Entrepreneur - - By Andrew Neitlich

An idiotic way to market your business

It happens every Flag Day, Memorial Day and July 4 in the USA in my neighborhood: Some real estate agent plants a small flag in my lawn, and the lawn of every homeowner in my area, with a business card. To me, this kind of marketing is the ultimate intrusion, not to mention a misuse of an important symbol, and I can’t imagine it results in much business.

What’s this have to do with you?

Well, lots of IT professionals market in equally foolish ways, by hiding behind brochures, business cards, advertisements, and blatant sales pitches — all the equivalent of planting flags in a stranger’s lawn.

It is much more effective to get visible in your community, speak and write articles to become the go-to professional in your market, demonstrate your value without making a blatant sales pitch (e.g. with a powerful marketing message), and build relationships that result in referrals and new business.

This is a common theme in most writings about professional services, and so it still amazes me that some realtors rely on such a tacky marketing approach.

So, are you marketing by planting flags on strangers’ lawns, or are you building trust, credibility, and business relationships that last?

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