I discovered the single greatest advertising method for significantly increasing your exposure while greatly reducing your advertising budget — or even pay nothing at all. This is the story of how I made the discovery.
If you are anything like me, you’ve learned the hard way that no matter how good of a salesperson you are, your work means nothing without clients.
When I first started my business, I was young and naive. I created my website, printed my business cards, and told my family and friends I was open for business! It was the most excited I had been in a long time; I was ready to start my new life.
I quickly learned that I needed much more than a simple website to get customers. But I was a fresh college graduate with not much money or experience at all. I couldn’t afford Internet ads, newspaper ads or Valpak, and direct mail was certainly out of the question. With no formal business training, I spent the majority of my time hunting down clients like they were mythical animals.
At this point, I had lost my childlike excitement for my new business. I was starting to fear for my future. What was I going to do if the majority of my time was spent figuring out how to find clients when all I wanted to do was get to work?
I thought to myself, “I know what I need — to let people know I exist and am open for business — and now I just need to figure out how to fit it in my budget.”
I had read about a service that the United States Postal Service offers called “every door direct mail, ” or EDDM for short. This makes bulk mailing much more affordable — 17 cents per piece — and it saturates thousands of homes. It’s a huge savings, but it would still cost thousands of dollars I didn’t have.
That’s when I got the idea to leverage other businesses to split the cost of the mailing, which would save me a ton of money. I approached some businesses and shared my idea. We all agreed to split a big postcard and sent it to 10, 000 homes. Sending out the same mailer by myself would have cost me over $10, 000, but because I split the advertising, I was able to pay only a fraction of that. From this one mailing, I was able to net $5, 000 in profit.
Phew, I finally did it! I was so excited that this was finally working that I wanted to do another mailing right away, but I still had doubts. What if it were a fluke? I still had to fork over $1, 000, so it was still an expensive route. How could I do it for free?
I thought that if I can approach even more like-minded businesses and split the mailing with them, my risk and cost would be even lower … or even free. I could have just been happy with free advertising, but then I wanted to take it one step further. I got the crazy idea of charging them. I call my system the “No-Cost Direct Mail System.”
It took me a few weeks to get everything together and get some like-minded businesses on board, but I mailed my information to 10, 000 homes and profited $2, 500 in doing it, plus the leads generated from the mailing itself.
I couldn’t believe it! I went from rocketing towards the bottom, growing unsure about my future, to making more money than I’d ever had in only a couple of months.