Twenty years ago, when I was just starting out in marketing, one of the things I used to do to promote myself was offer to print the paper menus of local restaurants for free. The catch was they had to allow me to slightly alter their menus so that I could strategically insert a little advertising blurb in certain sections of the menu to promote my fledgling marketing business.
Virtually every restaurant I approached with my proposition took me up on my offer. Why wouldn't they? After all, they were getting something for free, they normally had to pay for.
The reason I insisted on the condition that I mentioned is because certain sections of a menu are more popular than others. Did you know that customers are more likely to pick the very first, or very last menu item in a section? It's true. So I would always place my ad at the very beginning, and at the very end of each section of the menu.
By the way, this isn't a theory, It's a fact. I confirmed it myself, by testing different sections of menus, and my ad always got the best results in the aforementioned sections. My ad read:
Urgent! If You Own A Small Business, Call 555-0000 Immediately!
Believe it or not, that simple little ten word ad pulled like a forty mule team on steroids!
I'm sure you're probably wondering, if I was printing the menus for free, how was I making any money? Good question. Here's the answer: I had a barter arrangement with a local printer. I did all his copywriting in exchange for printing services. Fortunately, my little ad was so successful at pulling in cash paying clients, I was more than able to support myself, and eventually branch out into more lucrative business ventures.
So if you're having difficulty breaking through on the Internet, take a step back, and get creative. Perhaps an offline guerrilla marketing strategy is just the remedy you need to finally break through online!