Placing an ad in a local newspaper is a great way to advertise your business – if, for instance, you’re a restaurant owner whose target market is virtually anyone who eats.
But if you work in the highly specialized field of auto upholstery, you can’t afford to waste valuable time and money on broad marketing strategies that provide little in return. To be successful, your marketing techniques must be as specialized as the industry in which you operate.
After all, folks who choose custom upholstery over retail slipcovers are a select few. It’s this niche market – comprised of auto enthusiasts and collectors – whose radar you want to stay on.
One of the best ways of doing so is by getting involved with community car clubs and auto shows. Small auto upholstery shops generally attract customers from within their communities. Involving your business with a local car club can narrow this broad pool of potential customers and provide you with the opportunity to directly interact with those most likely to need your services – folks who you know already have a strong interest in vehicle interior restoration and design.
There are many ways to get involved with a local car club. However, the most common is through sponsorship. This usually entails a small sponsorship fee and/or the offering of discount services to club members.
In return, your business may be advertised on the club’s website, at its events and receive mention at meetings. Although helpful, sponsorship is not nearly as affective as becoming an actual club member. As an active member, you’ll be able to forge relationships on a more personal level – especially if you volunteer to lead seminars or how-to demonstrations. This type of face-to-face interaction puts you at the heart of your target market and allows you to gain the trust of potential customers.
Participating in car shows is another great way to effectively market your auto upholstery business. After all, it’s the one place guaranteed to draw auto enthusiasts of all kinds. However, you’ll have to do more than just show up and hand out business cards to differentiate yourself from the other business owners doing the same thing.
Sponsoring an auto show, for instance, is a sure-fire way to get noticed. To do this, contact a show’s organizers and negotiate a deal where for a reasonable price your shop’s information will be placed on all advertisements for the event.
Also, consider renting a booth at the show where you can exhibit your work, allow potential customers to browse through swatches of material and even give free estimates on the spot.
To finish reading “How Car Clubs and Shows Can Expand Your Auto Trim Business“, visit The Hog Ring – the leading news blog and online community for auto upholstery professionals.