Guerrilla Marketing Techniques that Anyone Can Do

There are lots of blogs out there that instruct on the best ways to write more effectively or how to tweak your sites for best search engine results. Some folks even go really hardcore and instruct you on a variety of methods to build your site.

Very few people, if any, will tell you the easy stuff. The low hanging fruit. The slam dunks. Sure, it’s unlikely that the following tactics alone will catapult you into a position of being the next media mogul. However, these simple tricks are things that anyone can do, but yet very few people actually employ. As a result, you can gain guerrilla tactics that will place you in an advantageous position over the other guy.

Check it out.

Use your Domain Name as Your WiFi Network Name

SSID NameYes indeed. A sneaky, yet effective technique that broadcasts your network to everyone within 802.11 range. That is, if you don’t turn your SSID broadcast option off.

The trick here is that anyone within range of your wifi access point, many of whom are unlikely technically savvy, will see your domain name in their access list and it will spark curiosity. “What on earth is technosailor.com? It looks like a website”

Of course, they will look and who knows if you’ll have a visitor for life. (/me waves at neighbors who just clicked through).

Attract Blackberry Users

It’s not a secret among Blackberry users that Blackberries attract other Blackberries. Try this trick on for size. Next time you go out pubbing, check that Blackberry often. Chances are someone is going to comment on it. When they do, don’t just answer with a humdrum “Yeah I’m checking my email”, or, “I need to stay in touch with whats going on at work.” Instead, tell them that you are looking at your site on the Blackberry browser to make sure it works on a mobile device.

Tangent: Make sure it actually does render properly on a Blackberry so that you have something worth looking at.

Buy a Shirt

Schwag is great, but your schwag is even better. Especially if it looks good. If you’re a schwag wearer (I am!), you can probably testify to the fact that people do actually notice what you’re wearing. The most commented on schwag I wear is my new Mesh Conference tee shirt from RightSleeve.com. People look at the shirt and love to ask what “Mesh: Connect, Share, Inspire” means. Of course I tell them.
Mike Arrington with Boxers
Imagine how much a shirt with your website with some appropriately cryptic slogan would do to encourage conversation in line at Starbucks.

Of course, slightly less convincing is getting branded boxer shorts like Mike Arrington of Techcrunch got at Mesh (left).

Ask Someone About Themself

One thing my good friend Mark Evans taught me when he started at b5media was to ask questions. It usedf to annoy me, but it turns out there was method to his madness. He told me that, as a journalist, it’s important to ask questions because people love to talk about themselves. By asking leading questions, people open up and begin to just talk.

Sooner or later, the questioning will inevitably turn back to you and give you an opportunity to share what you do, how you do it, why you do it, etc.

These are just four techniques. There’s literally thousands of ways you can promote you or your blog without using common practices suggested all the time. Naturally, using common practices probably have more reach and will be more far reachingly successful. But these are some low lying fruit that anyone can employ.

What about you? Do you have techniques such as these?

Published by

Aaron Brazell

Aaron Brazell is a Baltimore, MD-based WordPress developer, a co-founder at WP Engine, WordPress core contributor and author. He wrote the book WordPress Bible and has been publishing on the web since 2000. You can follow him on Twitter, on his personal blog and view his photography at The Aperture Filter.

28 thoughts on “Guerrilla Marketing Techniques that Anyone Can Do”

  1. Interesting ideas. I really like the Wifi one, as in the place where I live there are a lot of networks (=people who are using wifi)

  2. Cool advices! I agree with the previous commentators, the one about the Wifi is the best. However, the first two techniques are not applicable all over the world, for example, not many people here in Serbia use Wifi, while Blackberry is not used at all. But, as you said, there are plenty of things you can do to promote your blog.

  3. A lot of these tips mirror stuff that I’ve considered or am doing now. It’s good to know I’m on the right track! :)

    I’ve been doing the Wifi one for about a year now and I’ve considered the shirt idea. Since my site is a photography blog, I don’t think I could translate it well to a mobile web format.

    It’s something to consider, though :)

  4. Disagree a lot.

    All these ideas [except the last one] are for attracting local visitors. If that suits you it is fine. However for a lot of people these are not what they would be waisting their time in.

    The question is would you be forcing your energies on something that produces little packets of output in result or would be trying to do something that does major effect on the output with minimal [or say considerably less] efforts.

    So in essence the output of these techniques will not be worth considering you could utilize the time in much better way.

  5. I can vouch that the right swag works to some degree. I bought a half dozen dog coats and had them branded with our business url (ironically nothing to do with dogs or dog breeds) then I gave the 5 extras to other large breed dog owners. That particular website gets more traffic every time it rains.

  6. These techniques are not just great, I find them very unique. At least for me. Asking people about themselves is the best technique in my opinion, just because it’s so true. Very wise thing to do.

  7. If you’re serious about blogging to make money, as many bloggers say they are, why not join a business networking group. In Southern California, there are hundreds if not thousands of them. Some have a low monthly fee.

    The t-shirt idea is a good one. Also, postcards . . . hand them out or business cards. You can find online printers who will do a run of 250 business cards for free.

  8. After selling tons of T-Shirts in 2004, I ended up with a box of these PapillonLvr T-Shirts. It’s all that I wear at the beach because they are so comfortable (and I’m usually with my two dogs anyway). Even though I wear a clean shirt each day, some think I only change it weekly. Maybe by next summer I will be able to afford some new schwag Tee’s with my other more popular domains .. Next time I’ll try to make the domain name larger on the shirt. People hardly see it.
    :)

  9. Stencils and stickers are used by some guys to promote their blogs or web pages here in Latvia. Probably it’s not wery original idea, but it should work here as here are not so many folks who do that.

  10. Don’t forget the old trick of putting your website URL on your car, especially effective in large cities with lots of traffic jams.

  11. In my earliest days of surfing, the best leads to resources I still use today came from following people’s email addies.. If you’ve got a stable webhosting provider, one you know is not going to bail on you any time soon, *DEFINITELY* consider setting up an email account with yourself at your own web domain.. People *will* come.. *TRUST ME..* :grin:

    Me..? Soon as I can ever afford it, I’ll be getting a very delicate butterfly along with my domain name to go across the back of..

    Shhh.. Don’t tell him..

    My ex’s bright red ’86 Nissan 300 ZX..

    I’m guessing someone somewhere will see it and be curious..

    Can’t wait ’til the Stude is back up and running, too..

    :wink:

  12. I had never even thought of changing my wifi to broadcast my site. Also another technique to add. talk with the local people that own internet cafes and makes deals where they make my site the homepage on all the computers for some little ad space on your site or something along those lines.

    Thanks, Alex ()

  13. @Wordpress Poll Advice:

    I call bullshit. How are local visitors less worthwhile than visitors elsewhere? What if your neighbour writes for the city paper? What if they have a blog of their own and link to your? That’s worthless?

    Who you reach, particularly when building an audience, is more important than how many people you reach. Why? Because reaching the right people is the easiest route to reaching a wider audience.

    And as for ‘forcing your energies on something that produces little packets of output’, I’m not sure what kind of router you use, but mine takes approximately 15 seconds to change the SSID.

    If you’re going to be contrarian, I definitely suggest you have some better reasoning behind it.

  14. I was going to make the same comment, Andrew, but just hadn’t yet.

    The fact is that most of these techniques are just “things I do in the course of everyday life”. Check my Blackberry. Wear shirts. Talk to people. The SSId is, like you said, a 15 second change.

    These items are low hanging fruit. No they won’t turn anyone into an instant success-a-meter. But they might just get a handful of new readers. Those are readers that might not otherwise read.

    Any new reader is a success in my book. And these are just dead easy to do with no real output on my part.

  15. @Andrew
    @Brazel

    Local visitors are not not worthless if you have a LOCAL business and target to them. They are the bigest asset for you, but otherwise they worth the same as much as the rest of the crowd so you should not be spending more efforts in bringing them in.

    I agree with the part that if you do things dailty – you do it anyway, but dont adopt a mindset targetted for this.

    Agreed every new user added is a success, but it is not when you could have added a visitor with much less effort.

  16. Alex (intellimind), good comment about the internet cafes’.

    There are so many small businesses that are hungry for free marketing and advertising. Internet cafes’, hair salons, spas . . .

  17. As a walkign billboard, or a radio staion with a range measured in hundreds of yards, how many poeple will you reach? pehaps you guys in manhatten or hongkong have some chance of reaching a noticable number but for most of us we’d be lucky to touch a couple of hundred untargeted unselected people with these techniques. If you boloag about “lunch” or “node hairs” then you have some chance you may add a handful of new readers from that group. For those of us who blog about anything the least bit specialist, new subscribers will amount to precisely none.

    Anyone who has been in sales knows the funnel: to get 10 new readers you need 100 interested people which means 1000 relevant people which means touching 100,000 people at random. Get real. the only thing these techniques achieve is to allow you to show off to others that you are a blogger (oooh cool.)

  18. Ditto on the t-shirt idea, but I’d say you can take this even further. We’ve used CafePress to make our own ballcaps, t-shirts, tote bags, etc. with our 2Dolphins logo & URL. Actually, I’ve worn my shirt & cap so much that they’re kinda threadbare – gotta remember to order replacements for those. I’ve also been working on a bumper sticker design to place on my daily driver. Gotta get motivated & finish that…

    And we have a buddy (Hey Buddy!) at Kinko’s who cranked us out a box of nice glossy business cards once again featuring our logo & URL. We hand these out constantly. And I post ‘em on just about any bulletin board I come across.

    Sure, these are only likely to attract local visitors, but those just might be some of the best folks to attract since some of the content on our site is regionally relevant. And word of mouth can sometimes do wonders!

  19. Thanx, Great ideas–it’s the little things that add up…
    I live in a Resort community with several million visitors a year–I can use these ideas…

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