35 Ways to Draw Attention to Your Business

It doesn’t matter if you have a locally based business or you run a virtual enterprise — there is a lot of competition out there. You have a finite amount of time to catch the attention of your prospects through your marketing efforts, so your message better stand up and dance.

Entrepreneurs are learning that standing out in a crowd requires some outside the box thinking and implementation. Wanting to hear some creative ideas from those who are not only drawing attention, but are increasing their sales, last week I asked -

As a savvy entrepreneur, what is your BEST creative strategy for capturing the attention of your prospects above and beyond your competition that has been SUCCESSFULLY converting them to paying clients?

What you will discover are more than 35 really innovative, attention-getting, and prospect converting ideas you can customize to fit your business model. Whether you are thinking about leveraging social media, creating videos, jumping on the give-away bandwagon, growing a mustache, and more, this group of experts pulled out the stops. Enjoy!


1. Let Your Freak Flag Fly!

Let your freak flag fly! It is important to be yourself. People want to see why you are unique and different from everyone else. A lot of times this means letting your real personality show. In my writing, I often integrate my slightly off beat and allow my somewhat academic humor to rear its head. I also like to incorporate Photoshopped images of myself where I have been, having some fun with Photoshop. Little things like these can make your writing and your website more interesting and can make you more approachable.

Thanks to Lauren MacEwen of SM Cubed Consulting

2. Wow! A Company Like No Other!

My List of Creative Ways To Draw Attention To Your Business:
*Participate, socialize, become involved
*Host or sponsor an event
*Attend neighborhood meetings and block parties
*Write press releases on everything your company does, small or large
*Be seen and heard. Comment on blogs and other forums that relate to your subject matter
*Register for numerous internet sites in your arena
*Have t-shirts, hats, back packs made and ask others to wear them
*Create a contest, participants must take a picture with a sign stating how great your biz is
*Have contacts, newsletter and email recipients like your Facebook account
*Give an incentive for thousands of individuals to follow you on twitter, like a free give-a-way
*Do weekly shout-outs on the radio
*Tell your congressman what your business is doing

Thanks to Chantay Bridges of Clear-Choice Realty & Associates

3. Hold A Giveaway

A great way to draw attention to your online business is to hold a giveaway. For example, you could giveaway a $50 Amazon.com gift card to one lucky winner. To enter, you’d have users ‘like’ your Facebook page or register for your email newsletter. People love to win gift cards, and who can blame them. This is a great way to create some buzz around our brand.

Thanks to Kyle James of Rather-Be-Shopping.com

4. Convert Visitors To Customers

In a competitive market, you can’t just be another “me too” site and if you try to compete on price alone, someone cheaper is bound to come along. You have to attract visitors by value. At our company, we sell ink and toner cartridges. I have written many articles on solving problems with printers and cartridges, building an online business, avoiding online fraud. Many visitors find me through these articles. Once there, they feel some obligation to repay the favor by making a purchase. Because I offer a repeat customer bonus and a referral bonus, they come back and send their friends.

Thanks to Izzy Goodman of Complete Computer Services

5. Go In On The Arm Of A Trusted Partner

Of all the many ways to market frugally, ethically, and effectively–my favorite is to form partner relationships with brands and entrepreneurs who already reach your best potential market. Let them bring you in as a trusted friend.

I discuss this extensively in my award-winning eighth book, Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green.

Thanks to Shel Horowitz of Green And Profitable

6. Go Big: Or Go Homepage?

Don’t limit yourself to those who wander through cyberspace seeking a product or service like yours. Instead, make a name for yourself and your company by declaring a National _______ Day. Contact the local media and arrange for an interview so you can talk about the Day. If you’re lucky (and creative enough), the Associated Press might even pick up the story. Then, you’ll have big spotlights being shone on you by newspapers all over the country! You won’t have to depend on the Internet alone to attract new customers.

Thanks to Dr. Marlene Caroselli of Center For Professional Development

7. Let Happy Clients Do It For You

Any time someone else can sing your praises, rather than you singing your own, it’s a much more powerful message. So let them do it! We put together a new case study each month that tells how we’ve helped a client reach their goals, told from the client’s perspective. We also request LinkedIn recommendations and have set up formal referral agreements with some of our clients as well. In turn, we are always making introductions for others that may lead to business, and we truly enjoy watching these introductions turn into real business for our clients and friends. To me, it’s all about giving back, telling stories and keeping your company and its leaders front and center in the minds of your prospects. Keep doing that and you will thrive!

Thanks to Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk of BBR Marketing

8. Call The A-Team!

We have a team of designers that implement exactly what we want at any given moment with a fast turn around time. We routinely update the look of our marketing and newsletter emails, which show clients we are constantly evolving. This translates to better business relations.

Thanks to Michael Pesochinsky of GovernmentAuctions.org

9. Give A Little, Get A Little.

We have contests that routinely draw more attention to our business and that translates to more hits on our page and conversions into paying clients. Everyone wants to win something and when they do, it makes for a happy give and take.

Thanks to I. Aronovich of Awardable.com

10. Use Your Network

A great method that we use to get our name out there and get more hits is to reach out and attend network events. Those connections would lead to us being mentioned in online and offline publications or spoken of amongst those same people. That generates more hits and more business because if we are talked about in a good light, then good things will happen.

Thanks to Max Aronson of Government-Auctions-Guide.com

11. Multi-Task

A good way to get more traffic and eventual clients on your site or through your site is to establish that your company can handle more than one task at once. Show your potential customers or investors that you are well-rounded in many different facets of service.

Thanks to Elik Aaron of SaleRacks.com

12. Branding Is Key!

Sometimes it comes down to branding. If you have a strong name that is easy to remember and actually sticks in people’s minds, then you have a winning idea on your hands even before you put a pen to paper. People identify with names and that keeps them coming back.

Thanks to Eli Israel of ForeclosureMagic.com

13. It’s All In The Follow Up

Sometimes the saying Go Big or Go Home just doesn’t apply. Sometimes it is better to go small and get noticed. Small touches and personal connection have been the cornerstone to building my business. Meet someone at a networking event and you would like to connect, follow up! Want to be introduced to someone who might further your network, make the call. Whether it is reaching out by email, personal notes or a bouquet of balloons, letting someone know that you thought enough of them will build that connection, build that trust and hopefully you will be on your way to building your business. I know it works for me!

Thanks to Leslie Josel of Order Out Of Chaos

14. Tweet Away!

I follow people on Twitter who I want to meet in person, or people who may be attending upcoming networking events that I am also going to. Then, when I’m at the event, I walk up and introduce myself by saying “Hi! I follow you on Twitter!” and explain why I chose to follow them. Then after the event, I give them another mention on Twitter just to let them know I enjoyed the conversation. It’s resulted in paid work several times, because the person knows that I’m paying attention to them before we ever meet. I think they are impressed by that.

Thanks to Jessica Oman of Write Ahead

15. Becoming An Expert Is The Best Way To Draw Attention To Your Business

I think one of the best creative ways to draw attention to you company is by becoming an expert in your field. How can this be done, through writing and teaching in the field of interest. This will allow you to speak with other experts in the field as well as research the material to be presented. All of this combined will advance your knowledge base and presence in the subject matter. Thus others will seek out your services. That is better than any ad.

Thanks to Sherrie Tennessee of Sherrie Tennessee Consulting

16. Unexpected Fun

Finance is something everyone needs, but no one wants. To get around this I attract attention by being fun and unexpected. That is why I call myself The Numbers Whisperer, talk about Finance Rock Stars, and even have an illustrated mascot. Unexpected and guaranteed to make people laugh.

Thanks to Nicole Fende of Small Business Finance Forum

17. No Hoops And No Sales Pitch

Give something away that’s truly free and fabulous.
Free in that there’s no hoop to jump through and no forms to fill out. No sales pitch.
Fabulous because it’s a valuable, amazing free gift that they really want, that they can use immediately and digest fully, and get deep value from.

Try this – create a short and impactful free report. Tell your clients all about how to do one small, specific task. Give them resources or point them to tools. Package that gift lovingly. And then send it to all of your clients and invite them to send it to everyone they know. Include a two-line invitation to learn more at the end, plus a one-paragraph bio so that new people can get to know you. See what happens!

Thanks to Erin Ferree of BrandStyle Design

18. Remarket Or Someone Else Will

Using remarketing in Google Adwords is a no brainer. It allows you to “follow” past visitors with your ad pretty much everywhere they go online. You can then personalize your marketing message based on what part of your site they visited. This is even better for businesses with longer sales cycles.

Thanks to Chris Wise of Medical Pocket Reference

19. Use A Creative Medium

Our top tip is to use videos and explain in simple terms what you do and how it can help the customer. We film videos every month, which has built up in time to over 100,000 total views, and whenever something new happens in our industry we devote time to helping people understand it. This helps build trust in our business which improves customer confidence and the retention of our clients.

Thanks to Mike Essex of Koozai

20. Masterpiece Yourself To Market Your Business

We created a new game/app called http://www.MasterpieceYourself to market our services as a creative branding and interactive design firm. We used social networking services Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and emailing to bloggers and websites to build up interest in our work. This game/app allows users to insert their own photo into the face of a masterpiece painting portrait like the Mona Lisa. We put together this game as a self-promotion to emphasize our interactive capabilities. Then we promoted the website to bloggers, publications and media outlets….and we started getting hundreds of hits per day. MasterpieceYourself is one of the factors that led to a publishing contract for my first book: VISUAL MARKETING 99 Proven Ways for Small Businesses to Market with Images and Design (WILEY)

Thanks to David Langton of Langton Cherubino Group

21. Become An Information Expert

Gain attention and exposure by offering the public valuable content. Post industry-related articles on your social media sites, offer tips and tricks in your blog, and make sure that your emails contain information that interests your list. Providing the information that your prospects are looking for will grab attention as a subject matter expert. You don’t want the wrong kind of attention either – Your sales pitch is NOT valuable content, so avoid sales-y posts.

Thanks to Emily Carter of Grass Roots Marketing, Inc.

22. Send ‘Em Something Stunning

My favorite way of grabbing attention is sending prospects something highly creative and unexpected. Since my business is a creative marketing agency, I put myself in the prospect’s shoes and pretend that I am the one marketing to their customers. I come up with a fun little teaser (or gift) to send their way, with an intriguing call-to-action to get them to follow-up with me to learn more. Once I capture their attention, the ball is in my court – the prospect wants to learn more about me and my ideas, rather than me begging to speak with them to hear more about their business. Following Guy Kawasaki’s principle of “Enchantment” and delighting people by delivering something entirely unique has worked wonders for my business.

Thanks to Martha McCarthy of The Social Lights

23. You Can’t Win If You Don’t Enter

Entering small business contests, and winning some of them, has been our strategy for attracting an audience who converts to paying clients/customers. We launched our pet product company, last year and we were chosen as the Best Product of 2010 by the leading pet publication in our industry and the Most Innovative Product of 2011 by 3M. We were also one of the 2011 British Airways Face of Opportunity winners and won a trip anywhere in the world that British Airways flies and four days of business workshops in New York and London. All this because we take the time to investigate the small business contest opportunities and submit topical essays. When the press picks up the stories of the winners, it brings attention to our website, and the sales follow.

I search for competitions by googling “small business contests” and one of the links that pops up, smallbiztrends.com, provides up-to-date information on what’s out there. Many of the contests are regional, which is great if you live in that region, but there are usually some nationwide ones that fit the bill.

Thanks to Jane Angelich of supercollar®

24. Email Signatures That Stop ‘Em In Their Tracks

One of the most underutilized and FREE ways to brand and promote a business is your email signature. Considering the number of emails you send, this out to be no-brainer.

Not just any signature will do. People need to look at it for it to be effective. That’s where http://www.MyFaceIcons.com comes in. The company draws custom cartoon icons from a photo that can be used for email signatures, social media icons, business stationary, websites, marketing collateral, business cards …

Did you know that cartoons are 8X more likely to get noticed and 17X more likely to be remembered than photos? This applies whether it is an email signature, business card, or any piece of marketing collateral.

Thanks to Rick Roman of Leading Edge Gifts LLC

25. Promote Your Ideal Clients And They’ll Love You For It

We have had success landing new clients by actively promoting businesses we want to work with and celebrating their existence and success. We started an annual event called On the Map (http://onethemapcle.com) where we create short video vignettes for businesses around town we think are doing awesome things. Then we invite these business out to our studio for the event where we screen these videos to attendees with some free drinks and food. The businesses love the promotion and the attention and are exposed to our work, staff, and good will. This creates a wonderfully positive atmosphere where converting them to clients is a natural and easy progression. No sales tactics needed. So if you want to get awesome new clients, go out of your way to promote them, feature them, and celebrate them

Thanks to Jeff Finley of Go Media

26. Give Them A Reason!

To draw attention to your business, offer a service or product that is clearly better than anyone else or do something that is emotionally better than your competitors.

Many fear big box retailers, but the companies that have survived offer something different than the big guys can’t, be it more unique products, better service, easier shopping experience, etc., that’s a viable alternative that has kept them growing.

Just as important is offering something that is emotionally compelling. We make rubber ducks which were invented in Ohio. Now they’re all made overseas. We’re bringing the whole industry back to Ohio and people are lining up to emotionally support us and have us create ducks for them made here.

Give folks a good reason to buy from you and you’ll always be in the game!

Thanks to Craig Wolfe of CelebriDucks

27. The Gift Of Giving Gets Noticed

Sometimes it is better to give than to receive, and generosity gets attention and creates a loyal customer or fan base. Our main strategy for giving back to others is to run a 12 Days til Christmas promotion to draw attention to our website, blog and travel book series. We garner attention and website visitors by giving back to women and encouraging them to spend quality time with their girlfriends by traveling together. Website visitors can register to win one of 12 fabulous Girlfriend Getaway vacations that we give away (for free) on each of the 12 days leading up to Christmas. Our promotion is in its fifth year and grows substantially every time, which is proof that the gift of giving gets noticed.

Thanks to Casey Wohl of Girls Getaway Guide

28. A Unique Form Of Customer Recognition

I recently launched my business, which features animated cartoon microbes (the nanobugs) to teach microbiology for infection prevention. I found a way to get direct affordable exposure to a targeted audience of health professionals by taking the nanobugs artist with me to the annual international convention of infection preventionists. This skilled caricature artist was registered as a “medical illustrator”. During the 4-day conference, he drew many quick flattering caricatures of attendees on 5×7 paper with our logo sometimes drawing quite a crowd and allowing me to casually discuss the nanobugs. He also created detailed caricatures of the speakers while they were on stage and delivered them to the “program room” after the lecture for posting on the communication board. I am quite certain that the caricatures all made it home with the recipients and are probably still on their office bulletin board drawing attention and comments.

Thanks to Nancy Haberstich of Nanobugs inc

29. Spin It!

Our company uses an energetic, hip hoping sign spinner to catch the attention of thousands of people in our community daily. Our sign spinning rock star dances and entertains the public on a busy street intersection as people pass by. On top of it bringing us massive amounts of business, it has also created a following and fan base of this young man on Facebook (close to 8,000 fans). The buzz this creates also has landed us lots of FREE PR and exposure which also brings us business and credibility.

Thanks to Matt Shoup of Become an Award Winning Company

30. We’re Growing Profit With Facebook Moustaches

Our most innovative idea for helping drive profits via Facebook is to hold photo contests. We had a Halloween “SpookShoot” contest where people would only win if they got their friends to like their picture (had to be shaving and Halloween related). This drove our fan count way up and gave us some publicity within Facebook. It’s very hard to track whether it translated into sales, but we definitely sold more in that period compared to last year.

Right now, we have Movember upon us, and men all around the world are growing their moustaches to support the awareness of prostate cancer. We decided to do a little bit of cause related marketing and through the power of social media, we are spreading the word that for every picture of a moustache we get, we donate $5 to the Movember Foundation.

Thanks to Johnathan Schuesler of RoyalShave.com

31. HERO|farming Your Ideas

Find a meaningful connection between your business and a timely event. Back in ’09 the NFL began suing New Orleanians over the use of “Who Dat.” A client of ours needed to connect with the locals on an emotional level. We positioned it as a preserver of New Orleans memories, and associated the company with defending the city’s heritage. We created a Facebook page “Who Dat Nation Preservation Project.” The WDNPP allowed fans to immortalize their fandom through the client’s online memory saving services. From 1/27/10 to 3/30/10, it gained 1,921 fans and 1,330 interactions. The client’s website saw 2,787 unique visits, 5,081 page views and 300 new-user profiles created in 2 weeks. The WDNPP appeared in an article by the New Orleans newspaper about defenders of the Who Dat Nation.

Thanks to Shaun Walker of HERO|farm

32. Let Me “Make Your Monday”

As a special event florist for over ten years in Denver, Colorado, the market is saturated with florists. To stand out from my competition, I started the “Make Someone’s Monday” campaign. After weekend events, I found myself having left over flowers. I started a campaign via social media for people in the Denver metro area to submit a person worthy of receiving a free, delivered bouquet to make their Monday a little brighter than usual. The campaign has gained major momentum, and I now have themes for nominations each week. In October, we recognized over 10 breast cancer survivors. Past recipients have referred me out for weddings and also for weekly flowers in law firms.

Thanks to Kristi Pohly of Fleur Decor

33. Sample, Satire, & So Long!

My company is a Spanish language training firm that focuses on the construction industry. We’ve developed several short (2.5 minutes max) videos that showcase what we do and how we teach. They are entertaining (we try anyway…) and memorable. We include these in follow-up emails to prospects and have been successful in converting them to Clients. Prospects can sample our product in a short amount of time. We openly make fun of ourselves and that serves as a great conversation starter. The videos are simple to produce and there are no hard costs – just our time.

Here is an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEwEpfHcKgY

Thanks to Bradley Hartmann of Red Angle

34. Get People Engaged!

Well, whether you have an online business or a brick or mortar one, you should still be utilizing the internet, even just local businesses.

I’ve found that the very best way to engage people is giveaways. Especially if they’re discount giveaways. If I ran a contest and marketed it for 50% off web design… a lot of people might be interested in that, but in order to use that 50% discount they have to in effect pay you for services. The same goes for any service or product.

Thanks to Bryan Hadaway of calmest_ghostDESIGN

35. Complementary Partnerships

For us, as a 100% MADE IN THE USA brand, I have found success in emotionally partnering with other brands in our area of business (Sleep). We are each in our own way, representing our interests as a group and this I have found to be less self-serving for a single commercial brand and more powerful as a group. Together we are helping the world sleep better! Plus, we are all helping each other through this difficult business cycle. Americans seriously need to stop fueling the demand of cheap overseas goods – We need to look closely at the ‘labels’ where our goods are manufactured, if not, we are just hurting ourselves and our children’s futures. It is real now! WE NEED A SOCIAL MOVEMENT to shift the tide – get stores to make USA aisles! :)

Thanks to Sarah Baldwin of Goodnighties Smart-Fabric Sleepwear



Thanks so much again to all our wonderful contributors for sharing your creative ideas for drawing the attention of prospects in your business! We hope to hear from you again. And to all our readers, if you have an innovative idea to share, we hope you will leave it in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this post, and would like to join our regular QofTW contributors email notification list simply Click Here. If you have a question that you would like to see addressed on my blog please leave it in the comments below, and your topic might be featured on an upcoming post.

Thanks for reading!







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12 Comments

  1. Posted February 14, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I like to use Pinterest and Tumblr to draw interest. Thanks for the helpful article.

  2. Posted November 26, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Shanon-Thank you for sharing my idea to draw attention (#28). It was nice to make a contribution to this blog post and fun to collect ideas from the other 34 contributors. I found #3 and #18 to be especially relevant to my business.

    • Posted November 26, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Nancy, Thank you for contributing to this post. I thought your strategy was great and was excited to have it in the mix. :) Glad you hear you found some other tips intriguing too. I hope to see you on future posts. :) Shannon

  3. Posted November 20, 2011 at 12:31 am | Permalink | Reply

    Love this Shannon! So many great ideas! I especially like National ___ day, Make Someones Monday, girlfriend getaways, made in America and all the tips that involve fun and being different! Interesting about people remembering cartoons more than photos! I’d love to hear your tips for your business!
    Trudy

    • Posted November 20, 2011 at 7:47 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Trudy! The strategies you highlighted is are terrific ways to get other people involved. And what better way to draw attention to your business than to have others telling people what you are doing. :)

      My biggest strategy for drawing attention is to build a thriving community by spotlighting others, and bringing my expertise into the equation through interactive discussion. It is such a great way to meet new people, learn from them, and up-level my business all at the same time. Shannon

  4. Posted November 14, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I love the first one: “Let Your Freak Flag Fly.” Thanks, Lauren! I obviously do this easily as Twittarr Pirate, even going so far as to comment on blog posts in ye tongue o’ pirate. I have been dragging the symphony I play in and manage marketing for this season with trying to get a fun image on all our materials (that I think is also tasteful). It is very hard, I think, for us to let go of what we have been conditioned to think of as “professional” (dull, bland and not drawing attention to oneself) and concentrate instead of on quality. Disney have obviously been doing this for years but I think it’s still difficult for businesses and organizations in a conservative field (such as classical music) to take that route. For the image in question, please see http://www.lonetreesymphony.org . I would love feedback.

    • Posted November 14, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the comment, Gretchen! I am sure you will find a way to tastefully breathe some new light into the symphony. :) Lauren is a great example of being authentic. Even I struggled with the nagging question, “will I still come across as professional?” I think we sometimes need to banish the “P” word and just be real. :)

      • Posted November 14, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

        “Professional” is one of those words that seems to have lost all meaning. At one temporary job, it seemed to be mostly about showing up every day and not wearing a hoodie while at your desk (Zuckerbergs need not apply).

  5. Posted November 14, 2011 at 10:56 am | Permalink | Reply

    Great post Shannon! I’ve found a few that I’m going to try for my own business.

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