As a publicist and marketing expert I've worked with a number of doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs and authors in their marketing efforts. I’ve used practically every form of marketing method from public relations and advertising to internet marketing and direct mail. You name the medium; I’ve done it... that includes banner towing planes, hot air balloons and highway billboards. But when you’re the owner of a small business and captain of your own ship, money is tight and every minute counts so you need to maximize both time and money to the fullest. So, looking at an area that most people just slough off, I am here to tell you how to Market Your Business During Your Lunch Hour.
I’ve come up with a few things you can do over the lunch hour to promote your business. Here we go:
1. Never have lunch alone. Network with top execs, current clients, people who can influence others, everyone from the pastor at the church to the head of the Chamber of Commerce. Make a list and keep your lunch calendar full. Let’s face it, everyone has to eat lunch and if you’re buying most people would eat with anyone!
2. Write one article a week. Everyone has expertise on certain subjects related to their field. Write a 600-1000 word article about a focused topic. First come up with a list of topics you want to write about. Then set a goal to have them completed by a certain date; one a week works for me. If you don't have time, hire a ghost writer (you still get to put your name on it). Where do you find a ghost writer? Check your local newspaper; chances are there's a writer who'd like to pick up some extra cash. Can't work with someone so close to home, go two towns away to that community’s newspaper. Or, check out this online resource at: www.writeittight.com. Then publish the articles on the internet using sites like www.arrivenet.com. Why should you go through all this trouble? It’s simple. People search online for the solution to their problem or for someone or something that can solve their problem. Once someone reads your article they are “pre-sold” on your ability to do the same for them, then they contact you.
3. Create or improve your web site. There's a ton of business out there online, but if your website looks ancient, then there goes your credibility. So, make sure it’s up to date, has the new articles you just wrote and that you've optimized it so search engines can find you. Worse yet, if you don’t have a web site, better spend more than your lunch hour creating one. There’s really nothing more important than creating a web site for your business. Want a top notch site? Check out the web design services at www.marketingsuccess.com
4. Take an online marketing class. If you are eating a sandwich at your desk then sign up for Google’s Pay Per Click (PPC) tutorial and become a master at PPC. Go to Google PPC Tutorial and check out how you can generate new leads via your web site using Pay Per Click marketing. Few things you could do with your time will pay bigger rewards.
5. Speak at your local service clubs noon time meeting. Every service club i.e. Rotary, Kiwanis, Women’s Club etc, need a speaker. Even if you talk about your hobby, a charity you support or something outside your area of expertise people are getting to know you. People like to do business with someone they know and can trust. Personally I talk about my hot air balloon flights in Michigan and my exploits around the world. Most people find it very interesting and it allows people to get to know me better.
The Bottom Line: Your lunch hour is a terrible thing to waste. Put it to good use and watch your business grow and prosper.
One more thing. If you think working through your lunch is a little insane then you’ll find a sympathetic ear in a new book by Washington DC business coach Lisa Whaley. The title says it all: “Prisoners of Technology, Time to Get Unplugged!” Lisa says instead of making life easier, technology has introduced complexity. Instead of giving us more time with family, technology has pulled family members away from each other and toward their devices. Maybe she has a point! But, hey I am working through my lunch, how about you?