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P.T Barnum

P.T Barnum

“Without promotion something terrible happens… Nothing! ” P.T. Barnum

I saw this quote last week on twitter and it struck a chord with me about small businesses and Altrincham

The quote for those who don’t know is from, to use his full name Phineas Taylor Barnum, the man behind the Greatest Show On Earth and according to wikipedia “showman, businessman, scam artist and entertainer, remembered for promoting celebrated hoaxes”

The origins really are of little importance, as the idea remains – how many great local businesses do you know that simply don’t promote themselves online or offline?

I’ve worked for myself for the past 13 years (the odd PT job aside) being self employed or owning your own business, it literally is promote or die, promote or don’t eat. There’s no set salary, no holiday or sick pay and the results come in by offering quality services and strong promotion

Over the past few months, i’ve been watching The Portas Bid with interest for Altrincham and at times it felt businesses were remaining stagnant in the hope that Mary will fly into Altrincham on a broom and sprinkle magic over the town. This was several months where businesses could have been proactive and promoted themselves – promotion really doesn’t cost the earth

5 Marketing Channels All Business Should Be Using regularly

Not only is social media FREE advertising it’s a great communications tool and support network for local businesses

Phanthong, the new Thai Restaurant in Altrincham, strikes me as a great recent example of how they benefited from the support of local tweeters

After a tweet from RPS about the lease being signed, there was the great online word of mouth about them joining the expansive restaurant offerings in Altrincham More importantly the support since they joined twitter from the community organisations such as Our Altrincham and Altrincham Town Partnership mixed with support from businesses such as Zipyard, Traders Outlet, Andrew McHale means quality recommendations spread much more quick than if they hadn’t been on twitter

This online word of mouth marketing has meant so far they have also spent no money on traditional advertising

Another fab example of local businesses that have benefited hugely by twitter are Yogberries – a shining example of a new business growing massively with a great idea and positive communication

Altrincham HQ don’t design websites or deliver SEO services, but we have fab recommendations for local businesses who do

We are surprised about the amount of local businesses that still are in the Yellow Pages mentality of 20 years ago

Often ill spot a new business while socialising in Altrincham, email myself the name of the business and then try and google them the next morning – no results

If you’re not easily found on google then it’s hard for prospective customers to find you and if you are proactive and have a website make sure you’re you keep your website fresh with new content and blogs.

Blogs are targeted content to your readers that keep them coming back time and time again – think it’s small numbers, as an ex journalist I was writing for printed publications going to 50,000 people, a blog post I wrote from a bedroom a number of years back has had over 580,000 readers!!!

Struggling for blog ideas lets get together and have a blogging workshop session

If you’re like me, you read the local papers cover to cover and we’re lucky to have 2 great papers here – Sale & Altrincham messenger for more traditional readers and Sale & Altrincham Advertiser for younger readers

The journalists are crying out for stories each week and there are always plenty of newsworthy industry stories for your specific industry you can tap into

I always went with the rule of thumb that events and news need 6 weeks to promote so always be noting down ideas for future PR opportunities

In the past i’ve had great exposure in the local newspapers as well as BBC Breakfast TV, Manchester Evening News, The Telegraph, The Observer and The Times and this has been via combination of social media and mailshots

Dunham Massey on the jubilee weekend was a great example of instore and location based marketing.

Repeat custom is a great way to keep your business thriving and the Massey in a tasteful way left no stone unturned in terms of advertising

A queue at the ice cream shop revealed if there was a queue there is also another cafe around the corner for those in a rush, which then leads to cross promotion for the arts and crafts shop and the gents advertised a plethora of cultural events coming up soon

Would I go back now I know the wide offerings of what they have on offer? Most definitely

If you’re customers are on your premises – they are interest in what you do or already love what you do – tell them something they might not know you do and make the most of the opportunities

How many separate businesses do you think I can recall being handed a flyer by in Altrincham town centre in recent years?

Twice is the answer

Several times by a business which I haven’t used, but give credit to for total marketing persistance – the mobile phone repair / accessories shop near Altrincham Market

And usually in January Total Fitness will do their marketing purge on Moss Lane Bride near Tesco’s

If I told you that I know printers that offer 5000 A6 double sided colour flyers for £43 do you think there would be some ROI on that?


Plenty of options there so push forward – do let us know in the comments section which of the above are most successful for you?
We leave you with a comment from one of our regular tweeters – do get in contact if you need any marketing help….

“Those businesses in #Hale and #Altrincham using @altrinchamhq for their social media training and advice clearly benefit by it.

Their businesses seem to gain a higher profile and reputation using @altrinchamhq than those trying to make it through on their own.” Hale & Altrincham Review @hale_alt_review

Alex McCann

Author Alex McCann

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