The Dandy Lab, December 2014

Ask the experts – how do I reach new customers?

I’ve just booked a space for my pop up in an area I’ve never traded in before, can you advise on the best way to reach my new customers about my launch?

Many of the landlords and ShopShare owners on We Are Pop Up are already very networked and part of a great community in their area, so the first place to reach out is your new landlord. Can they help you spread the word about your launch date and through the duration of your pop up?

Partner and collaborate.
Perhaps there is another pop up or small business that sells a complementary product to yours and who would be happy to pass on customers to you, knowing that you will do the same for them. ‘Need a beer for your tasty burger you’ve just bought?’

Meet the neighbours.
Maybe there is a collective or local area group that is made up of other business like yours that would be happy to give you hints on the local demographic. Don’t be shy about meeting the neighbours – the new customers and footfall you’ll bring with your launch will be beneficial for their business too, so work together to promote each other.

Do the locals know you’re coming?
Cause a fuss and make sure they don’t miss you! Be clear about your launch date and the duration of your pop up so locals know it’s for a limited time only. Can you put posters or vinyls up in the space even before you’ve launched, so passers-by see that you’re coming? Can you have a sandwich board outside announcing your arrival? Have you drafted a press release and let the local press know you’re coming? (Here’s a handy press release template you might like to use)

Build on what you know.
Even if your pop up is in a new area, you’re not new to your product or service or your brand story, and your new potential customers will want to hear it. If you already have a social media presence, do build on what you have and what you know works – you’re probably more of an expert than you think! Then gather inspiration from other similar brands trading in your new area. How do they reach the demographic you want to reach? What social media and promotional tools do they use, whether it’s more traditional methods like flyers and posters, or more modern such as tweets and whatsapp updates, or a combination of several ‘channels’.

Look around you, learn from others, talk to your neighbours, and ask customers to tell their friends. And don’t forget a pop up is the perfect opportunity to experiment and try new things so be bold and give it a go!

Here is some further advice on Small Business Marketing Lessons from The Guardian’s recent live Q&A with industry experts.

Got something you’d like to ask the experts?
Email ‘Ask The Experts’ to with your question and we’ll put it to the panel. 

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