Low Cost Marketing Ideas
Written on the 1 June 2013 by Kellie Williams
For small business owners, whether it’s a smash repair shop or a clothing boutique, the marketing budget is usually not very big. Marketing, however is one of the most important elements of the start-up of your business and in helping it grow. The plain fact is that your business won't make any profit if people don’t know about you. 'You can't sell a secret' is as true in business as it is in real estate.
So, you need to market your business to increase its earning capacity, but you need to earn more to increase your marketing budget. It can be a dog chasing its tail but there are low cost and easy ways to step out of the cycle and market your business effectively. You don’t need an expensive TV commercial or a sophisticated direct mail system, you just need a little creative thinking and a whole lot of determination. This is your livelihood after all, and you have to believe in it.
Send out a press release
You will need something that makes your business different or an interesting story for the media to run with your story. But you'll be rewarded with instant (and free) publicity.
Start a blog
You can create a blog (short for (web log) with a free blogging service. Sites like www.problogger.net have valuable knowledge about how to start your blog and how to write quality content that advertises your blog and displays your expertise in the industry your business is involved in.
If you can find another like-minded business in the same genre you can both offer deals and discounts for each others clients. You might be a make-up artist offering a discount with a hairdresser, or put together a wedding package with a few other businesses. If you can manage it, it's better if the other business is in your local area too, as this makes it easier for clients to use both of your services.
Use social networking sites
Yes, it may be tedious but it can be worth the effort. Most people are on Facebook or Twitter these days and checking their pages at least once a day. Why not offer a daily facebook deal or update your page with news about your business. It only takes a few minutes and it's free! Facebook also offer advertising with many different budgets in mind. You can target specific members too, by age, gender, locality etc.
Networking can take time and the results might not be immediately available but rest assured, getting yourself out there, meeting like-minded people and talking about your business will pay off.
Volunteering is another great way to get you out of your comfort zone, and also give back to the community. It is important for every business to find and support a charity in their community as it reflects on their spirit and energy. When you give out, you always get back.
Viral marketing is your best friend. Word-of-mouth is extremely powerful, and it’s even stronger if you give customers an incentive to refer your business to others. Offer your service or product for free to every person that refers your service or product to someone else
Conduct a Free Seminar
A free seminar is a great way to show off your expertise and knowledge of your service or product. If you are selling a product, you can do a demonstration, but make sure it doesn’t feel or sound like an info-mercial!
If you focus on educating potential customers, bringing value to your community, and making great first impressions, viral marketing will take over and you’ll find yourself not needing to spend much time thinking about marketing.
Author: Kellie Williams
About: Kellie studied Commercial Art over 20 years ago at James Cook University and has been working in the Printing and Media industries ever since. She has worked for screenprinters, printing companies and newspapers in North Queensland and now runs her own business, Jasper Design, which has Qld and interstate clients.Connect via: Twitter LinkedIn