What marketing technique have you used that had surprising results?

by mynameisreeves. Posted on Sep 09, 2020    152    109

I was actually surprised by the number of clients I got when I was running my company through YouTube.


PreSonusAmp 1

Lolz at the easy reward. 👏

Interesting point. Youtube organic is good for brand and authority if you can fill a knowledge niche and stay consistent.

Neil333 1

In-person networking. I was surprised at the number of conversations and lead it opened up.

alexgenovese 1

I got x5 e-commerce sales through a deep dive analysis into customer segment.

I created a lookalike audience, based on customer segmentation demographic and purchasing data and I drive this traffic to a long form landing page.

Through retargeting I recovered most of the traffic lost, acquiring new leads using timed promo offers.

Once the lead was acquired, I rolled out marketing automation flows based on their purchasing behaviours uplifting LTV and sales.

I published on my blog all my details:


nimble_fox 2

It sounds super cliché, but we got a membership at a golf course and started taking clients. To get the relationship building for 9 or 18 holes is great...I would really recommend this for people who have long standing clients.

We've also taken clients fishing and hunting (though not with my small business yet)

I know not everyone can do these things without serious investment, but it has helped us a lot.

Bootie_Mash 1

Wish I would have learned how to golf!

nimble_fox 1

I promise you I'm not good, haha

jappyjappyhoyhoy 2

Direct mail with sophisticated envelop (die cut, colorful, as invitation to a launch or sales event.

Target by postal route based on demographics

Personally addressed if you have mailing list

Works very well for people living close to the event, especially if targeting seniors

peaceMacha 3

We had some great results on Producthunt. Got a load of traffic and even a couple of customers when our product started trending (we finished as #5 product of the day). But gaining enough traction on PH can be a hit or a miss.

Panic_Azimuth 5

Brick and mortar retail - My best return on any marketing scheme has been frequent buyer punch cards. You know the kind - buy $10 of stuff to get a punch on the card (which is also your business card), when it's full (10 punches) you get $10 in free stuff. The card has an expiration, and we don't track them electronically so you have to actually keep the physical card.

It's super common and cliche, but the reason it works is people will start carrying your card around with them in their wallet/purse and occasionally happen upon it when looking for something else, making repeated ad impressions. Business cards are cheap. It's especially effective because they voluntarily picked up and saved the card, and the punches give it perceived value (even if it's not full) so they aren't likely to just throw it away.

Promo items are good that way too, but it's hard to find an item that people will actually keep. Ceramic coffee mugs during the holidays have been our best giveaway - most people won't throw away a nice coffee mug, and they'll see your logo every day when they open their cupboards.

Both of these things cost some money, but I've found them to be effective in the long term to bring customers back to the shop and encourage them to spend more freely.

jonkl91 4

I do resumes for some part of my business. My process is very different. I write the resume in front of my client, teach them how to do it themselves (so they can change it and customize it as needed). Can take between 3-7+ hours.

I charge half up front and let them know they only pay the second half if and only if they are 100% satisfied. I have a couple of people who need to pay their 2nd payment but I typically don't have an issue. I typically get better clients because the biggest issues with resumes is that the writer is shitty and you have no idea why they did the things they did.

This gives the client a lot of comfort and they trust me more. It's a win win.

I compete with shitty resume writers who charge $50-$150 and barely do anything.

Halostar 5

Straight up emailing people, warm, cold leads alike.

ilovefeshpasta 2

I'm in the same boat. And interested to know more. Which tone of voice/structure do you use in your emails?

Halostar 2

I'm a solo shop B2B right now so it's pretty casual to be honest.

hibiscushiel 3

How do you build your email list?

Halostar 1

I'm very early on so mostly word of mouth. I don't have an actual list to be honest.

Malusifer 4

I got a good amount of business through my Instagram. I was surprised how easy it was to get companies to sponsor giveaways that helped me grow.

susiekue 1

I'm curious about this! can you give us a couple of examples of a company that you reached out to and what the giveaway was?

Malusifer 1

I did DIY type content so it was all tool suppliers. My content encouraged the use of their products so it was mutually beneficial.

brad-corp 3

How many followers did you need before companies would start giving you things?

Malusifer 1

Did my first giveaway at 2000 followers. Started contacting brands at ~1500.

brad-corp 1

Awesome, thanks!

CSIorangesalad 3

Ive had some success with instagram. Any tips on fostering this type of partnership?

Malusifer 2

Using their products and tagging them in posts helps. Starting with smaller lesser known brands and then using those to legitimize yourself for bigger ones.

88jaybird 3

same for me with instagram.

godzillabobber 10

I figured out what trade shows cost me and figured if I could get four demos from another method, I'd make at least one sale out of four and come out ahead. So I put $100 bills in a small registered mail box labeled on the outside "ethical bribe". All they had to do was give me 3 1/2 minutes of their time for a phone call. It was great at getting me demos and sales. Unfortunately my equipment supplier didn't like the idea and asked that I stop. Later learned she was trying to temporarily run the company into the ground so her boyfriend and business partner would fail and give up. Then she would take over and build it right back up. I got out of that shitshow and started my own company.

Miqotegirl 8

Using Comic Sans in our promotions.

vaporhowes 10

I'm glad it worked for you but GROSS Comic sans is GROSS

HipHopGrandpa 5

Seriously! Use Papyrus instead.

GorillaBaconator 1

Avatar used it, and it’s one of the biggest grossing films ever.

danwastil 6

SEO, as long as you have a long time horizon, can do great for low cost.

Bootie_Mash 1

I was chasing higher SEO rankings for a while. We're on the 1st page for all of our keywords yet we're slipping down to #4-#6. We have a ton of competition.

Looked into hiring an agencies (most are scammers), hiring freelancers (to do outreach - most are scammers), and used tools like Brightlocal, Moz, etc. to shore up my NAPs (scammers as it's very difficult to get 100% consistency or even 75%).

In the end I just said "fuck it" and now spend my money on Google Ads where I get tangible results and metrics. With SEO I felt like I was throwing my money into an abyss as it's such an inexact science.

jbiz17 3

What's a reasonable amount to spend per month on SEO for a single-city business website?


About tree fiddy

follyrob 2

SEO prices completely depend upon your niche and the competition in that niche.

Ken_Field 3

Depends on a few things probably:

  • How big your website is/how much content you already have
  • Which CMS it's on
  • Available developer resources
  • Competition

    That being said my previous agency had a number of grandfathered-in clients similar to yours (smaller businesses operating in a single city) and $500-$1,000 was a pretty common retainer size.

    Tbh though if you're spending less than $1k/mo I'd recommend going with a freelancer/individual rather than an agency. In my experience that's probably one of the agency's lower accounts and your site is going to probably be one of the last ones they touch in a given month.
secretagentdad 15

naming one of my keyword tools shit.

it got bigger than all my other websites

TomCruiseDildo 3

Love that tool!

hibiscushiel 3

Amazing work you did there

itsallinthebag 4


Unic0rndream5 6

Keyword Shitter?

secretagentdad 7


IgorAMG 3

Are you really the creator of KW Shitter? It's a terrific tool.

Unic0rndream5 3

Haha, nice one!

poddars 25

Surprisingly enough, fake pricing works.

Paypal me $200 $99 and I'll show you exactly how to use this age old trick to maximize your sales and quadruple your revenues over just 3 months like I did!

JaySayMayday 7

If you're showing a higher price being discounted that's discount pricing, which is a legitimate marking strategy

Notmyrealname 14

Here are four upvotes, but since you posted just now, it's actually 75% off!

dopetank 1

Just wait! We’ll double your order!

Z0re 6

Just a word of caution, fake pricing is illegal in some countries.

kodex1717 33

We accidentally walked in the loading dock instead of the front entrances at a few businesses. It turns out we got a better reception from the dock crew than the dried up old hags up front. We'd start giving our pitch to some random dude stacking boxes and get "No, you wanna talk to the Greg." And then we get walked over to Greg who owns the place to make our pitch. After that we figured out most places leave the back door unlocked for the UPS guy during the day. So, we stopped going in the front door with cold sales.

Mushu_Pork 1

As someone who runs a business... I find this super disrespectful. You're basically interrupting people's work. People that have to be paid, people that have a job to do.

It's sleazy, it's like hitting on a waitress.

The reason you have to go to the docks, is because you KNOW you're not welcome. And you're NOT welcome, because those are people working... at a place of business.

Just because you're getting results doesn't mean what you're doing is ok.

Time_Crystals 3

Uh, that's called trespassing. Do not do this lol.

Notmyrealname 7

Unless they are selling security systems.

therealhotsauce101 8

Great story. I have a friend that kills it with the pallet game using this exact approach.

Skip the “bouncers”

KingCartwright 7

Love it! This is like one of those stories you find in business start up books. Now you will have to tell this story for the next 30 years on your future lecture tours.

GotMyStuffStolen 13

I walked into a store and spoke with the owner, asked him if he needed my services, showed him my work. He sent clients steadily my way for 10 years from then on, without asking for anything in return. But I did sent him and his employees a case of wine or a bunch of christmas cakes from time to time to thank them for their referrals, and I sent clients their way as well.

Fin_Aquatic_Rentals 16

I run a tech start up which I run Instagram, Facebook and Google ads but what's working best right now is old school door handle flyers. I put boots to the pavement and walk about 6 miles and hand out about 700 fliers before the weekend starts. I usually get a hand full of customers that way. As someone who has only been in business for 4 weeks getting early adopters is huge!

mlrbp 2

Is your tech startup the type of business that's geared to consumers (the public), rather than other businesses? If so, test out a printed promo that has redeemable coupons for your services.

For an added bonus: place info about a "bring a friend" or referral program. Like, give a customer a discount if they recommend a friend that buys from your business.

Fin_Aquatic_Rentals 1

It sells a physical service. I really like the idea of redeemable coupons or referral programs. The problem of being a one man tech start up is if I want to launch one of these programs I have to go and code it all up... There's so much to do, so little time between juggling my full time job and moonlighting my own business.

mlrbp 1

Glad you liked that idea about redeemable coupons.

I completely understand about having little time to launch this program. Coupons and referral programs could boost sales a bit for you. Consider working on it out over time, little by little. No need to launch it tomorrow... but give yourself a reasonable deadline.

If you have a budget for marketing services, have a consultant or freelancer work on it while you're working on your full time job.

Btw, if you have people pay for your service online, you may be able to create a promo code with an expiration date.

If you have questions, let me know, DM me... I do this often with my business.

Small ways you can invest in your business and outsource the things that save you time and produce sales... that's the sweet spot where you can get ahead and grow the business.

Hypo_Mix 2

Remember reading about why companies persist with junk mail. The answer was, 'because it works' .

Hooked__On__Chronics 3

It’s a numbers game

PositioningBranding 30

What do you mean running your company through YouTube?

  mynameisreeves 45

I am so sorry because that came off confusing. What I was trying to say when I was running my company, I was surprised at the number of clients I got through videos that I displayed on YouTube.

h0b0_shanker 50

I NEVER click on ads online. Especially random ones, but I was watching “how to put up Christmas lights safely” on YouTube and was then served an ad for permanent led light strips from a local company who installs them. I didn’t know those types of things existed. I watched their whole ad, clicked to find out more, filled out a from, and they came out for an estimate. It worked great!

[deleted] 14



I make a mental note to avoid doing business with companies that shove their products down my through via my social media feeds. If you have a good product I will find it when I'm looking for one and doing my research.

FreeGFabs 4

no you won't old timer. Your the type of guy who yells at small businesses when you dont get your way arent you.


No definitely not, I have great respect for our retail workers. Also I'm 34. I just hate advertising.

benchjeweler1 3

You run a mechanic shop which from your post history looks like it has a niche with cars like Porsche. Prior to that you say in some earlier posts that you were in software. Not all business are like your shop and I guarantee you that if you worked for a tech company no matter the size they had a significant part of their budget allotted to biz dev and/or ads

melanatedbabe 6

Yea but how would a business make money if they dont advertise?🤔

How would you know certain products existed though? Im sure theres stuff in your house you didnt plan on buying but you found out about it through advertising 👀 dont lie!


My business has never advertised. My father founded it in 1979 and I've bought him out in 2015. We have more work than we can possibly do and are expanding for the second time this year after doubling our square footage a couple months ago. We get work by having an outstanding reputation spread by word of mouth, and from people seeking out services we offer and calling us.

I find things when I go looking. I go to the mall or whatnot and find stuff. People tell me about a new thing they found. I say "hmm I have this problem" and I go searching for a solution.

therealhotsauce101 8

Congrats that’s worked for you and your family. But knocking paid social media ads is some old school thinking.

Igrado 24

What about the ones that shove it down your throat on the billboards you drive by? Or the radio station you listen to? Or the newspaper you read? Or the magazines? Or the TV shows you watch?

Must be exhausting to be so angry at so many people, Karen.


Billboards are easy to ignore, but yeah radio and TV ads are a good way to lose my business.

PoopChipper 17

You sound exactly like the customer I DON'T want.

h0b0_shanker 10

How was I supposed to search for “permanent led light strips, installed” when I didn’t even knew those things existed? The point is smart advertising, not throwing pop ups in peoples faces.

dawgmom15 3

Im a sucker for a fb ad.. just pay shipping! But Considering most of the time shipping is $16... but oh well

qla_all_bay 26

it's really beautiful when an ad actually matches what you need or are interested in

atbkelley100 6

I listen to a lot of love soft acoustic music. For some reason though, YouTube thinks it’s a great idea to play horror film ads during these videos. Mind you, I don’t watch horror films lol

h0b0_shanker 12

Seriously, I wasn’t even mad. I was happy to know more about their product/service.

Now had they tried to stop me while I was playing soccer with my boys in the park, I’d tell them to screw off.

It really is an art.

theWaymaker 19

Help your network build their businesses too.

I’ve offered many people in my industry insight and help on starting their business and seen it blossom and it pays back.

hibiscushiel 2

Thanks a lot for this. It reminded me of that thing called friendship bank. Connecting to people sure does wonderful things. I'll keep this in mind.

obvom 4

On this note, my wife's father is a professional photographer. Around 30 years ago pre-camera phone, in our large city there were some really good professionals charging a premium, and some really shitty photographers charging a fraction of a premium. The good ones started an association and invited all the bad ones into it, started to coach them on how to become good ones, and then they raised their prices so everyone was on the same level field more or less. A rising tide lifts all ships.

Malusifer 6

Collaboration and paying it forward pays dividends for sure!

missjett97 36


Edit: once I had my video go viral (600k views) and I made an extra $1000 that month selling my traditional artwork and custom paintings.

My video wasn’t even about my products. My sales all came from people who were interested in me as a person and decided to click the link in my bio

crazystarvingartist 2

as an introvert, share your secrets?? idk what to make a video about and I’m so afraid haha

missjett97 7

I’m an artist so I like to take current tiktok trends/popular sounds and gear them toward art. I make a lot of art “jokes” with the trends.

I just recommend using trends and tailoring them to your specific niche! I’m also an introvert so making short videos alone in my art studio is a great way to get my work out there

Sliver_God 130

It's all about buying the right person the right drink at the right time.

TastyChevelle 7

Wat if ur introvert

SoftFirmHardware 8

Drink more

hoofglormuss 5

Find a new hustle.

Sliver_God 33

Hire someone who isn't

RumUnicorn 42

Networking is key

ScruffyHoward 51

Not sure it's a marketing technique but I offered a 30 day, 110% money back guarantee at my gym. It worked great and never had someone take me up on the offer.

Quantum_Pineapple 5

I do 100% money back in the first 30 days and never had to give anyone their money back! Works wonders.

gumby54 9

I just listened to Tim Ferris talking about doing this a few hours ago. I really like the idea.

ScruffyHoward 6

I think Tim (or at least some other online marketers) suggest an even higher money back guarantee. I think 110% is a good amount...any higher might bring out the scammers.

But if you are doing an informational product or another type of product with huge margins it might be worth it to offer a 150% money back guarantee. Tim was pushing supplements and had high margins to work with.

exploitedworkerbee 4

If I recall, in his book it was a $100 shirt with a $400 money back guarantee. Madness.

godzillabobber 20

Its called risk reversal. I sold a $30,000 design system to jewelers. Leases were $700 a month. The jewelers would agonize for several years before buying. And they were universally glad they did because one extra sale a month made their payment and they all made a lot more than that. So to shorten that hesitancy I gave them a one year 100% money-back guarantee. It worked very well and in the five years I used that strategy, I never once gave anyone a refund. I could have given a dozen refunds and resold the equipment used and I still would come out ahead. My competitors (only one company) thought I was crazy and their interaction with prospects came across as bitter, which increased my sales even further.

benchjeweler1 2

Which system?

gumby54 3

Nice work, with high cost products backing yourself with a money back guarantee sends all the right signals. On a side note only having one competitor sounds pretty good too!

bonejohnson8 48

110%? 10% returns in a month? Don't let /r/wallstreetbets find you.

ScruffyHoward 18

10%?! Shit. That's nothing over at WSB.

If you want real returns let me suggest SHOP Jan 15 '21 $1300 Calls

bonejohnson8 8

I'd like a membership to your gym.

ScruffyHoward 5

I closed down my gym due to Covid. I'm pivoting and reopening as a liquor store. I will definitely not be offering any sort of money back guarantee.

RandyHoward 2

That's when you offer the extended warranty. Don't have a hangover tomorrow? 110% money back.

anotherjaylee 152

I build furniture and didn’t claim my Pinterest page for the first 7 years during the side hustle phase. I knew there were pins of my work, but I didn’t think much of it. One week during the slowest month ever, I decided to get my house in order and claim my page and connect my accounts. Within a week, turns out I was getting over 1.4 million viewers a month of my various photos and serving over 3 million impressions. Which is now turning into meaningful leads.

Pollypocketpie 4

Taking this as a sign!! Thanks for the tip

masterswol 19

Congrats! Why did you put it off? Were you active on other social media platforms?

anotherjaylee 6

I don’t have a great answer — probably just inertia. I have an Instagram account with about 1600 followers which was a slow, mildly annoying grind (albeit also effective), and just didn’t want to add another garden to tend. In retrospect though, I did not understand how powerful Pinterest is. I thought I would have to start seeding new pins and slowly build up followings. I did not realize the system would Hoover up hundreds if not thousands of pins out there linking back to my claimed pages (on Etsy, barely used webpage and Instagram) and attribute them all to me.