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Thread: Limo Advertising

  1. #1

    Default Limo Advertising

    Hi, Im a new limo/operator in Philadelphia. Here is my question. What is the most effective advertising to get airport runs? I dont want to spend alot of money on ineffective advertising and with no result. I recently paid money to LIMOS.com but I got one trip out of 200 leads. Not on person returned my email and most who left numbers were not interested or looking for a dollar ride. I need more airport runs in Philly, Newark, JFK and Baltimore. Boston too. If anyone can help me out, would be great!!
    Vinny J.
    Black Diamond Transportation LLC
    website-www.blackdiamond1.com
    Email-info@blackdiamond1.com
    Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/blackdiamondtransllc
    Follow us on twitter @blackdiamond623
    Office- 267-364-5006

  2. #2

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    What is your marketing strategy?

    Two primary goals of marketing that you need to be able to address are 1. You need people in your target market to know you exist. 2. You need to have a compelling answer to why they should choose your company.

    If your answer to number 2 above includes anything about price, you're already out of business. There is no way for a one man operation to compete against larger companies with economies of scale that deal in great amounts of volume.

    Another thing I will ad is that if you don't have a clearly defined marketing strategy in place, you can throw an unlimited amount of money into advertising with no results. If you have no salesmanship skills, you need to work on that as well.

    I Googled your company and came up with a Yelp! listing. You have a free advertising platform available and it tells me nothing about your company other than you're a small one car service. Everything on your account is generic and really tells me nothing other than to move on. The only redeeming factor was when I saw at the bottom that you were a veteran. That sets you apart from other companies. You absolutely need to focus on what makes you different. And you need pictures. You have a logo, why don't you have any pictures of your vehicle(s). In fact, you don't even list what vehicles you use.

    The other thing that struck me is that you're offering a 50% off deal on Yelp! After Yelp! takes its 30% commission, how can you accept $38 for $110 worth of service!? You have to get a handle on your cost of doing business. If you don't know how much it costs you to provide service, you will have no way to justify your pricing to a potential client. I don't know anything about your company but I can still tell you that with that deal, several things will happen. 1. If you even sell any, you will not make any money on the job, you might even take a loss. 2. The client that uses a coupon will not use your service without a coupon in the future because that puts your service at an entirely different price point. 3. You will be wasting your time and energy on clients that are not and will never be profitable.

    There is no secret company that you pay that will send you clients with money to spend. If limos.com was so awesome, why wouldn't they just buy their own limos and handle all the great clients that they bring in? Simple... They make their money off of small operators. The clients they attract are cheapos. It's not working, you said it yourself. Next month will be more of the same. Drop them immediately.
    Andrew Armitage
    Vintage Chauffeuring LLC
    Andrew@VintageChauffeuring.com
    www.VintageChauffeuring.com

  3. #3

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    One last thought... You're a veteran. Use your GI Bill benefits to go to school and get a business degree! I assure you that there is a much greater return on investment from that than there is on a limos.com advertising package.
    Andrew Armitage
    Vintage Chauffeuring LLC
    Andrew@VintageChauffeuring.com
    www.VintageChauffeuring.com

  4. #4

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    Do you have a website?

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Limo Scene's Avatar
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    Wow Vintage!!! Excellent response. A bit harsh but accurate. Here' something to consider black diamond, there is advertising and there is a marketing. They are two distinct functions. I don't have a lot of time so I am going to summarize here.....

    Advertising is meant to draw a compelling sale on a fairly immediate basis or what is referred to as an "impulse buy". Think about seeing that Big Mac commercial and deciding to get McDonald's tonight as a direct result of the idea planted in your head. We do not have an "impulse buy" product/service. No one is going to see a commercial with your car and suddenly decide to take a trip.

    Instead, you need to market. That is the repetitive exposure of your name and logo over and over and over within your community to make your company a household name. This way, when they do need the type of service you offer, they think of YOU first!!!!

    As for doing that, attend functions of your local chamber of commerce and roll up your sleeves and get involved. Join the convention and visitors bureau, travel bureau or other associations in your community. Don't just be a member, work the group. Visit with the sales offices of major hotels and know the sales manager well. If you drink, drink at their bar once in awhile and talk to the bartenders. People staying at hotels have guests traveling to/from the airport. Let the bartenders become ambassadors for you.

    If there are organizations in your community like, "Women in business" or Rotary International, ask if you can be a speaker at a meeting and share with these groups what you do and mention that you want to be more involved in charity work in your community and mean it! The more people/groups you can get in touch with the more your name will be known.

    If there is a sports team that might need transportation, consider trading a year worth of rides for a year worth of sign display at their events..... You have to connect with the community, week after week after week. It isn't a one-time campaign but a lifelong job.
    Jim A. Luff
    Forum Moderator
    Contributing Editor & Consultant - LCT Magazine

    Limousine Scene - An Award Winning Company Since 1990
    Bakersfield, CA
    Limousines, Sedans, Vans, Charter Buses, Limo-Buses, Wheelchair Vans www.limousinescene.com

  6. #6

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    "No event is too small for us" - - You're scaling your business right there. When I first started with one car three years ago I answered an e-mail blast sent from a UK company looking for Town Car service for about 70 people arriving on the same day two months down the road. Remember - one car. I had no business bidding on it and I had no business getting it but I did. I scraped up every operator I had made friends with over the last 10 years worked 20 hour days, and farmed out what I couldn't do myself. And now, we're up to five cars and a mini-bus and we get every event this company does. Luck? Sure, but also a lot of hard work and being in the right place at the right time. And you have to make sure you are IN the right place. One evening standing at the airport a young lady came over, looked at the sign I was holding and said, No...you're not him. I asked her what she was looking for and she said her driver had not shown up "again"!!! I handed her a card and said I'd never leave her standing; I forgot about it and moved on. She called three days later and booked two airport rides then contracted with me for everything her company does here. Turns out it's a huge NYC consulting company and they come here a lot. Really a lot.

    You've got some good advice up above. I hope my little story helps some.
    John Harris
    Owner Operator
    Austin Ultimate Sedans

  7. #7

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    After re-reading my post, I might have seemed like I was a bit harsh. That wasn't my intention. But I wish someone grabbed me and told me the harsh reality of things, and got me on track a while ago. Instead, I made many of the common mistakes over the last 2 years. It really set my company's progress back quite a bit. Luckily, I'm figuring it out now and doing better than ever.

    Blackdiamond, I saw in another post that you have a 2013 Suburban and a 2013 Chrysler 300. You have nice new cars! Get nice pictures of them up asap! Potential clients are always worried small operators will have old, high mileage, beat cars. Show them you don't. Show a picture of what you're wearing when you pick them up. And when you are a small company with one or two people, let people know who you are, your name and your picture. You yourself are more of the product than the cars. People like doing business with other people, not faceless corporations. If they have a choice, they will pick you if you look like you can compete. Let people know who you are!
    Last edited by Vintage Limos; January 21st, 2014 at 11:49 PM.
    Andrew Armitage
    Vintage Chauffeuring LLC
    Andrew@VintageChauffeuring.com
    www.VintageChauffeuring.com

  8. #8

    Default

    One other thing. As a small operator, you need to create a narrative for your company. People love stories. They love hard workers. They love people with dreams. They love underdogs. People get pulled into great stories and will want to do business with you if you can communicate it.

    Look at Duck Dynasty on tv. Has nothing to do with the product and everything to do with the people and the story. I don't even hunt and I want to buy one of their duck calls!
    Last edited by Vintage Limos; February 24th, 2014 at 01:44 PM.
    Andrew Armitage
    Vintage Chauffeuring LLC
    Andrew@VintageChauffeuring.com
    www.VintageChauffeuring.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Default

    Also look at different networking groups. A lot of them meet early in the morning before normal hours start. We have had great success with a good web site as a starting point. Get one that looks like it was made just for your service , not one off a shelf.
    Good Luck

  10. #10

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    I really do enjoy this site, often some great advice and experience come out in threads, and this certainly has some, thanks all who offer great wisdom

  11. #11

    Default

    I am new to this site and to the business. This post really helps out with what to do and how to get your name out there to the public. Really good advice from Andrew and Jim. Thanks guys for your wisdom and helping the small operators outs!

  12. #12
    Super Moderator Limo Scene's Avatar
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    Thinking back to when we had no money and trying to get our name out there, what we did that I could do the driving myself with minimum cost. Contact every radio station in your town. Ask for the Promotions Director. Tell them you are willing to do promotional work with them for station mentions or trade. If you have any minor league sports teams, contact their promotions director and ask them if you can deliver special guests or a mascot to the field/ice etc. in the limousine in exchange for a night of P.A mentions. See if you can find a restaurant that would be willing to donate 8 lunches per week in exchange for being on the radio every single day and then take your idea to a radio station promotions director and call it....Lunch On Us.

    Stop by every travel agent in town and give them your business card. If you can't afford to provide brochures, go to Kinko's and photo copy price lists in mass quantity and drop off a bunch.
    Jim A. Luff
    Forum Moderator
    Contributing Editor & Consultant - LCT Magazine

    Limousine Scene - An Award Winning Company Since 1990
    Bakersfield, CA
    Limousines, Sedans, Vans, Charter Buses, Limo-Buses, Wheelchair Vans www.limousinescene.com

  13. #13

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    Hi! I'm new here too, but a friend works for another company and we brainstormed about this very topic a few years ago. You've just got to get creative and take advantage of EVERY opportunity. I don't know if he did this or not (one of my crazy ideas!), but I told him he should get in touch with event planners, conference organizers and wedding planners...as well as film production companies, etc. See if you can offer a wee discount and get on their "list". You never know what could come of it!

    I am here doing a bit of research for my husband, who wants to start a limo company. He loves cars and loves to drive. I told him he could drive and I'll run the business!

    Lots of great tips here. Thanks!!!

  14. #14
    Super Moderator Limo Scene's Avatar
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    Jamie, you have a good idea. Let me make it better. Most "planners" have the end-user pay the bill. So, if you offer a discount, the end-user client enjoys the benefit of the relationship between the planner and the provider. Here's a better way to get their attention. Charge the going rate to the end user and turn around and offer the planner a 10% commission on the order. Greed drives people. If they can make additional money from the limo company on top of their client fees, it give them even more motivation to use your services. Since we pay 10% commission to travel agents, we certainly don't mind passing it on to anyone that brings us business on a steady and repeat basis.
    Jim A. Luff
    Forum Moderator
    Contributing Editor & Consultant - LCT Magazine

    Limousine Scene - An Award Winning Company Since 1990
    Bakersfield, CA
    Limousines, Sedans, Vans, Charter Buses, Limo-Buses, Wheelchair Vans www.limousinescene.com

  15. #15

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    Lots of good information here
    Elegant Knights Limo-Party Bus
    http://getonthebusandpartywithus.com/

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