My challenge as an entrepreneur (49) – Fola Daniel Adelesi

Who knows what you do is going to be one of the greatest challenges that you will have as an up coming entrepreneur. You are simply in business because you want some people to know what you are doing and if you refuse to make noise about what you are doing then you should not be in business.

It is very easy to get scared about the cost of publicity for any kind of business but the most important thing, I think, is that a lot of people have their publicity focus on the wrong thing. They want the very big and conspicuous kinds of publicity that companies who have been in existence for several decades are running. It is not in any way wrong to dream big but for a young entrepreneur I realized that one of the challenges of my business was publicity. People needed what I had to sell but they need to know where to get my services and where to get my products.

From time to time I tried one on one marketing but I soon realized the limitation of the marketing strategy. If you only want to go by one on one marketing then your marketing mostly would be restricted to the area where you find yourself. As much as you should engage in marketing to people personally, don’t forget that anybody who comes to that same place where you did your marketing immediately after you leave will not have the privilege of seeing your services, products or better still, your marketing approach if it is needed. With time I realized I needed a mark in every place I went to.

For a long time I was thinking about what to do to make sure that my products were know. I sat for days simply because I needed to push put my books and CDs. One day an idea struck and it has yielded an amazing result for me. I think that young entrepreneurs should be thinking about creative ways to do their marketing with a low cost budget. When the idea of creative marketing with low cost budgeting came to me I knew I was on the way to blowing up the products and I eventually did.

Instead of thinking of how to raise money for expensive adverts on TV and radio, all I did was to spend some time watching a few meaningful programmes and listening to some educative programmes on radio. Each time I made sure that the name of the producer or the presenter sticks so the next line of action is to walk into the radio station and negotiate, not beg. I said negotiate because a lot of people who want media attention are going there to beg for the attention since they did not take their time to study the programme. When I study a programme it helps me know what kind of things I can say to the presenter to appeal to him or her and to get what I want but I also have something to offer in return. There was a time I gave a media house 20 copies of my book for their phone in programme. This was a great opportunity for them because Christmas was approaching and they were looking for what to give to their audience.

When I started using the idea of offering my products to the media houses to get some interviews and consequently advertise what I do, I was able to secure 3 major TV interviews in one media house. I got a full hour interview with a radio station, 30 minutes with another radio, 10 minutes with another TV, a full page with the most widely read newspaper in the country and a full page with another regional newspaper.

I have since gotten countless interviews from the media on their request but imagine what it would have cost me to start by making payment for every advert.

Apart from appearing on TV and going for radio interviews some other simple things I did included printing stickers. When I visit some places today I see my stickers on their door posts and some of these places are the least expected places. My stickers created a suspense in the hearts of people because they had some nice catchy quotes that were divinely inspired so everyone wanted to meet the writer. Don’t forget that stickers have a long life span so it keeps advertising me so long as it is there. I also cultivated a habit of writing for nearly every event I attended. I would write very inspiring stories and put my blog on the papers. My phone numbers and emails were on the papers but what I did was to print a copy and make several photocopies. The response was amazing.

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