3 ways to be buzzworthy on a budget

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One of the greatest things about word of mouth is that it doesn’t take a lot of money to make impressions and start conversations. Anyone on any budget can do it — even if you sell “boring” stuff, even if you’re in a competitive industry, and even if your stuff is expensive.

How to do it:

1. Show some goodwill
2. Add an element of surprise
3. Take time to build relationships

1. Show some goodwill

Bars pay lots of money to get attention, whether it’s with special guests, elaborate venues, or cheap drinks. But one bar in Austin is standing out for another reason: they give their money to charity. At The White House Bar, your donation buys the alcohol and a token you can vote with in one of many slots lining their walls that represent different causes. The not-for-profit donates their earnings to the charities based on votes. Maybe you can’t give all of your profits to a charity, but you can spark tons of conversations (and goodwill) by connecting your customers to the things they actually care about.

2. Add an element of surprise

You can make everyday stuff remarkable without spending big bucks. In fact, the Old Worthington Library in Ohio got a lot of people talking just by using butcher paper. Each Valentine’s Day they encourage people to go on a “Blind Date with a Book” by checking out one of their books wrapped in the paper. While the cover may give a few details, what the book’s about is a surprise. What can you do to add some intrigue to your everyday stuff?

3. Take time to build relationships

Bridal shops typically have only a few opportunities to make a great impression on their customers — after all, it’s not every day that you buy a wedding dress. But Chicago’s Mignonette Bridal has found a way to get their fans back in the door every month for a crafting party. At their Craft Bars, participants cover the cost of simple projects and the bridal shop handles the venue and the experts. That’s a low-cost event that builds great relationships and starts tons of conversations with the people they hope will come to them for bigger ticket stuff.

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