Ryan, I gave up yellow pages in 96. A complete waste for me. I found anytime I did get an enquiry, they were ringing everyone on the page or section anyway so you had a low % of success.
I don’t advertise at all now.
All my work is referal. Because I don’t advertise, I’ll do a freebie for a client that I really want. Especially if it will lead to a lot of work. When I see a project that needs a lot of signs to be redone, I’ll see the management and make mention that the signs are a bit daggy, offer to quote them on replacements, and offer the least expensive sign to create, for free, if they want to get the job redone.
One of my biggest clients approached me for a lot of little signs, so I offered to do the first one for free as an opportunity to show him the quality of my work, without him having to have any risk. I’ve had that client for 9 years.
Local advertising in the paper here for a small advert is about $260 per week. I know then that I can giveaway $260 work of signage before I am spending more than it will cost me to advertise. $260 worth of material is a fair few signs.
The only thing is you have to know that your potential client is worth investing in the free sign for.
The other thing is I do free signs for local community groups that have a high profile in the community. I get a bit of work from that, certainly repays the investment.
I also do free signs for my major clients to donate to their kids sports functions etc. They never forget you for that. Most of my major clients that I do this with never even ask me for a quote now.
Hope that helps mate