Sandwich Sign Lessons
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I just got in from spending about an hour and half on the New York City streets wearing a “sandwich sign”. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please click on the link to the YouTube video below.
Resumes While you Wait
I got the idea for the sandwich sign because I’ve used it before for a business that I owned in NYC in the late 80s called Resumes-While-U-Wait. In addition to creating info products and teaching classes I ran this business for a couple of years.
I had a guy named Gregory who would do the heaving lifting in this area. He stood on the corner
with flyers in hand. They made good on what the sign promised: $5 off with this coupon
This time I was prepared with very well thought out little MINI-FLYERS. They had some very compelling copy on them. Only problem was that I only handed ONE out the whole time.
Why? Because the sign didn’t ASK them to approach me to GET something. Therefore, most people, just gave me a weird look and read the sign.
Here are some thing I learned:
Look for newspaper vendors to know where to go
If you ever do this on the streets yourself, rather than try to guess where the best (most traffic)
place to stand is, look for the folks selling newspapers, they’ve already scouted your locations for you.
Where to Stand?
Don’t neglect the people in cars.
There are a ton of people who commute by rail and subway, but there are also a TON of people on the streets driving back from work.
(Don’t ask me why, I would SHOOT myself to have to commute in NYC traffic!)
Position the sign when walking so that the people in the vehicles driving (if you call 2 miles an hour driving) can see the sign and read the website name.
I saw a few cops on my way to do my thing and asked them for the laws regarding doing what I was about to do.
They told me that as long as I kept moving and did not become a pedestrian hazzard I was OK.
They also said to be careful if I was handing out any literature. If people threw the stuff on the ground I could catch flak for that. I knew that one from 20 years back.
As I started walking around I noticed that the cops were pretty cool as long as you weren’t being a pain the butt. They weren’t hassling me or any of the other people out there hawking their stuff.
Crosswalks for MAXIMUM Exposure
If you do get out on the streets of a large city with a sandwich sign, crosswalks are your friend. People who are waiting for the light to change tend to look to where they are going across the street.
YOU can position yourself to maximize the number of eyeballs on you by creatively loitering at the crosswalks!
Sign Dimension? Where to put the holes
I had my signs made 36″X24″. If I had it to do again, I would make them about 30″X20″. Thats all you need to attract attention and they would probably fit better and not bang into your legs below your knees.
I’d also put the holes closer to the center of the sign. Remember, they have to HANG on your shoulders. If you ever do this, MEASURE to make sure you get it right. I did NOT!!!
You can’t move very fast or much – but who cares
With one of these on you can’t move very fast. I felt like I had moved to Florida and was moving at the speed of the “old folks” (I know we’ll all be there one day!!) who move REALLY slow on their walkers.
BUT, in this case, NO problem. Walking slower is a distinct benefit. More people will see you. AND, you’re getting practice for later on in life when you have little choice!
Shuffling off to Buffalo, now has new meaning for me.
Street vendors in NYC can be an odd bunch. I was getting kind of hungry and approached a hot dog vendor. I’ve been on a new healthy eating binge and this seemed PERFECT!
I only had twenties in my pocket. When I pulled it out he said he had no change. I knew it was BS but this is what street vendors DO in NYC. I should know better.
My suggestion is to make sure you have plenty of dollar bills on you. Who knows, you may bump into the Larry Flynt girls!!
(Sorry ladies!! – It’s a guy thing!)
JC Penney people
JC Penney just opened a new store (the first one in Manhattan) relatively close by and they have an entourage of women out there dressed in read JC Penny shirts holding clipboards.
They were offering people the chance to win $1000. I KNOW my offer was better, but FAT CHANCE convincing the general public of this!
For some reason they were allowed to stand in one place. I guess when you run a BIG business and employ lots of people the city tends to turn a blind eye to things us LITTLE GUYS can’t get away with.
NYTimes guy who asked me a question
I had this really obnoxious newspaper sales DUDE who asked me what the sign was all about. I just said:
“I don’t know, some guy paid me to wear it.”
I suggest you have this line in your pocket, ready to use for anyone who wants a full explanation where you don’t want to give one!
Offline meets online marketing
But Fred, what the heck are you doing? You’re in an ONLINE business and you’re out on the streets of NYC?????
Yes, Grasshopper, but marketing your online business should not JUST be done with online means. You should use any and all means to drive traffic to your site(s).
Larry Flynt Club girls
While on the streets I bumped into 3 women wearing white T-Shirts with the words: Larry Flynt Club or something like that on the shirts.
For those of you who don’t know, Larry has a little magazine that would fall under the category of “Girlie Magazine” to put it MILDLY.
Anyway, these gals were being paid to simply “hang out” in a heavily trafficed area. I asked them if they were getting paid and they said YES!
One of them took down my website address on her cell phone. Who knows, you may meet her after she becomes a mega-success at one of my future seminars/events.
(PS – I would NOT be holding my breath on that one! But, who am I to judge?)
Sorry to put this item right after the Larry Flynt stuff, but here goes. I was very careful to watch people’s eyes. About 10% seemed to actually look at the sign and read what it said.
Why? It’f friggin NYC!!! People are already bombarded with stimuli. This is just one more piece of NOISE in their already hectic day.
VERY similar to websites. If you think that people visit your site and spend a long time looking at it, in MOST cases you’re DEAD WRONG!!!
As I was having a hard time navigating through the throngs of people I thought it might have been better to just have a T-shirt with my pitch on it.
I don’t think so. Everyone has seen a T-shirt. Very few people in “this era” have seen a sandwich sign. Even in the late 80’s it was kind of an anomaly.
So, although the T-Shirt would have made it easier, I think it would have gotten a LOT less interest and eyeballs.
I’m in this business for a long time and I still screwed this up. I’ve been working on so much other s**t that I forgot to set up my adtracker in WebMarketingMagic.com.
For this project, I need to know the following:
1. How many people went to the site.
2. How many people then opted-in.
3. How many people from that group bought.
(PS – PLEASE do NOT click through to the link when you see the video. It will screw up my numbers. You can get all the same free stuff on my main site: FredGleeck.com.)
I paid about $200 total for all the elements of the sign for here in NYC. That’s about double what I paid for the one in Vegas.
Why? A few reasons. The one is Vegas is being made with lighter and I presume cheaper materials.
I suspect that I may have been penny-wise and pound foolish on this one. The signs in NYC will probably hold up a LOT longer than the ones in Vegas. BUT, the Vegas signs will be easier to handle because they are lighter.
The signs here in NYC are made of a thick plastic. The Vegas signs, which I pick up on Friday are made of some type of corrogated plastic.
If I hadn’t been so implusive (I doubt THAT will ever change) I should have waited to see what happened in NYC before ordering the Vegas signs.
(Note to self: Find a “How to be Less Impulsive Class” and take it a soon a possible!!)
Why do this? Why not hire someone to do this?
I’m sure you may be thinking: This is a great idea Fred, but why not PAY someone else to do it.
First off, as you know, I’m really cheap. I LOVE to make money and HATE to spend it. AND, I’m one of those people who enjoys doing this kind of stuff. I find it fun.
Can you imagine some of the other “gurus” doing this? HA! Who cares, I say. This fits my personality and I’ll do it as a test. If it works, I will probably hire someone like Gregory to do it for me.
That’s AFTER I take a look at the numbers and know they are working!!
PS – I wrote this REALLY fast. I apologize in advance for any super bad grammar or typos!
PPS – If you go to the video, you are right, I have not shaved in a few days – it’s SUMMER!
I will keep you posted on this “ploy” and my car wrapping deal as time goes on. The numbers are pretty YOUNG at this point.
Kind of like Jerry Lee Lewis’ wives!
All the Best for Now,