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Finally, a book that offers more useful marketing information than the usual "Offer a good product and they will come" mantra. Money Tree Marketing has unique, cheap ideas for selling your product or service. We spoke with co-author Patrick Bishop to get a sneak peek at the tips inside.
How can a small-business owner get paid to market a product or service on TV stations or radio?
Patrick Bishop: A majority of cities have talk radio stations that will sell you 30 or 60 minutes of airtime; you can start your own radio show for less than it would cost you to buy 10 60-second commercials. They'll allot you a certain number of spots you can sell to sponsors to cover your costs and make a profit. For example, a health food store in Oklahoma City can buy one hour of airtime from a local station for about $150. It could then sell five or six sponsorships to such businesses as a massage therapist, a chiropractor or a weight loss clinic for $50 to $100 each. [The health food store owners] would be promoting their own business and, in the process, become health experts. Many well-known national celebrities started out this way.
How can a small business get a celebrity endorsement?
Find other ways to get inexpensive radio and TV coverage in Advertising On The Cheap.
Bishop: This is done with a licensing agreement. Let's say you have a business that sells T-shirts and you want to expand your business. You could sign a licensing agreement with a popular band like Pearl Jam and agree to pay them a royalty for every T-shirt you sell with their name or likeness on it. It's obvious that you'll instantly sell a lot more of the shirts with Pearl Jam on them than the ones without. Think of all the merchandise sold with the names of popular bands or colleges or Pokemon on them. It's a multibillion-dollar business, and almost anyone can take advantage of it.
Do you have any special tips for homebased business owners who sell a product-say, handmade beads?
Bishop: A product such as handmade beads would be ideal to market through nonprofit organizations such as schools. There are thousands of schools and organizations within the schools that have fund-raising projects once or twice a year. They're always on the lookout for unique fund-raising ideas. By using this technique, you would have hundreds of people selling your product and promoting your business. You just need to be sure that you're capable of delivering enough finished product.
What about any special tips for homebased business owners who sell a service, such as graphic design or accounting?
Bishop: A service business such as a graphic design or an accounting firm can dramatically increase business by taking advantage of referrals. Referrals are a tremendous way to build a business because it takes very little overhead and you can use the power of compounding to your advantage. It's easy to approach referrals because someone they know referred them to you. Thus you make optimum use of your time since you're dealing mostly with people who are already interested in your product or service.