Small Business Marketing – What Used To Work

Today it seems like small business marketing is all about the shiney objects and social media. Just today I was telling a friend how often I hear people talk about “what used to work” that they are not using anymore and she had a great comeback. SO many small businesses hear so often that you have to do the “new” marketing that they have forgotten to use tried and true methods that worked for them in the past!

Life is divided into three terms - that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present to live better in the future.  William WordsworthAt one of my favorite networking groups (The Dynamic Women a Denver womens networking group), we decided to attack this head on, all talk about what we used to do and find out if there are any missing pieces we can slot back into our marketing mix.

Here are the results of the small business marketing “used to do and it worked, but I stopped doing it for some reason” survey:


Karen – Used to do Send Out Cards which she liked doing a lot. She said she just got out of the habit but that when she did send them she got a great response every time.

Robin – Had a great mailing system to follow up with clients. She would send a thank you for the appointment follow up, then a “it has been a while”, plus a birthday card with a 5% discount…worked great for generating repeat business…stopped for reasons unknown!


Evelyn and Dale – They used to attend mixers, Chamber events and networking lunches, set up get togethers or one-on-ones and then sell to those people.

Donna – Handed out flyers at networking and sold things. Go figure!

Amber – Went to 16-20 networking groups per week when she was starting her business. She has stopped that now (she is a new mom!) but is still getting calls and leads from the couple of years that she did that.

Product Based

Rachel had a great one! Make sure you are a product of your product. If you sell fancy nails, make sure your nails look great. If you sell marketing like I do, make sure that you have embroidered shirts, promotional items, etc.

Sherrie – agrees that you should buy your product BUT that you have to take the emotion out of it and not be bothered if your friends and family don’t buy from you.

In Person Marketing

Mickie (realtor) said she made her first sale to her next door neighbor and that it came about because she talked about her industry.

Jennifer (a realtor also) got her first client from walking around knocking on doors and offering a free market report.

Monica talked about doing shows in malls and making sure that you collect names, numbers and emails so you can followup.

Diane used to have a welcome meeting when she signed up a new Legal Shield customer. She invited the new member and her friends to do their wills together and got lots of leads from those (Diane is not doing that right now).

Email Marketing

Tara (me) – I used to do email marketing but don’t like my database anymore so I have stopped really communicating with my peeps. Believe you me, I am going to change databases this month and start sending more info out!

Amber – Even sending out informational emails about someone else’s events can get a response from people.

If you have a small business marketing plan that used to work and which you abandoned, please leave a comment below to let up know about it and make sure to try it again ASAP!


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