Promotion tools come in all different shapes and sizes. They also have different prices and rates of effectiveness. Regardless, the promotion tools you use have one purpose: They must promote your business and get your name out there.
Some of these promotion tools will work extremely well; some of them work some of the time, and some of them don't tend to work well at all. Your job is to analyze each type of promotion tool that presents itself and determine its efficacy.
Promotion Tool Analysis
Think about the different places that you're going to be promoting or advertising
How will the promotion tool you use reach the market: email? postcards? organizational membership? etc...
Is the promotion tool capable of highlighting your uniqueness and your services? A full page color ad in the yellow pages is not going to portray you as unique but it sure will cost a lot of money. All of you competitors have the same basic text on their ads, it's just a matter of which one a prospective client chooses to dial first.
When you start to think about the promotion tools to use, try to be creative. The more obvious the choice the more mundane the results. Your promotion tool should help you stand out from the crowd, not show that you follow it.
Good promotion tools to consider include:
Getting involved in organizations
Being the preferred technology person on a panel of business leaders
Being the preferred provider for a prestigious company.
The Bottom Line on Promotion Tools
Promotion tools are not created equal. Your job as a business owner is to choose those promotion tools that will highlight your unique selling proposition as opposed to making you look like a commodity. You will have a limited marketing budget so choose your promotion tools wisely and maximize the dollars you spend.