April 24, 2024

Brad Marolf

Business & Finance Wonders

Tried-and-true marketing tips that actually work

A simple sign on the side of white work vans can advertise your services and anyone who sees you might look you up the next time they need them.

Hiring a celebrity to be a social influencer. Product placement on a popular TV show. Podcasts. Blogs. There are lots of sexy, fun ways to market your small business. They’ll cost a lot of money. And they probably won’t work.

The reality is that for most small businesses, the best types of marketing are unsexy – they’re not flashy, they’re not new. But they’ll probably get you customers – paying customers who know what you do, know your name, and know how to reach you. And that’s what you want, right?

So let’s talk about those “unsexy” –  yet tried-and-true – marketing that works for small businesses. None of these are exciting, and you probably know about them all already.  But remember them when thinking about how to grow your business.


Let’s talk about signs – all kinds of signs. Signs over your place of business. Signs in your store. Signs on your trucks. Signs announcing what’s on sale. Signs saying what you do.

I used to go to a small wine bar in my neighborhood. Talking with Randy, the owner, he said he made the most money from having private events. I suggested he put up a sign saying something like “Hold your private event here.” Months later he thanked me, saying that the one sign – which probably cost him less than $100 – had made him tens of thousands of dollars in bookings.