time looks complicated and too much information, but it relatively easy.

Or if you are good chat person (I’m not). Start calling companies and politely offer what you sell.
It’s free. Friend of mine is good at it. He doesn’t advertise.
Last edited by Pane Talev on Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:35 pm

Re: Lack of work. Best Advertising techniques?

We recently started an adwords campaign, after reading a book about it.

Quite happy with the results.

That said we're being very specific with search terms. So probably not getting huge impressions. An increased number of enquiries, some are utter pants though.

We tried facebook ad's but found the leads from there were terrible. :bangshead:
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Post Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:13 pm

Re: Lack of work. Best Advertising techniques?

Years ago I used to go out every sunday and evenings and do a leaflet drop. All the industrial estates, supermarkets and BQ carparks etc. Infact everywhere, not sure how many I actually dished out in total must of been thousands. But it slowly began to pay off then word of mouth and so on. Then I posted some with a business card to the bigger companies and again it began to pay off.

Things have changed abit but if I was starting out again I would do the same thing sometimes you just got to get off your ass away from your computer and make things happen. If you have been doing it for a while along side a full time job then
at least you have the foundations.
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Post Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:23 am

Re: Lack of work. Best Advertising techniques?

I think the key thing is consistency. I don’t think any one marketing idea works and reaps success straight away. We are very active with social media and over the years it’s built up and up. Also a great platform to showcase work.

Flyers etc always seem to never work but then suddenly a month after you passed some on or dropped them in people start to call.
Networking seems to be key and something am looking at this year. Up here we have 2 groups (BNI and chamber of commerce) both have an annual fee of a couple £100.. always put me off. but I heard that one of our competitors joined the BNI and walked away with a £30,000 contract for a construction companies advertising signs (new houses etc..) seem worth there while now. They also tend to limit it to one company from each industry. Might be worth a look or a punt if there is some sort of group nearby
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Post Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:21 pm

Re: Lack of work. Best Advertising techniques?

Those kind of referrals through BNI are quite rare from my experience (hence why I am no longer a member)

There's also the time involved being a member, especially when you get involved with leadership roles, and when there's a visitors or stacker day. The cost of BNI over the year was more £1000, excluding the hours spent on BNI.

We do network, but in a much more formal environment.
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Post Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:03 pm

Re: Lack of work. Best Advertising techniques?

I agree with David and I am not a fan of BNI. It does work but it depends on the quality of the group your are in how successful it is for you. I personally think you can get a better return on your investment in terms of time and money by investing your time and energy in other ways of promoting your business. The other downside to BNI is you are expected to promote other members of the group even though you may not have any experience of the quality of their business, and this could reflect badly on you if you end up inadvertently referring business to a shoddy company/business.

I also agree not to give any warning when going to remove a sign - but can't see what that's got to do with marketing? :awkward:
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Post Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:39 pm

Re: Lack of work. Best Advertising techniques?

BNI? save your money and have another hour in bed:) I found samples with the receiving companies name on them works fairly well. Leaflets have a very small percentage success rate but its numbers - put enough out and regularly and it will work in the long. Not a quick return though.
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Post Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:53 am

Re: Lack of work. Best Advertising techniques?

Hi guys,

Thanks for all the valuable advice so far.

Despite being locked into a year of Yell I’ve given AdWords ago. Damn they’re expensive and takes a lot of work to set up. We did ok but conversions were poor.

I’ve paid a media company to run my ads this month but they’re absolutely useless, a waste of £200 plus.

Still really struggling atm we’ve actually made a loss for the first time in June, which isn’t ideal.

Open to anymore advice or suggestions my friends.

Thanks guys
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Post Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:56 am

Re: Lack of work. Best Advertising techniques?

Adwords can be expensive... if you're doing it wrong.

Adwords by default is configured to make google money, not you... they get paid per click whether the clicker has any interest or not in your services.
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Post Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:36 am

Re: Lack of work. Best Advertising techniques?

I'm going to be repeating my self here... But I i encourage you to make more effort.
I cannot imaging my business without Google Ad-words.
I'm going on holiday tomorrow, so my adds will be paused while I'm away.
Google Ad-words and SEO in general is simple but takes a lot of time.
If you are not willing to spend a lot of time, don't bother...
Google adviser or the program algorithm its self will always suggest you to spend 15-20£ a day. (that is a lot for a small business)
"Google Makes More Than $100 Million Per Day From AdWords"

Start with small daily budget.

One thing I've notice about budget from 2006 - present. Back in 2006 when I started Google Ad-words will show your adds even is your budget is very small. You spend your small budget and your adds stop showing. I have a feeling this is no longer the case. When I started with small budget 2y ago, Google was not interested to show my adds as I had 5£ per day budget. I have a feeling that Google was not interested in my 5£. However when I rise my budget to 10£ per day, my adds started to show. Maybe this was triggered by another thing that I changed, but I'm happy that it works now.

To back my theory, even when you talk with Google adviser to whom you can give authorization over to make changes to your account / campaign, they ask you for a certain daily budget, so you can qualify to have your campaign be built by a Google Add words specialist. Have you called Google?

I spend minimum 6-9 months to make my campaign work for me. It was a constant change and data / bounce rate analyses, etc...

Good Luck!
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Post Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:40 am

Re: Lack of work. Best Advertising techniques?

If you're not already doing it set up a Facebook page for your business to promote yourself locally. Ask friends to share your page and you can even advertise your Facebook page to reach a local audience
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Post Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:51 am

Re: Lack of work. Best Advertising techniques?

Agree with the above.

Our 3 main sources of income are
Facebook
AdWords
Word of mouth

Did notice an increase once I finally got our van sign written.
Think it’s good to get your name everywhere you can so in the past I have offered discounts or wangled a advertising board for the club we are doing other boards for. In fact next week am doing an ad trailer for free next to a high traffic area of town as we are getting a 1/3rd of it.

Instagram. We do the stories and posts. It doesn’t generate money directly but it has stopped customers that get a vehicle livery saying “oh I didn’t know you did pop up banners so I got one at X” people are idiots. You have to put it in front of them all the time.

We also try not to turn small jobs away. I’d need more fingers and toes to count the amount of big clients we have from a one of t-shirt print. In fact one of the biggest clients this month came from 20 coffee mugs at Christmas.
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Post Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:26 pm

Re: Lack of work. Best Advertising techniques?

I also think is very important that you have a good web site.

You can spend huge amount of money on any advertising site, if your website is not done nicely you will just end up with a high bounce rate.

You spend clicks / money
People will click your add,
People will visit your website
If there isn't something nice for them to see on your site - they will leave.

Think, why will people order from you?
What makes you special?
What will you offer to your potential clients?
A lot of sign maker out there... make them choose you!
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Post Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:30 am

Re: Lack of work. Best Advertising techniques?

I would suggest you call in to local body repair shops and haulage companies and make yourself known to them. The key is getting repeat work from these and then your one offs are a bonus. This is what I did as a fledgling Signwriter 30 odd years ago before social media and even vinyl cutting machines!! Try and get a personal relationship going with these customers, I still do work for people that I just dropped a business card in to in 1986 :-) Also, as others have said, have you got signs on a vehicle - the best form of advertising, I've picked up 2 small jobs from my van just this week.
Another good source of work are larger companies with factories as H&S is just mad at the moment and they're always looking for signs and if you can sell yourself on doing bespoke designs and fast turnaround it goes a long way.
I run the odd Facebook promo but generally find nothing comes of it, I ditched directory, Yell and B2B advertising years ago, total waste of money.
Have you a niche product or service that you can offer, maybe worth a try.
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Post Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:04 am

Re: Lack of work. Best Advertising techniques?

Just about every business you could do work for wants more signage.

Stick your head in their door and save them the trouble of searching online for a Sign maker.

If I spend £1000 on advertising I'm asking myself; how many vans would I have to do just to pay for that?

Id rather have 1 job on than any amount of 'enquiries'.

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