How to promote yourself and your business without TV appearances and display ads?

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We’ve all seen the rise of the celebrity entrepreneur, business people who have been able to create public personas that help them promote their products, services and brands.

The exposure of a company on TV is worth millions. Just think of entrepreneurs such as Sir Alan Sugar, Donald Trump, Sir Richard Branson, Simon Cowell and Martha Stewart who have chalked up many accumulated hours’ worth of television coverage.

Then there are the performers who we don’t usually think of as entrepreneurs who have used their personal profiles to spin off products and services. These include Lady Gaga (own perfume, headphones, restaurant), Jackie Chan (production companies, gyms, clothing line, restaurants) and Sandra Bullock (restaurant, bakery and florist shop).

Consider too the entrepreneurs who have appeared on shows such as Dragons’ Den who have benefited from their appearance and leveraged their exposure to secure finance later for their ventures. The founders of Hungry House (a takeaway ordering service), YogaBugs (a children’s Yoga provider), and Trunki (colourful children’s ride-on suitcases), Reggae Reggae Sauce (cooking sauces, condiments, snacks, ready meals) and Kymera Magic Wand (TV remote control in the shape of a magic wand) have all obtained funding either on the show or because of their exposure.

How then does a small start-up or local business entrepreneur promote themselves and their product or service?

It takes a lot of digging about but small business can find local opportunities to promote themselves and their products and services. The way to do it is to not think about extolling the virtues of your product or service but look at tying into common problems, trends and seasonal occasions and then help solve people’s problems with your knowledge and expertise in your speciality.

The business with a health product can appear in on a local radio show and talk about healthy eating. They don’t even have to mention that they sell a healthy food product, unless asked. A garden equipment or eco-weed killer business can talk on a gardening slot. The idea is to talk about weeds rather than your special weed killer. Even a small restaurant start-up can find a topic to tie into an eating trend.

It’s not only radio shows that provide these opportunities to promote yourself and your product or service. Local newspapers offer similar opportunities as do magazines and specialised websites on food, health and gardening – just to name a few areas of interest depending on your product or service offered.

Stay inspired

Chesney Bradshaw

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