A few weeks ago I attended the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Show in Salt Lake City with a client.
The show had me thinking of some more tips for attending a trade show as an exhibitor. Here they are!
I often joke that marketers – especially those who are also small business owners – are our own worst customers.
During the course of any given week, I give my clients all kinds of marketing and sales advice:
– Post daily on social channels. Post content that is valuable to your followers, not you.
– Have a marketing plan.
– Set sales goals.
– Be consistent.
– The list goes on…
Funny thing is, I am terrible at taking my own advice. In fact, I am my own worst customer.
I like to tell myself that I’m too busy to do certain things, like blog regularly, but the truth might be something scarier. Maybe I’m afraid. Afraid that my advice won’t work when applied to my own business. Afraid it will work and I won’t know what to do when it’s time to expand Tinderbox Consulting.
Those things you aren’t doing in your business, are you not doing them because you’re afraid? If it’s because you’re too busy, that’s a good thing. Find someone to do the things you’re too busy to do. Even if it means you hire an employee, or contract with someone like me. Just don’t sacrifice best practices on account of being cheap, lazy, or afraid.
What do you consider to be marketing? When you tell your friends and family that you’re starting a new business? When you open for business and there’s a write-up in the local business journal?
Many things small business owners and entrepreneurs do are considered marketing. It’s just that, all too often, they don’t realize or consider that what they are doing is actually marketing, so they don’t do them well. They don’t develop a good pitch for their business. They don’t send a press release to announce their grand opening.
Even the sign on your door is considered marketing. I’m not talking about the sign on the street that you paid umpteen thousand dollars to have put up. I’m talking about the sign you hand wrote in sharpie on a neon green piece of paper and taped to the front door of your retail location to display the store hours. This is marketing! Those afterthought things we do as small business owners and entrepreneurs are, in fact, marketing. If we don’t do them well, we aren’t taking care of business. Our business.
A few weeks ago, I went to the Shot Show with a client. Before I get into the tips for a successful
trade show, let me start by saying WOW! The Shot Show was by far the biggest show I’ve attended. I know that shows like CES are bigger (I’ve never been), but this was almost overwhelming.
Anyway, while I was at the Shot Show, I noticed that a lot of the vendors didn’t seem to have a clue as to how to run their booth. Based on that, I thought I’d come up with a list of tips for those who are willing to admit they can use some help.