How to Advertise your Computer Business
So you know nearly everything there is to know about fixing computers. You can build a computer in your sleep and have all the BIOS beep codes committed to memory. Great! Now we need to get some clients. In this article we will be covering various different forms of advertising and their effectiveness.
Mailbox-Drops consist of walking around and dropping flyers into the mailboxes of various homes and businesses. This method works well for freelance computer repair technicians but poorly for new computer builders.
Most marketers will tell you that this method is highly ineffective regardless of what you are offering and that are lucky to get 2% of flyers you dropped turning into any sort of work. In my experiences this is pretty much correct however these percentages can be tweaked a bit to give you a much better return.
- Drop them in wealthy areas
From my own personal experience, for residential clients, I found that dropping them in the wealthy areas was much more effective than dropping them in middle or lower-class areas. The reason why is that they are often more likely to actually have a computer and are more willing to pay someone to come in and fix it than them spending the time trying to fix it themselves. As a nice side-effect, the wealthy are also more likely to own a business and if they like you, will get you to service their computers at the business as well.
- Get them printed cheap
When using this method it is always a good idea to keep the printing costs down. As mentioned before, the effectiveness of this method is about 2% so fancy color flyers will not be cost effective. Instead, get some cheap black and white ones printed.
My flyers cost about 8 cents USD each and if I got 100 of them printed it would cost me $8.00. If two percent of these flyers turned into a job at $50 per hour I would have made $100 for my $8 investment.
- Get Walking
One reason I like this method is all the walking you do while dropping your flyers into letterboxes. Walking around the rich areas can be interesting while you are mailbox dropping looking at all the nice houses. Also, let s face it, most computer technicians should probably go for a walk anyway.
Don t be discouraged if this doesn t return immediate results. I still get calls from mailbox drops I did a year ago.
The local free weekly newspapers are a great place for computer businesses to advertise and perform much better than the statewide or regional newspapers. Although the free weekly ones have a smaller circulation, they stay around the house longer than the daily papers and are usually very cheap to advertise in.
- Tweak your ads
Try changing your ads every few weeks and see what works the best. Try upgrading to a larger sized ad for a week and see if the increase in calls is worth the price of the larger sized ad.Try changing the colors of your ad and see which stands out the most. If all the other ads around your ad are white with black text, try making yours with a black background with white text.
- Cycle the Areas your ads go to
Most local newspapers allow you to specify which group of suburbs your ads will be in so cycle the areas your ads show up in every now and then. You may find that there are more businesses in certain areas and the wealthy home users are more likely to call you than the working class areas.
There are only 4 days to go until we are no longer taking new white-label newsletter service members. I wanted to share with you some of the great results some of our customers are getting. I have written about Chris Curruthers before, and like most computer business owners, he simply didn t have the time to [ ]
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In one week, we will be closing access to our White-label Newsletter Service to new members. I want to focus on delivering even more value to our existing customers. If you dont want to miss out on joining our white-label newsletter service, you need to act before June 5th at 11:59pm PST. What are [ ]
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Rich Kniffin says
In the U.S. it is illegal to put flyers in or on mailboxes.:
Here is the answer from the United States Code at 18 USC Ã‚Â§1725:
Whoever knowingly and willfully deposits any mailable matter such as statements of ccounts, circulars, sale bills, or other like matter,
on which no postage has been paid, in any letter box established, approved, or accepted by the Postal Service for the receipt or
delivery of mail matter on any mail route with intent to avoid payment of lawful postage thereon, shall for each such offense be fined under this title. (CFR TITLE 18 PART I CHAPTER 83 Sec. 1725.)
Rich, is that America wide or only applies to certain states?
that is country wide.
Really great article, thanks for writing it! I started a computer repair service company a few months ago and we are definitely having some trouble building new business up. We ve advertised in the Yellow Book which has been ok, but nowhere near enough business as we need. We did try a local paper by purchasing a bigger ad, and got 0 calls from it. We ll be doing some door hangar advertising next, hoping that helps! I do like the idea of the smaller line ads in the paper though, and will probably be giving that a shot.
One thing you didn t mention was press releases did you have any experience with that?
Dave, I havent tried it with my Computer Repair business but I use them frequently for Technibble. I found that you need to send your release to ALOT of locations/emails for it to be effective. Only about 5% will pick you up, but those 5% can be worth it.
I want to subscribe to your advertisement listing for UNIX/Windows computer repair
Please send me email.
Yeah I ve tried the mailbox drop before. Got a strongly worded letter from the USPS.
Great information. Thank you, love your whole site
My question is, for flyers, is it better to use my own name or use my company name that I have set-up? Which will return more results?
This is an interesting read. I wish I came across it before committing to yellowpages.com, I would have gone with the printed Yellow Pages ad instead. But I will see how that turns out when the ad starts appearing online. At least the package I bought will give me first page results on Yellowpages.com and their partner yellow page directories like yahoo yellow pages, mapquest etc
Do you think this will work at all? I live in a fairly heavily populated area, at least a few 100,000 people within my service area. My business is on site Mac, Windows and network repairs. It needs to generate 35+ hours per week as I have no employees and have no shop.
I have been struggling to get hits on adwords because of the price I can not afford the front page adwords hit. Craigslist gets some calls but those people expect repairs to cost practically nothing.
At least most of my customers have more than one computer in the house. So they can check online if there main computer fails.
if you time it right. by this I mean follow a few blocks behind the mail carrier, you can get away with it for a long time, because most times its the carrier that finds your flyer in the mailbox. but if you distribute right behind the mail carrier most times your flyer will get picked up before the next day! 😉 but as soon as you get a call, STOP! they don t play the three strikes your out game.
iPhone and other smartphones still work to search on google. Keep that in mind. Make sure your company is listed on google.com/local/add
That is free advertisement that can be very effective