Using Contests To Build Your Business

Every successful entrepreneur knows she must use a variety of marketing methods and tactics to influence her target audience to purchase her products or services. Customers and prospects must be educated and persuaded that your products are better than your competitor’s. They must be informed as to what your products can do for them and their families. They must be encouraged to buy NOW while the time is right. Most customers are not going to simply walk up to you and ask you to let them buy from you – at least not enough of them to keep your pantry stocked with food!

That’s why business promotion is mandatory. It increases your company’s visibility, both online and offline; adds credibility to your Website and products; enhances your business image; and ultimately attracts new business.

Finding cost-effective, easily implemented ideas that have the power to increase your sales in a way that conventional advertising (i.e., classified ads and banners) can’t is always a challenge. The key is to find methods that are appropriate for your target audience, your business marketplace and your professional style.

One promotional weapon that almost any business owner or direct sales person can begin to use immediately to promote your business is contests.

Many people think of the simple door prize drawing when they think of a contest, but there are many more exciting and appropriate events you can use.


• A Pampered Chef instructor can sponsor a cooking contest.

• An Avon rep can offer a prize to the one who can most stylishly accessorize a particular outfit (with Avon jewelry, of course!).

• A writing site can sponsor an essay contest.

• A graphics or Website designer can host a graphic or Website design competition.

• A gift shop could offer a prize for the best new handcraft idea (the store would, of course, own the design at the end of the contest).

• A temporary personnel office can sponsor a typing and office skills contest.

There are MANY other ideas such as:

• Grown-up spelling bee
• Most beautiful baby
• Doughnut, pie or hot dog eating
• Movie trivia quiz
• Pancake flipping
• Corn shucking
• Whitest smile contests

If you can dream it up, there will be someone who’ll join in the fun and competition to take a chance on winning a prize!

To promote your contest, be sure to:

• Send out a press release announcing the competition well in advance.

• Mail or email past and prospective customers and encourage them to enter and tell their friends.

• Notify ezine and magazine editors, webmasters and store owners whose readership and clientele would be interested.

• Invite professionals in the same field of expertise – such as local or online celebrities, writers, journalists or instructors – to serve as judges.

• Publicize the winner’s name and the winning entries on your Website, and offline in any way you can.

• Distribute the prizes quickly and jubilantly. Make the most of the entire event!

A contest can be fun and profitable for your business, in addition to building a sense of camaraderie and closeness with your contestants and judges. Think of the possibilities… then take a chance. This promotion strategy could be a real winner for you!

Article © Darlene ‘Dee’ Bishop. All rights reserved worldwide.

Darlene ‘Dee’ Bishop is a professional freelance writer and a World of Products distributor offering online and catalog shopping with over 3,500 quality gifts, home decor items, toys, housewares, furniture and more.


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