Unorthodox Advertising Channels for Cell Phone Repair Shops

by Hassan

I remember being in the grocery store at the checkout, wearing my company jacket. And the checkout clerk said to me, “Hey! I hear your ads on the radio all the time!”. It was the first time someone had let me know, but this was really fantastic to hear! Primarily at this time, because I hadn’t actually run any ads for about a year at that time, not even through my cell phone repair shop software.

Another time I ran some newspaper ads for about a month in our local paper (city of about 65,000, and 2 papers a week). No influx of phone calls… but over the next year, I would receive business from customers who told me they clipped and saved that newspaper ad.

So, here’s how that happened…

Who is Your Audience?

The great thing about having a repair shop (my first business was a VERY niche market so choosing the right advertising was difficult), is that nearly every person with a pulse is our customer. 

To really go into the details, you can check your cell phone repair shop software to figure out the general demographics.

What’s the Best Marketing Channel for Cell Phone Repair Shops?

Over my years of business (and not just in the electronic repair industry), I’ve explored many different avenues of print and digital advertising. I know you’re here to find out the easy answer… which one works best? 

Ready for it? 

All of them! 

I’m not a marketing expert by any means, but I’ve listened to those who are. The message they all stick to (and it’s my experience) is that consistency is key. 

It’s not just so that they can consistently take your hard-earned money and slap your name on some flyers. But, consistency in the fact that your potential customers will constantly see, recognize and remember your repair shop’s name. 

What to Expect From Your Advertisements?

In the past (and currently!), I have advertised through:

  • Google Ads
  • Facebook Ads
  • Billboards
  • “Ad-vans” <- mobile billboard on a truck or van
  • Flyers distributed through Canada Post
  • Newspaper ads
  • Radio

After each bout of dollars spent, I have eagerly awaited instant results, millions of phone calls, and a drastic inflow of cash. Every time, I’m generally disappointed in any lack of early retirement potential. 

The greatest trap of DIY advertising is we make a lot of mistakes and don’t even know which one is a mistake. Check out this article for your reference.

That’s why it’s always better to grab the opportunity to get free marketing consultation whenever possible.

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However, with patience and questioning of new customers, I’ve found that each method has indeed been effective, and what has worked the best is as I mentioned… consistency and variation. Consistently put your name out there, and vary the method to reach different people. 

You can run automated marketing through your cell phone repair shop software and announce offers and discounts.

Sometimes advertising isn’t about paid marketing. Sometimes you are advertising yourself, through community involvement, being active on social media, and more.

Tip & Tricks

Become a walking, driving brand

In my city’s community Facebook groups, the combination of regular advertising, and word-of-mouth reputation has “bought” me instant recommendations whenever there is a “Where should I get my iPad fixed” post. 

These days, there is an immediate recommendation of my repair shop by at least 3-4 past customers. Hardly anyone posts about a competitor. I couldn’t tell you who owns the competition. They don’t have names or personal connections to the community. 

Most of my customers know who I am, know my wife, recognize my car (it’s wrapped and branded), and know what I do and don’t fix. 

Introduce yourself

When there is a recommendation in a group, I make sure to like/thank each one, and then I post an introduction of myself to the new potential customer about my business, plus a link to my easy check-in process on my website thanks to the RepairDesk cell phone repair shop software’s appointment calendar widget.

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Know your demographic

Nearly every advertising method you choose will attract a different demographic. Social media and radio ads on popular stations will bring awareness to the younger market. Newspaper ads and mail flyers will get saved by seniors.

Billboards and word of mouth (join your local Chamber of Commerce and get networking!) will bring awareness to everyone else. 

Don’t be shy of spending or bargaining

Spend what you can, where you can. Negotiate deals. Advertisers are constantly trying to fill quotas. Call your local paper, meet the sales rep, and let them know your cell phone repair shop is working on a budget and would like to be called when they have a last-minute opening or cancellation. You are the customer, and you have the power. They’ll likely call you back soon enough offering better rates or an actual last-minute deal. 

Set aside an advertising budget for rainy days

Another important tip… when things are slow, advertise, advertise, advertise. I know it’s difficult, but set aside funds for marketing. Set up a separate “rainy day” bank account if need be, and use that money for advertising when times are slow. There are all sorts of great stories out there about companies that survived a downturn or slow times by investing heavily in marketing rather than cutting back on spending.

How to go About Advertising?

Now that you know what you need to do, how are you going to do it?

Consistency can do wonders – Ask yourself… which realtor in your area do you know by name? I bet you know exactly what they look like too. They generally have a pretty large advertising budget which we likely can’t match. But think about it. You see them everywhere, you hear them everywhere, and you know exactly who I’m talking about. That’s consistency.

Keep tabs on your competitors – Check out your local competition. How does their website look? Where do you see them advertising? What is their branding like? Are they using a cell phone repair shop software for advertising?

It’s important that your look and branding are unique so that customers won’t mistake you for another. 

Hire pros for branding – It’s equally important that your look and branding are professional. If you don’t have a knack for graphic design (I took some courses a million years ago, as I really wanted to do web & graphic design as a career. Turns out I’m just not that great at it!), pay a professional. You’ll have lots of local options, and plenty online that will specialize in repair shops. Many shops will be happy to refer you to who they used. My go-to guy? Sergio @ Graphic Bacon.

You don’t need Apple’s advertising budget to have quality marketing. Just carefully spend what you can and when you can. Maintain a consistent brand image, and maintain consistent advertising. 

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