Promoting a small business isn't about placing ads in the local paper and offering a BOGO coupon or free appetizer with purchase.  It's about building a following and standing out from the crowd.  It's about creating a memorable identity and doing things that people remember and talk about, whether they were there or not.
Located in Atlanta's eclectic Fourth Ward district, Jake's Ice Cream & Sorbets knows all about this strategy.  The shop doesn't have a million-dollar facade or flashy Hollywood interior, but they do have what counts: Great ice cream and a lot of character.  Their latest promotion is just one example of the myriad ways in which they turn customers into fans.

Opening up their parking lot to arts and crafts vendors, bringing in live local talent and using eye-catching graphics, Jake's has created an event out of a 'farewell to summer' weekend and created lots of goodwill in the community, all the while generating tons of word-of-mouth advertising.  Their facebook page has accumulated almost 2,000 fans and [with the help of a few staunch supporters] the event page [] has racked up about 3,000 invitations.  Social media posts have brought the event to the attention of tens of thousands of local residents.  Not too shabby for a shop that would probably fit in your garage.
The moral of this story: Don't be afraid to stand out from the crowd.  Be creative ... and perhaps a little crazy.  You'll be amazed at what it could do for your business ... and your bottom line.
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