One of the things I love most about reading business books is that I don’t always have to invent brand-new ideas for my business; instead, I can find great ideas in the pages of these books. Starting in April, I’ll be leading a book study of Brandscaping by Andrew M. Davis for the Small Biz Book Club, so today I wanted to share an example of how this book gave me a great idea.
Of course, you already know that I got the idea for the entire book club from Brandscaping, but that wasn’t the only gem I found when I read it. I was actually able to get an idea to help one of my consulting clients, too! Here’s how:
Advertising: Worth it or not?
My client and I were discussing an opportunity she had to advertise in a local community magazine (this client runs a brick and mortar craft supply shop). The advertising cost was somewhat steep, but she felt it might help her generate some local business for her shop. After all, that is often our go-to place to drum up business, right? Advertising. However, that doesn’t mean it’s always the best option.
Since I had read Brandscaping, I knew that advertising only gets you so far: a little bit of exposure in a single publication. Let’s be honest – how often do you actually read the ads in a magazine, instead of just skimming over them to get to the content?
Don’t advertise – Brandscape
With that in mind, I suggested to my client that instead of paying for an ad, she pitch herself to the magazine editor as a prospective contributor.
I told my client that she could write regular articles for this publication, centered around a topic that would be of interest to the local readers and help to promote her shop. (In this case, the topic was home decor tips using handmade projects, for which the readers could come to her shop to purchase supplies.) This is a win-win scenario, because the magazine editor gets regular, fresh content for her publication and the shop owner gets free advertising (heck, the magazine might even pay her to write the pieces!).
Share the Love
I told my client that if she was worried about generating enough content for regular publication, she could extend the “brandscape” even further by inviting a few other shop owners to contribute to the column as well. They could team up and divide the work so no one would have to find the time and inspiration to write one article every time the magazine was published. As long as she chose shop owners who could also write about the general topic without directly competing with her for business, this would be a great way to take some of the pressure off of her and add a few more networking relationships with other small business owners.