The internet has a lot to offer by way of access, information, and engagement, but sometimes, you just want to take things back to their roots and find “new” old ways of doing things. We’ve already lived through the revival of skinny jeans, plaid grunge, and 80’s punk looks, so now we’re ready to take a ride on the WayBack machine once more to learn how to market your new cannabis startup in old fashioned ways. Whether you run an accessory store or a distribution center, you can find ways to take your business to the streets and get some real-life traction that matters.
Talk the Talk While Walking the Walk
Although grassroots marketing efforts have been replaced by online marketing, there’s no reason why your business can’t relaunch an effort and see where it takes you. Get on your walking shoes and head to town or into the city to talk to people about what you do. Allow them an opportunity to ask questions about the cannabis industry and become part of their trusted resources for information about what’s going on in this growing industry. And take the opportunity to ask questions of people walking by. Ask for a moment of their time. If nothing else, you’ll be able to hand them a flyer or a rack card and they’ll be better for knowing you exist. It’s really hard to get found on the internet, but you can get found on a busy city street any day of the week!
Show ‘em What You’ve Got
If you’ve got accessories to offer, bring them with you when you hit the streets. Have your tablet ready and fully charged to give someone a demonstration or go through the website with them. If you sell physical products, but you have an online store, it’s a great idea to show people the website or the catalog of products you offer. For example, you might not get away with selling diamond glass bongs on a street corner, but you can absolutely have them loaded up on your tablet to let passers-by scroll through the options.
Make the Rounds
One of the most productive ways to use your time while engaging in grassroots marketing strategies for your cannabis startup is to partner with another local company that is related to your business, but not in direct competition. For example, you might partner with an accessory shop that doesn’t offer cannabis, but has plenty of product to support your buyers. You aren’t taking anything away from them and your “pop-up” shop can help both of your businesses prosper. It’s a great way to build relationships with other business owners, and you can bet on referrals from the mutually exclusive relationship you share with one another.
Ask for Help
When you are taking to the streets to talk to people, rather than try to sell them something, ask for their assistance in making your product better. A lot of people want to present a perfectly perfect product, but the way to get people involved and invested in what you are doing is to ask for their help. Even if your product is amazing and perfectly perfect, you can count on someone to have an opinion about how to improve it. Of course, you don’t need to take their advice – it is your product after all – but you can use that interaction as a chance to build your email list, report on your findings, get people excited about how things have changed over time related to the product and get ready for a sale when your product drops. Don’t be lazy and just send a survey out online – talk to people in person. It’s a great way to stand out and cut through the noise in the internet. There’s a lot to learn and teach about the cannabis industry so don’t waste these opportunities.
Whether you have a large cannabis startup or a small one, using grassroot techniques and strategies to get the word out about your business is a great way to connect with people that matter and who can help influence your reach in a really dynamic way. Sure, it might take a little longer to reach people when you aren’t buying Google Ad Placements online, but these relationships and interactions are worth more than a click or a like on Facebook anyday. If you want your business to grow, you need to be seen. And the number one way to be seen is to talk to people in real time, in real life, and on real streets.