You’ve probably heard the philosophical question, "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” When I hear that, it makes me think that this poor tree had a simple brand awareness problem. If she had two hands and access to the internet, she could have accomplished at least 25 free tasks to make people know that she’s fallen and that she can’t get up.
Luckily, solar marketers aren’t rooted to the forest. So, here are those 25 free ways to get brand awareness today:
1. Blog on your own website. This is always at the top of my list, because it’s the seed for other free actions. So if you can’t do all 25, at least do this first.
2. Blog on someone else’s website. Publishers love free content with useful information. Offer that useful solar information about your solar product or service. It might even be the same blog that you just wrote on your own website, but don’t do this more than once.
3. Use Twitter to Tweet some useful information…like your blog post.
4. Post your blog on Facebook. Spread your brilliant solar blog post on Facebook.
5. Post your blog on a LinkedIn group…or two. As long as it’s relevant to the group, take two seconds and post that blog post there for discussion.
6. Comment on other posts or articles. Leave an insightful, relevant comment on a news article or someone else’s blog about a solar topic. Identify your name and company at the end of that comment. But be warned that if the comment isn’t relevant, it will probably be deleted by the moderator. Don’t spam.
7. Write an email to all your past customers. Remind them of your referral program, if you have one. If you’re in the solar product space, see if they’re ready to reorder.
8. Call past customers to make sure their solar system or products are working properly. Do they have any feedback? You might even send them a customer survey.
9. Write an email to past prospects. Often people say they’re not ready to buy. Touch base with those people and see if they’re ready, or offer to answer any questions about your solar product or service,
10. Post your blog on the Reddit solar subgroup. Don’t keep that useful solar blog to yourself. Find as many ways as you can to share it. Reddit is a very active social network, so be prepared to respond to any comments, negative or positive.
11. Comment on a Reddit solar subgroup. Don’t just post your solar blog and go. Comment on someone else’s article, but once again don’t spam. Be relevant, but mention that you work for Solar Company X, and that’s why you’re an expert commenter.
12. Write a press release. Write about your latest installation or solar product sale and send it over the wires via free press release sites. Here’s a list of 20 of them.
13. Videotape a customer testimonial. Upload it to YouTube and put it on your website or blog.
14. Videotape a solar installation or show someone using/installing your solar product.
15. Videotape your staff. Put a face and a personality to your company. Briefly record staff members telling the camera who they are and what they do. As always, upload it to YouTube and share on your website and social networks.
16. Pin your beautiful solar installation/product photos on Pinterest.
17. Post your solar installation/product photos on Facebook.
18. Post your solar installation/product photos on Flickr.
19. Write an op-ed letter to the editor. Be a community thought leader. Got solar industry problems? Got solutions? Don’t keep them to yourself. Write about soft costs, utility attacks on net metering, etc.
20. Thumbs up your blog post on Stumble Upon.
21. Put a link to your blog on your email signature.
22. Put your slogan in your email signature.
23. Become a source for reporters. Join Help A Reporter Out (HARO) and answer queries from reporters about solar
24. Go to a local Green Drinks or other green networking event. And then…you know…network.
25. Volunteer. Donate your time to a cause that you believe in, but don’t troll for clients. If someone asks what you do, then you can tell them.
Of course, I could go on, and so could you. The main point here is that, yes, solar marketing budgets are tight today, but don’t be a helpless fallen tree. Take advantage of all of the free ways that you can market your solar service or product. It just takes time…to UnThink Solar.
Tor Valenza a.k.a. “Solar Fred” is a solar marketing and communications consultant and the author of Solar Fred's Guide to Solar Guerrilla Marketing. Sign up for the Solar Fred Marketing Newsletter, or contact him through UnThink Solar. You can also follow @SolarFred on Twitter.
The information and views expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author and not necessarily those of RenewableEnergyWorld.com or the companies that advertise on this Web site and other publications. This blog was posted directly by the author and was not reviewed for accuracy, spelling or grammar.