As well as implementing a search engine optimisation program, creating a page on Facebook and using Twitter, Sarah knew she needed some creative strategies to get people to her business.
She decided to keep her website relatively simple and instead invest in a site with her local business alliances - a beauty salon, a masseuse, a fashion retailer, a shoe shop, a photographer, a homewares shop and a cafe. These businesses created a VIP card to give all their clients discounts at all of the businesses and then each contributed to build a local community website. Sarah used competitions, the forum and advertising on this site to drive traffic to her own website, in particular the online appointments functionality.
Sarah's alliances soon became her main source of leads, so she decided to maximise on this by running joint events with the other businesses. Once a quarter, one of the businesses would host a party and each alliance invited their own clients. Each business would contribute their services to the event - for example, a fashion parade with outfits supplied by the fashion retailer and the shoe shop, and hair and make-up from the hairdresser and beauty salon. Also, the photographer took photos at all these events and put them in a gallery on the website for attendees to view the next day. A small fee was charged to cover the cost of alcohol and food, but it was very reasonable so the attendance was always high. Clients were emailed an invitation a few weeks in advance and could book and pay for their ticket on the VIP website. After these events, Sarah always got lots of hits on her website and new clients booking appointments.