Everyone is getting savvy at posting and advertising on social media. But you’re different. You want to reach a unique niche that your competitors haven’t touched. You want to get your booking site in front of clients where yours is the only one to be seen.
Here are 10 unique places where you should be posting a link to your booking site.
1) Your email signature
If you’re already sending an email to a client, why make them search for your site if they’re ready to book? A quick scroll to the bottom of your email will take them right to your calendar. The best part is, no competitors to contend with here! Go into your email settings and find where you edit the email signature. This is different for each email provider, but a quick internet search will point you in the right direction. Once there, create an email signature that gives your client all of the information they need to get in touch with you when they’re ready to book.
Steve Smith | Owner
Craigslist is still one of the most popular sites for posting jobs and services. It has an intuitive layout and lets users search for posts specific to their city. If you have a service with a physical location, you should be posting on your city’s Craigslist site. If your services reside in the online realm, advertise in all of the major cities Craigslist represents. You can link to your calendar directly in your post.
When you log into Craigslist you’ll see the option to “create a post” in the upper left-hand corner. Clicking on that lets you choose the area(s) where you want your post to run. After that, you will choose “service offered” for the type of post you want to create. And that’s it! Write a catchy summary of your service and provide a link to your booking page. Interested clients can contact you through Craigslist and your email information will be masked with a default Craigslist handle. This prevents you from getting spammed by who aren’t genuinely interested in your service.
3) Add a QR code to your business card
QR codes are fun. People like the mystery of seeing where they will end up after scanning one. A lot of printing companies, including the online business card giant Moo.com, will allow you to upgrade your standard business card to one that has a QR code on it. They will create the code for you, so you don’t have to worry about making your own. However, if you do want to make your own code so you can use it other places, there are tons of free QR code generators online. Check out QR Code Monkey and Unitag.io for starters. QR codes are simple, quick, and take customers right to your booking site.
4) Print ads
There’s a lot more you can do with print ads than with online sources. For instance, you can hit a different demographic that tends to be older, local, and that has more disposable income. If your booking site name is memorable, go ahead and pop it in your ad. If not, QR code again? Sure!
Check out the website of the publication you are interested in. Scroll down to the bottom of the main page and click on the Contact Us link. For most media organizations this will take you to a list of different departments. In some cases, it will take you to a general form. Either way, inquire about their advertising rates and someone from the advertising department will get in touch with you. Don’t have an ad ready? No problem! Many companies will have a graphics department that can put your logo and text together for you. Just make sure to ask if they provide that service.
Most people who listen to the radio do so in their cars. That means you have a captive audience. A memorable, clever, and relevant ad can implant your URL into the minds of tens of thousands. Think of the countless jingles you can recall from radio commercials that have been off the air for years. They stick, and that’s what you want. You want your site information to stay glued in people's minds for years to come. Radio can do this like no other medium.
Just like with print services, reach out to the station’s advertising department via their webpage. If you don’t have a recorded ad ready, they may offer an option where a DJ will read a prepared statement you’ve written (public radio stations offer this option almost exclusively). Make sure to include the URL to your booking page and you’re ready to go!
6) Professional group listings
Joining a professional organization can lend some legitimacy to your portfolio, but it’s also is a great way to deliver your booking information to companies actively searching for your services. Find the professional organization for your industry and join. Dues are usually relatively cheap and you get to create your own profile page. Add your booking site here and pull in some potentially big-business clients.
OK, technically this is a social media site, but it’s one that not a lot of people use as effectively as they should. First, create a Reddit username and password on their site. Make it relevant to your service, but unique (e.g. u/stevesmithconsulting). The “u/” prefix indicates a username.
Reddit will automatically suggest some subreddits for you, usually the ones that are the most popular at that time. Subreddits are like collections of posts about a specific topic. For instance, you could join the “r/baseball” subreddit if you are interested in topics about baseball. Add or delete the subreddits you want or no longer want. The most popular posts among the subreddits you subscribe to will show up on your “front page.”
There is a subreddit for nearly everything. Join all of the subreddits that are connected to your field of service and read your front page at least once a day. When you come across a user that asks a question that your service could assist with, drop them a link to your booking site right in the post or in a direct message. Alternatively, create a post advertising your service. Users can reply to the post with the questions they have. Inlcude a link to your booking page in the post’s text and your new clients can schedule with you right away. If your post gets enough traction (comments and “upvotes”) it might even get to the front page itself!
8) Affiliate partners
Set up a partnership with bloggers and social media ambassadors. They will agree to post a link to your booking site on their page in return for a tiny commission for the traffic they direct your way. For the expanded visibility you get with an affiliate partner, this can be a major boost to your bookings. You get someone else to advertise for you and they come with their own audience who visits them regularly. Go to any cooking blog and you will see affiliate ads all over their pages. In fact, the commission they make from these ads is one of their primary sources of income. Often times they will be happy to promote your product for you in exchange for a small fee.
Finding affiliate partners is a little tricky. You have to know who is an active blogger in your field and who has a lot of traffic. Finding the blogs is the easy part. Do an internet search and check out a variety of pages to get an idea who is the type of ambassador you want for your service. After that, look them up on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. How many followers do they have? How often do they post? Blogs are driven by social media, so if they have a lot of followers on these sites, they likely have a lot of followers on their blog as well. Once you’ve selected your ideal ambassador, email them through their site and ask about affiliate services. Sometimes there is a link to this in their webpage footer. They will help you determine the type of ad or post that will best suit your needs.
9) Post at cafes, bookstores or trendy restaurants
Amidst the wall of “take-one” flyers and concert adverts, you’ll find promotional posters for legitimate businesses. At my coffeehouse, there is a notice about a local business guru speaking at a venue downtown. There are also several ads promoting yoga classes in my area, and one ad for financial planning services. I can snap a quick picture with my phone and have all that contact info stored for when I need it. Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of playing small-ball at a local establishment.
10) Sponsor athletic events, neighborhood festivals, and charity auctions
These are designed for service providers just like you. It’s relatively inexpensive advertising, immediately connects you with clients with a shared interest, and you may be the only one among the list of sponsors that provides your service. You’re in a field by yourself! Sponsoring a local 5K can get your logo and URL on the official shirt (and a guaranteed audience of everyone running behind the person in 1st place). Often you'll also get your logo and link on the official event website. Neighborhood festivals and fairs offer similar advertising opportunities. Sponsors are acknowledged on event maps and information pamphlets. Simply add your booking site's web-address under your logo and people are walking around with a link to your calendar all day. Charity auctions offer all this plus one huge bonus: you can auction your service! Get new clients booking through your site and support charity while you do it.
Get creative and cozy up to a niche audience that has been left untouched by your competitors. Ensure your booking link is seen by putting it out on smaller, unique platforms where you are the only service of your kind.