Marketing on a Budget
As I mentioned in my post last week about the importance of attaining business-building skills, you MUST seek out relevant/missing information and resources that will be necessary in growing your business. Since marketing is about getting people to BE AWARE of your product/service, WANT it, and BE WILLING TO PAY for it, it is crucial that you find and implement effective marketing tactics.
Now, unless or until you have the funds to afford to hire someone ELSE to do your marketing, you're going to have to learn to do it and implement it yourself. And, you must be spending an average of at least 3 hours a day on marketing tasks. So, what exactly should you spend that time on, and how can you do it thriftily yet effectively?
The first step–and an ongoing step–is to track where your leads & clients come from. How did they find you? NEVER DO ANY MARKETING WITHOUT A WAY TO TRACK IT.
I hope you have been asking this basic question with anyone who approaches you with interest in your product/service. If not, START DOING IT WITHOUT EXCEPTION. I created a tracking sheet for all my leads that has this as one of the columns of information I record that I can review. In your regular review (monthly, quarterly, yearly, after a marketing "campaign"), note your top 3 (or your top 20%, which follows the Pareto principle that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your marketing tactics) and spend more of your time/money on those.
If you're just starting out and don't have any "clients," it's very likely that you have people who you've worked with for free. How did they hear about you? Maybe it's just been word of mouth. That's a marketing tactic. Some businesses grow mostly through word-of-mouth referral.
Top No-Cost/Low-Cost Marketing Tactics
1. Referral, word-of-mouth–ask people you know or who have used you/your product to tell others about it (especially "raving fans")
2. Networking (many events are free or are lunch/dinner-time with a meal cost); look for people who could use what you have to offer, or would be willing to refer you to people they know who could
3. Speaking (see more details about this on my blog post)
- Website (free hosting is available from many providers, including your ISP and VistaPrints; you can start here, but you'll eventually want to pay for better quality and more options). Many companies, like PracticePaySolutions and GoDaddy, have basic easy-to-create and edit 5-page sites for as low as $4.99/month. Read here for more on this topic.
- Email. Contact people you know and tell them what you're up to with your business. Invite them to contact you (or invite them to coffee/lunch to explain it to them). Aslk them to pass the email on to people they know who might be interested. Make sure to do it in a respectful way so it's not seen as "spammy."
- Newsletter/Ezine (electronic magazine). When I first started offering a newsletter it was very basic, plain text (vs. html with fancy fonts, design, pictures. I wrote it twice a week and offered it to people I knew as well as anyone I networked with or who asked to receive it at speaking engagements I presented (via a sign-up sheet). Make sure it's relevant and valuable content, and includes offers to work with you or buy your product(s). Rule of thumb: 80% content, 20% sales.
- Social Media. Use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. (There are others, but start with these top 3; I'm not a fan yet of Google Plus). Take some free teleclasses to learn ways to set them up and use them for marketing.
- Teleclasses. Start offering teleclasses–teaching helpful content over the phone via a conference line. You can promote them through any of your other marketing efforts, but especially the online ones. You can get a free conference call line (and have access to an mp3 of the recording to use in other ways or to offer to people who couldn't be on the call live) with www.freeconferencecall.com. Make sure to include some offer during the call (a free consultation or strategy session; a freebie such as an audio/video or report–that gives them more info. and markets to them more; a product to purchase, etc. ALWAYS do teleclasses with a strategy to make an offer for more help (and to eventually work on turning them into paying customers).
As you start to test out some of these ideas, remember the first step–TRACK YOUR RESULTS!
Not sure how to integrate these valuable ideas into your business to get ideal clients and make more money with less effort and more fun? If you need help figuring out how, we need to talk! Schedule a complimentary MMM Strategy Session with me to identify which of the three keys of creating a successful business you are missing–Marketing, Mindset or Manifesting principles–and IMMEDIATE steps to take so you can sign more clients and make a difference in more lives!
Your partner in success,
Marketing, Mindset & Manifesting Coach