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Student living communities at regional campuses are still a fairly new concept. In my time as a student brand ambassador for a community I found it to be difficult at times to figure out what I should be doing to help grow the company – and that meant making students more aware of our existence and promoting the benefits of living close to campus.

Through many attempts failed and attempts succeeded, I learned from all of our efforts and found several ways in which I could advertise for the company.

Here are some really simple and out-of-the-box advertising ideas:

Be a walking billboard. I wore T-shirts and jackets with our logo on them all of the time to class and around the community. I even gave a few of my friends some shirts to do the same. The more times you see something the more interest it spikes. Brightly colored shirts will always be a great way to draw attention.

Class preparation. I always had pens in my backpack with our logo on them. When a classmate didn’t have a writing utensil I’d pull out one of the pens with the logo on it. They always keep their borrowed pen anyway – so I may as well get some free advertisement out of helping them out, I realized.

Community interaction. Our town had First Friday events where the city hosted a get-together downtown. Vendors and local business would set up tables and interact with the community. Even though we couldn’t always go to set up a table every time, I would go downtown and at least walk around with my brightly colored T-shirt. It attracted many people and I would have quite a few ask me questions.

The pamphlet drop. When we were told the local school was a non-solicitation private property, we had to be industrious. We abided by the rules of not blatantly soliciting our property on campus. However, when I left a classroom, sometimes I may have left a couple pamphlets on empty desks. I can’t admit to it all – but I did find some really key locations to ‘accidently’ leave some flyers behind.

Student interaction. This one can be a tough one since you cannot solicit on most school properties without express permission; however, you can engage in friendly conversation. Say hello to everyone you run into. The secret is to make them feel as if you’ve known them for years.  It will feel weird at first, but eventually you will say hi to someone four and five times then they will stop you in the hall and say, “I’m sorry, what’s your name again?” Bingo! An open opportunity to introduce yourself and throw in where you work (i.e. “That’s ok! My name is Megan, I work at the apartments across the street”). You just made a potentially very valuable connection.