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  • #995228
    Teeeggs
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    Hi there,

    I’m about to open a coffee shop in my local area and I need some marketing ideas to attract people to my business. Does anyone have some ideas??

    Thanks in advance!!

    #1200730
    ___JAne
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    1. Create relevant content on your website. Blog categories or an on-site article directory are excellent for this. Fresh and helpful content helps engage readers, build valuable links, attract leads and convert them to new sales.

    2. Publish articles in trade or local magazines. Most people think published work is more valuable than a simple blog post, and articles cost less than advertising in the same magazine.

    3. Reuse content. If you have great content but no one is consuming it, repurpose it. Blog posts can be collated into an ebook, a webinar recording could become a subscriber-only video, a magazine article could be reprinted and distributed as a booklet…the possibilities are endless.

    4. Try article marketing. Publishing articles online creates good backlinks to your website, shows expertise, builds credibility, and more. It’s also relatively affordable and easy to outsource.

    5. Write a book or ebook. Books have more value than most other types of content and establish your expertise. You can sell them or offer them for free in exchange for email addresses.

    6. Sponsor a local sports team. Send out a press release or feature article and get your logo on the team uniforms. This makes you a valuable community member and builds awareness.

    7. Speak at seminars and teach workshops. You’ll get publicity from marketing the event and from the event itself. Besides, you’ll look more professional in your customers’ eyes.

    8. Enter business award competitions. If you win, you get a badge on your website and a lot more sales. Even if you don’t win, you can still get lots of publicity if you place high enough and broadcast your participation.

    9. Create your own business award competition. If there isn’t a competition in your industry or there’s no way you can compete in one, hosting your own unique competition creates buzz as other businesses scramble to win your award.

    10. Host free events. Reporters are always looking for a good story. Give them what they want and get some free publicity by hosting a free event. You’ll get more response if there’s food or freebies involved. Use this list of 109 ways to get media attention to make the most of any event.

    11. Network at your local Chamber of Commerce. This is a classic marketing idea for small businesses because it can yield big dividends. Association with the Chamber will make your events more credible, and you can find new partners or clients, or discover opportunities to teach or speak.

    12. Join associations and use the provided resources, including local networking events, online forums, and job boards. The more people you know, the more customers you will have.

    13. Build a referral network. Referrals and word of mouth are the most powerful advertising, so build relationships with professionals and other businesses you would happily refer your customers to–and who can send referrals your way, as well.

    #1200731
    Paul – FS Concierge
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    Hi And Welcome to the Forums Teeeggs. It is great to have you!

    Have a vision around how you want your shop to look, your staff and self to look and talk and tell the story of what your brand represents and make sure every transaction represents your story, your brand.

    Put a sign on the window with your opening date.

    If you want instant customers, you could post a super special on a site like ozbargain or advertise in local letterbox publications or Groupon-type sites. All are pretty expensive ways to gain customers.

    Good luck.

    #1200732
    Rohan@TD
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    Hi [USER=84273]@Teeeggs[/USER]. Welcome to the forums.

    I’ve shared this story a couple of times here. But we had a local coffee shop black out their windows during their shop fit-out process with a huge sign out the front saying ‘Want to know what’s going on inside? Follow us on….’

    They then shared interior ‘sneak peaks’, menu options, staff stories and alike to generate local interest. It was highly effective for them – One reason why is it directly targeted locals (from the location of their signage) and those who want to try new things. It also built their local social media following prior to opening.

    #1200733
    Corey
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    hiya and welcome

    • you need a short brandable domain name & stylish website
    • select a date for the official launch
    • letterbox drop – residential & commercial
    • network with your local community radio station (mayb even get a free plug)
    • create a loyalty system

    Cheers
    Corey

    #1200734
    JohnW
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    Hi Teeeggs,
    Not much info for us to work with here. We will have to offer theoretical solutions.

    I’d start with exploring local offline promo opportunities.

    Are you in a retail precinct with non-competing retailers? Get to know them before you launch. Explain how you will be different to other coffee shops in the area.

    Are there co-op promotions you can offer via these other retailers? If they cooperate, you will be using their reputations as an endorsement of your business. You MUST respect the value of their reputation if they choose to assign it to you!

    Are there supplies you can purchase from them or ways you can promote their services as well as your own?

    Egs.

    a. With a local chemist – I often have a coffee while the chemist fills my scripts. Can you offer an x% discount off your bill for their customers who want a coffee while they have their scripts filled?

    b. Real Estate Agents: What about a special offer to their customers? A coffee break while they are treading the house inspections road or a “welcome to the neighbourhood” incentive.

    c. Picture framers: In a coffee shop favoured by my family, the owner takes pics of customer’s children and post them on a wall in his shop. This attracts grandparents, siblings and friends. If he also offered discounted framed pics via a local picture framer, it would be a win-win.

    Are you going to offer a free coffee card with every 10th purchase? You need to. What about providing counter cards displaying your incentive card for use on other retailer’s counters?

    Then there will be a raft of non-retail local organisations. You should explore which are most relevant to your target customer type…

    If you want breakfast customers, make contact with orgs that hold breakfast meetings (BNI is one).

    Explore local school groups, mother’s groups, council supported groups. Read all the local papers carefully to identify local groups who may be target customer promo opportunities.

    To me it is primarily about becoming an essential part of the local community and using this as your communication hub.

    TRAIN YOUR STAFF!!!!

    When you do open, your customers will become your biggest asset or detractors.

    Your service will fail if your staff are poorly trained in service delivery.

    You also need to train them in how to promote your business.

    You need to develop a promotional cycle and train your staff in how to participate in the promotion of this. The most cost-effective promotions are not always online.
    Good luck,
    JohnW

    #1200735
    Natalie Khoo
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    Hi Teeeggs. Seeing as you are a business that will be heavily dependent on locals, I strongly suggest you do everything you can to provide the best experience for your customers as possible. It goes without saying your coffee should be worth coming back for, along with your food, but also customer service goes a long way. Retention is easier than acquisition – so look after your existing customers and they’ll not only come back but they’ll tell their friends, family and neighbours – meaning they’ll do the marketing for you! A good one-page website will complement these efforts so people can check menus and/or get a feel from the venue (from one or two photos) prior to visiting – and ensuring you’re listed on Google Places means people can also check your address and opening times if they’re unsure.

    #1200736
    gbear
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    Keep it simple. Put a sign out the front saying FREE COFFEE! (with the appropriate asterix)
    When people come in, explain that they get a free coffee in exchange for checking in on Facebook, giving a Shoutout on Twitter, Sharing a photo on Insta, etc.
    You benefit from a shop full of people, free advertising to all their friends and families, and you get to open with a bang!

    Note: This only works if your coffee is worth coming back for! So you need to be confident that you’re making great coffee.

    Note2: The coffee supply (beans) industry is hyper competitive, I am sure you could present this idea to your bean supplier and have them supply the beans for the event for free.

    I hope that helps.

    #1200737
    JamesMawson
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    I agree with JohnW that local offline methods make the most sense. As an online marketer I’m probably not meant to tell people that – but it’s true.

    This is just off the top of my head:

    Print up some vouchers for free stuff – vouchers for food and vouchers for coffees – and then drop in to local businesses to say hello, shake hands and introduce yourself and give them a few vouchers.

    If there are any offices nearby, they’re a good place to visit. Office workers are who you want to get in the door because a lot of them go eat somewhere local every work day. It’s good to escape the office and they’re earning the wage to do that. So they’re who you can build a regular crowd out of. People are not always impressed by salespeople going door to door to spruik something, but free food changes everything.

    Introducing yourself and saying hello creates rapport and establishes a relationship. Giving stuff away establishes reciprocity and likeability. And the fact that only a select few get the vouchers creates scarcity, which increases their perceived value.

    And for everyone who doesn’t get a voucher, the traffic created by this promotion is social proof, which you want a lot of – especially in your early days of trading. If people passing see a lot of customers in your cafe then they’ll unconsciously assume that it must be worth trying. Everyone is highly persuaded by social proof, whether they’re aware of it or not.

    On a really tight budget, you could pull something like this off by getting the voucher designed on fiverr and colour printing at officeworks. So your main costs would be your time in introducing yourself to your new customers, and your cost of goods for giveaways. For a few hundred bucks you could have your cafe look busy and buzzing for those crucial opening weeks, and get a whole lot of potential regulars through the door to try your stuff. From there, it’s up to the quality of your establishment to keep them coming back.

    If you go with this voucher idea, you definitely want a big expiry date printed on it – ideally you want people using them in the first two weeks and not saving them for later. Because this only really works if the vouchers get used.

    On a bigger budget you could do something similar but with direct mail.

    Don’t ignore online completely. I’m always amazed how many local cafes and restaurants don’t have a Google My Business listing. A basic brochure website is nice too.

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