Monday, July 12, 2010

9 Marketing Tips from a Six-Year Old’s Lemonade Stand

1. Give people something for free and they will feel obligated to return the favor

When you help someone, it creates a natural desire to return the favor. As a web designer, provide helpful tips on your blog, participate in forums offering advice and helping non-designers, share ideas on Twitter. In doing so, you’ll not only build trust, but also develop relationships with potential clients.

2. Give potential customers a taste of your offerings

Offer free themes or templates with an easy upgrade to “pro” versions. Provide free stock graphics that hint at potential identity or branding packages while demonstrating your creativity. Just be sure to make it good. When users are excited about the base product, they are much more likely to upgrade.

3. Make it “Extra Special”

Don’t just offer lemonade. Put in that extra sprig of mint. Make everything you do something “extra special” and clients will take notice. Not only will they come back for more, they’ll tell their friends.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Tell Your “Neighbors” (Network!)

One of the first things my daughter did when she opened her stand was run next door and tell the neighbor. After getting his lemonade, he called two other neighbors to tell them about the lemonade stand – both of whom came right over with “donations”. Don’t be afraid to tell friends and colleagues about your services. You never know, they may talk to your next big client later that day.

5. Do What You Need to Do to Be Seen

It wasn’t enough to just put up a sign. My daughter’s advertising consisted of jumping up and down screaming “free lemonade” at passing cars. While it might seem extreme, it worked. How are you “screaming” about your business?

6. Be Persistent

Even though most of the cars passed by, my daughter didn’t give up. Finally, after many failed attempts, one of them did stop—doubling her income for the day.

7. Build Anticipation

My daughter’s first customer knew about her project and was there as soon as it opened. Don’t just launch your new web site, let people know it’s coming. Drop hints, show them screen shots, make them look forward to the big day.

8. Find Good Partners

My daughter’s little brother kept drinking the lemonade – not the best partner. However, her friend from down the street was out there with her jumping up and down screaming, doubling their advertising efforts.

9. Advertise Your Popularity

Once my daughter’s cup started filling with coins, people were more likely to “donate”. Don’t be afraid to advertise your popularity. Place download counters, comment counts and subscriber numbers in prominent places. Just make sure the stats are high enough to warrant a little bragging.

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