Friday, September 17, 2010

Marketing in a Down Market: Small-Space Advertising

From the July/August 2008 issue of Resume Writers' Digest:

Fifth in a series of posts on Marketing Your Resume Writing Services in a Down Market.

The Yellow Pages are still a vital source of business for many resume writers, even as more ad budget are being spent online. If your business targets a local clientele, if you are a generalist, and if you work with a wide variety of candidates (from entry-level to executives), the Yellow Pages can be a valuable source of new business.

But while it can be important to have a presence in the Yellow Pages, few resume writers are buying the large ads they once did. Instead, they maximize their space by using the Yellow Pages to drive prospects to their websites.

Remember, however, that not all prospects will have computer access, so you can't omit essential details by driving them solely to your website. Others will want to make a decision based on the ads they see, and not use the Yellow Pages as a stepping-stone to looking online.

Don't forget a strong headline, a benefit ("interviews guaranteed"), your credentials, and a call to action (including a phone number as well as a website address).

As resume writer Jackie Connelly, CDF, advised in a May/June 2001 article, "Know your market!" In Long Island, NY, where she operates Prestige Resume Services, most of her potential clients are blue-collar workers. So keep the size of your ad in mind. "When they see a large ad," she notes, "they feel the service will be more expensive for them."

Your print advertising opportunities aren't limited to the Yellow Pages, however. You can use small space advertisements in free community newspapers, theatre programs, school newsletters, career-oriented newspapers, daily or weekly news publications, neighborhood association newsletters. church bulletins, city magazines, and university and campus newspapers.

Salome Randall Tripi outlined her approach in the same 2001 article on small space advertising. She advertised in her local church bulletin, reaching 400-500 prospects each week.

"For 52 weeks, we spent $435 and gained $3,925 in new business as a result," she notes.

The key to effective print advertising is tracking your response. If you're not achieving at least a 3:1 return on your investment, you'd be wise to use your ad dollars elsewhere.

Addendum to article: If you do work with a local client base, one great thing you can do is register your business on Google Places. Not only will it help your organic search results, but you can measure your traffic and offer time-limited coupons and special offers.

Last part of the series: Specialization and Pricing

Want the whole article? Buy the issue here.

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