Finding advertising space is, generally speaking, very expensive. Whether it’s online, in mail, on billboards, on the radio, etc., getting your brand seen can be a costly affair. However, many small startup companies understand the value of a free advertising opportunity, no matter how small or awkward it may feel. There are many of these prospective ad places that are often overlooked, but can help kickstart your company quite well.
1. Coffee Shops
Most coffee shops, especially local venues that aren’t big names like Starbucks, offer a corkboard near the bathrooms. People can leave flyers for events, lost dog posters, or even business cards. Leave your business card, or a flyer for your launch event, here.
2. Kid’s Dance/Gymnastics
Do you have kids that are in activities like dance, gymnastics, or karate? Much like the coffee shop, a lot of these places have corkboards or newsletter centers where people throw down business cards or flyers. This is especially effective if you have a kid, family, or parent-centered service that you provide.
3. Automotive Repair Shops
People spend an insane amount of time waiting for cars to be fixed, so why not give them some educational material? If you have a newsletter, business card, flyer, or product list, this is the ideal place to drop any or all of them. This is especially effective if you have car-related services, or have a local business.
4. Hotel Concierge
If you provide a local service that tourists or travelers could benefit from, or have a nice shop you’d like to start promoting, give your cards to hotels. The concierge is the person many people go to for recommendations, and they could hand out your business card directly to potential patrons.
This is a location many people forget about when considering free advertising. They often have a corkboard for leaving your flyers and business cards, but also have a lot of potential areas to leave other materials, like flyers, SWAG, etc. Ask the owner or manager if you have any questions about what you can leave.
6. Barber Shops and Salons
Many of these small businesses help out other small businesses. If you have a product you’re selling, they might give you shelf space, or at least provide customers with your business card or flyers. It’s a great way to promote your business, especially if your service is related to the clientele.
7. Doctor’s Offices
You know the doctor’s office is where magazines go to die, but it’s also a great place to get your name out. People are looking for things to browse, and many local doctors have business card racks or corkboards that allow you to showcase your business or services.
8. Veterinarian Hospitals
This works really well if your business or service is animal-related, but can apply to a number of fields. Many vet’s waiting rooms have tables or racks where you can leave flyers or business cards.
9. Lamp Posts/Bulletin Boards
There are areas in every city where people frequently post stuff, whether flyers or announcements, or business cards. If you’re up for frequently re-posting your stuff (because it will get covered), this is a great way to get seen.
10. Bus Stations
Tons of people wait for buses every day, so place your business cards by the bus route maps. This may be hit or miss, but it’s a great way to get your name out to a variety of clients. This works well if your target audience rides the bus (students, commuters, etc.).