Typically, business owners buy advertising in order to get the attention of prospects. Today, I’m proposing you consider an alternative. Instead of buying attention with ads, I’m going to suggest you consider organically attracting attention.
I’ll include some examples of how this works, and I’ll explain some of the huge advantages of organically attracting attention.
Here’s what we know about small business owners who want to be seen.
- Some of them pay for ads on Google, Linkedin and Facebook, etc.
- Others pay to be listed in directories.
- Then there are those who buy ad space in publications.
- And some buy radio ads or pay to sponsor podcasts, etc.
- Or they do a combination of the above.
In those examples, the business owner is connecting with strangers and paying a fee every time. That’s a flawed combination. Why? Well, strangers are strangers. By default, a stranger is far less likely to hire you or buy from you, than someone who knows of you / your business and trusts you.
Buying ads also leaves you exposed to the threat of a better funded competitor, who can outspend you. I often hear from small business owners who have been priced out of online advertising, including Google Ads, because a competitor is outbidding them for the most important words and phrases. And that half page ad you run in a publication, becomes vastly less effective when a competitor decides to invest in a double-page spread for the next 6 months.
If you’re tired of paying to interrupt strangers or you want to avoid being vulnerable to a better funded competitor, it’s time to consider a different approach
An attractive alternative
Some business owners attract attention organically, build their own community and nurture their own long-term relationships with prospects. This leads to sustainable growth for the business owner, with increasing, not diminishing, returns.
Can you give me some examples, Jim?
Yes. Here are a few that came to mind immediately.
- I’m thinking about a coffee shop owner, who decides to start a book club, (a crafting group or creative writing evenings), for their customers.
- And a dentist, who provides a monthly class for people who have an irrational fear of dentists. They get the added benefit of free referrals from health professionals.
- Naturally, I’m also thinking of my fellow content creators, who, like me, freely publish useful ideas to the market they serve.
In those examples, the business owner is growing a community of prospective clients or customers. They’re building their very own marketing asset and it increases in value all the time. Their community organically spreads the word, telling their families, friends, colleagues and general contacts.
And the connection to that community doesn’t belong to an advertiser, it belongs to the business owner!
Yes, in each of the above examples you’d need to invest some of your time.
However, that modest investment is building you your very own, extremely valuable community. A community who will get to know you, trust you, recommend you, hire you and buy from you.
How do I know?
I know because I use this approach and haven’t paid for advertising since the 1990’s. I also help small business owners to enjoy the same benefits. So yes, I strongly recommend you seriously think about it.