Bright Ideas for Personal Marketing

  • Get reprints of an article you wrote for a real estate or local publication, and put them in the brochure boxes on your listing signs. Send more to your client list. If you're not comfortable writing, hire a ghostwriter.Paul Carlson, Lake Stevens, Wash.
  • Stick with an advertising format for at least three months, or even better, for six months. Just at the point that you are sick of looking at it, customers are beginning to remember it. —Eleanor Mowery-Sheets, Dallas
  • Take time during the traditionally slow month of December to develop a marketing plan for the next year. In a drive-in line, buy the coffee of the person behind you and leave your business card with the free drink. —Denise Brophy, St. John’s, Newfoundland
  • Use customer testimonials in your brochures. The praise of others often has more credibility than your own claims. —Ralph Roberts, Warren, Mich.
  • Find a niche that is underserved in your market area and focus on that. You’ll be more successful than pursuing the “hot” markets everybody wants. —Hobbs/Herder Advertising, Newport Beach, Calif.
  • Invite those who provided you with referral business  to an annual client-appreciation event. Make it a bash; they'll want to refer more business to you next year so that they can come again.—Mike Brodie, Dallas
  • Consider replacing that paper business card with a CD or DVD business card. At about the same size as a conventional card, it will enable you to embed extras such as music, a slide show about your area, and a link to your Web site.—McEneanery Associates Inc., Northern Virginia.
  • In January, send last year’s buyers a copy of their closing settlement statement for tax purposes. —Bill Barrett, Rochester Hills, Mich.