It was a sunny Saturday in California when I decided to join a popup event. It was a sudden event invite that I didn’t have much of my candles available with me during the event. At this event, I learned that word of mouth advertisement may be better than paid advertisement.
As a small business, you can’t afford spending $$$ into advertisement so people can see you. Free is good 100% of the time.
The first hour was slow that I was kind of confident that I will have candles for everyone to see what kind of product I have. Along with candles that I have, I also have samplers scent in which customer can take with them to smell. Those, I have a lot in stock, I was just handing to people passing by. This gave me an opportunity to network with other vendors.
As the hours passed by, more and more people stopped by. However, most of the vendors were selling food and I was the only selling non-food related. They looked uninterested in candles as they glance at the product and walked away, but I didn’t care as I was handing out the scent to each passerby, and I was giving away a scent that they know best, Sampaguita.
Sampaguita is the national flower of the Philippines. You’ll see vendors selling Sampaguita outside of establishments, such as Church, School, public building, etc. They sell Sampaguita as a lei.
One sniff and I get 80% of people interested in my candles. You see, Filipinos know a price from a big-boxed store and they know if the product is expensive or not based on the first price you tell them. It doesn’t matter how big or small your product is, if they hear the price and if they think it’s above their price range, they’ll not buy and just walk away.
As the event finishes, I noticed that I did better than expected. Although, I still have couple candles available, I decided to give free candles to other vendors. The only thing I asked of them was to tag me on their posts. Advertising doesn’t mean you have to spend $$$ to get your word out, sometimes word of mouth is the best advertisement.
Filipinos can be one of your hater or one of your biggest supporter, especially if they know that you’re a small business. Word of mouth quickly spreads about the Manila Candle as I’ve been tagged multiple times, messaged asking for more details, etc.
What I learned from this experience is that, if the customer said “It’s expensive” they’re not your base customer. If they ask if you made this candle even in that price range and bought it, they will probably the one that support small businesses and that’s your customer reach. Networking with other vendors are the best advertisement, other vendors have their own followers. Once they see your product, most likely they will reach out and contact you. Don’t be afraid to give away free products, but know your limits. It just happened to me that I gave away more than $100 worth of candles but those quickly got replenished with new customer base. Thanks to other vendors to spread the word around.
Also, to add. You don’t have to buy our products to support small businesses. You can interact on our post, share, like and comment will be the best way to support us. Share us to your friends, that will help A LOT.
As always, support small business. Each product that you buy will help pay bills to that person not to a CEO who is earning way more per hour than someone who earned the same in a month.