For anyone that’s ever had a Jack Russell and given them a task to do, you know that they absolutely won’t quit until they figure it out. I had a Jack Russell named Chloe, that I nicknamed Houdini. She could figure out how to get into or out of anything. I still don’t know how she managed to get out of her locked crate.
I once put a treat just out of reach of her on top of a pile of boxes, and watched to see if she could get it. She tried jumping at it, but that didn’t work. She tried climbing on a table and leaping in the air to get it, but that didn’t work. For at least a couple of hours, she tried every clever way she could think of to get that treat. There was no such thing as ‘can’t’ to Chloe. She was going to get that treat. She eventually used a nearby broom and pushed the top box off.
If you want to market your product, service, or business, you have to think like Chloe. You have to market like a Jack Russell. Most things you do probably won’t work on the first try. You might get lucky once, but marketing is an ongoing process. You can’t just set it and forget it.
Today I noticed that a kids group was being organized at my local mall. So I put some swiggies wrist water bottles (my invention-more on that later) into a knapsack and headed over. I thought maybe I would see if the organizer might like to give some away for free to the kids. I should have known better. Anything in a mall is probably going to be a corporate event, and it was. The lady was nice, but she said companies pay for the opportunity to give something away for free. In case you’re new to this, get used to the corporate rules. Many things require you to pay money, even if you’re giving something away for free. Yeah, I know. It sucks. Especially for the very small business owner that can barely afford to give the item away.
So, this is the stuff you’ll run into. That, and the “you’ll have to take that to corporate”, who will say no. So, you have to start thinking about what Chloe would do. If you can’t get in one door, try another.
A lady nearby overheard the conversation and said that there was a school about 2 blocks away that would probably be happy to have them for their next event. Since the point was to get swiggies, wrist water bottles into the hands of kids and get them wearing them, it’ll be worth a try. I’ll head over tomorrow during school hours and see.
The point is that as an entrepreneur there are so many obstacles in your way anyway. Get used to it. This is when you start asking yourself who else would be open to a promotion? What other groups could you get to? Who never gets asked and would be thrilled to do a promotion with you in exchange for free products or services? Don’t always go to the obvious choice.
I remember driving down to San Diego to do a TV show for a couple of days. While I waited for my car at the car wash, a massage company was giving away free 10 minute massages. Sweet! Who could turn that down? I wasn’t a likely customer, since I was from out of town and only there for 2 days, but I ended up going to their salon, which was right across the street from the hotel. They might have originally tried something like I did by going to the mall. But a car wash was a better choice. People have to wait for their cars anyway. It made the customers happy and the massage company probably picked up some regular customers besides me.
If the likely avenues are too corporate or say no, keep trying. Go where you’re wanted. You’ll have a better chance of picking up customers that really want what you have to offer. If you feel like giving up, think about Chloe. She worked for hours for a measly little dog treat.
It’s not about the treat. It’s about the challenge.