Your local Freecycle group could be a valuable way to market your business to your community for free.
I’m a member of the Pleasanton FreeCycle Group, a forum for people who live near me to give away used goods instead of throwing them away. It’s a great service that promotes “green” living. Every day I get an email with a list of items that people want to get rid of. If there’s something on it that interests me I send the posting member an email and then we arrange the exchange. I use it mainly to dispose of stuff that I don’t want to store or throw away. Over the past year I have given away a crib, tons of baby toys and my favorite of all, boxes. The service is simple, fast and extremely satisfying.
The Pleasanton FreeCycle group has 1,196 members and I am guessing that most check these listings at least once per week. That is a huge group of people that you can communicate with in your area about your business. Here’s how:
1. Join your local freecycle group and make your member name the name of your business or a name that describes your business such as “Pleasanton Plumber”.
2. Any time you have extra boxes post them. Any time I have posted boxes they have been taken within 10 minutes. The demand for empty boxes in Pleasanton seems so great that there may in fact be a business giving away boxes with ads on them. Freeboxes.com anyone?
3. When business is slow post an offer for a free service. If you’re a plumber it could be a free rooter. A florist could post a free bouquet. Make sure it’s something that’s meaningful but won’t cost you too much.
4. Rinse and repeat.
The key is to do this in a way that’s not too in-your-face salesy. You should operate like a solid citizen who is sharing stuff the same way as everyone else. Be respectful of the community and the moderator.
I believe this tactic could introduce your business to a large group of people who at some point in the coming year will need your service. You’ll also be able to get rid of a bunch of boxes in the process.
To find your local freecycle group check out Freecycle.org.