Friday, March 26, 2010

The 3/50 Project - Are You On Board?

Cinda Baxter had a good idea. A really good idea. An idea that sprouted wings only seconds after she hit "publish" on her blog.

Pick 3 local retailers you would really miss if they closed. Spend $50 in those stores this month. Repeat.

It's The 3/50 Project and it all started with a blog post on March 30th, 2009. Now, less than a full year later, The 3/50 Project is an international juggernaut with over 17,000 independent retailers registered at her website, over 53,000 fans on Facebook, and a boatload of resources you can download for FREE to help promote your fellow independents.

Cinda came to Jackson last Wednesday night to talk about the project and how it can help promote local Jackson businesses. She gave us the history behind the idea and a laundry list of great ways to bring this positive message to our community.

Ideas like this cross promotion between retail stores and restaurants...
Spend $50 in any/all of these select retail stores this month, get a $10 gift certificate to any of the following restaurants for next month (and vice versa)

Ideas like this window display...
Write on this card 3 locally owned businesses you would miss if they closed. Sign your name at the bottom. We'll post your card in the window with all the other cards and you'll be entered to win one of three $50 gift certificates.
(Think of the impact such a display would cause - the reinforcement to the person who wrote the card of supporting those businesses, plus an easy way to cross promote your customers' favorite businesses to other customers.)

Ideas like this way to create evangelists for your store...
Attach five $5 gift certificates to a 3/50 Project flier with your customer's name on the back and give to her with instructions for her to pass 4 of those gift certificates on to her friends. Tell her that for every gift certificate that comes back she'll get entered in a drawing to win a monthly prize.
(Do you think that would get some new business in your store? Of course it would!)

And many more ideas.

It was a fabulous presentation. Unfortunately only about 15 Jackson business owners were in the paltry audience to hear such a message. But then again, 15 is a start. And we have to start somewhere.

Do you think you could round up 15 local businesses to start some sort of cross promotion in your town? Do you think you could benefit from a campaign that encourages people to think about their favorite local stores? Are you one of the favorites? Will you be in the top 3 on someone's list? (If not, we need to talk. I might be able to help you.)

Do yourself a favor and go to The 3/50 Project. Read all about it. Sign up. Download the freebies. Promote yourself and your local retailers. To steal a phrase from my fellow blogger Jay H. Heyman, it's a good idea, it's a really good idea.

-Phil

PS I got to meet Cinda Baxter after the presentation. We had a wonderful conversation sharing ideas. What incredible energy and passion she has for local retailers. I'm a fan. I've added her blog to my must-read list. You should too!

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