You don’t have the same budget as big corporates, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be smart about how you spend your money. Marketing your business is one of those necessary things that might be difficult to measure, but it’s an absolute must if you want your business to be successful. In life and in business having outstanding skills is only half of success – the half that you might not be able to show off unless you have an audience who knows who you are.
I strongly believe that some of the most effective marketing tools are those that don’t cost too much money. Here a few of my tips you might want to consider if money is too tight to mention:
2. Set up social media accounts
Take your time to decide which few platforms are relevant to your business and promote your business via regular updates.
3. Learn to tag
Tagging helps search engines to pick up your content so think about the most relevant words your clients will use in order to find you.
4. Build a database
Once you established your business online start focusing on building a database of contacts – offer a newsletter subscription, use gated content, capture your social media followers or build your list through prospecting.
5. Send out regular email campaigns
As your database grows, consider sending regular email campaigns to remind your audience of your business. Offer something of value that is not only worth reading but also worth sharing.
6. Use competitions to generate interest
Have a think about possible giveaways and interactions that are relevant to your business. Doesn’t matter how small the competition is, as long as there is something interesting worth competing for.
7. Build your network
Relationships sell, so try to network as much as possible. Start with your online networks and have a look at who you know from the past, then review connections in common.
8. Attend face to face events
Look out for networking event to meet with your prospective clients. Have a look at Eventbrite to search for a relevant event near you.
9. Start a blog
Talk about what you know and help others by providing valuable insight. A blog will also drive traffic to your website and help you build your online profile as an expert in your field.
10. Look at freelancing opportunities
There are more opportunities for freelancers than ever before. Have a look at Freelancer or Upwork. It will also help you to find inspiration for additional projects to add to your portfolio.
11. Write guest blogs
In addition to your own blog, get in touch with other bloggers to see if you can get additional coverage. You can return the favour by publishing guest blogs on your site.
12. Attend award ceremonies
Great socialising and business opportunity. Tickets might be a little more pricey, so pick the ones you want to attend carefully – if picked correctly, the likelihood is that you will have everyone that matters in one room. The same room you will be at.
13. Support the community
Do something good. Pick a cause close to your heart and get everyone involved. You will not only be noticed but also be seen as someone who cares about the community and you will feel good about it too!
14. Run a survey
Research is always interesting and credible so it works really well for media pitches. If you could run a short survey getting your clients involved it will help you showcase the good work you are already delivering.
15. Host an event
Have a think about formats your audience is likely to attend. It doesn’t need to be anything expensive – as long as you can pick the right format.
16. Organise a webinar
More cost-effective than face to face events, but with very similar outcomes, all you need is a platform to broadcast your session. A great thing about webinars is the ability to reuse the recording for future communications.
17. Attend a trade show
Have a wander around relevant trade shows and see what’s out there. The likelihood is that you will have ad hoc conversations with delegates and exhibitors and most certainly you will learn something new.
18. Use video
Leverage the reach of YouTube and create short videos to share with your audience. If you can identify and create “how to” guides or anything similar that can be helpful for others you will get them interested.
19. Get on the phone
Don’t underestimate the impact of phone calls. Don’t just cold call, but follow up on previous communications. This gives you a reason to call and the person on the other side on the line will be more likely to know who you are.
20. Offer complimentary services
Depending on what’s the nature of your business, consider providing free samples or complimentary consulting sessions. People will remember you have done that and the probability of them returning as paying customers is higher (although not guaranteed).
21. Ask for feedback
Ask your existing customers for feedback on what your did well and focus on repeating the success scenario. Not only will this help you to drive new business but also strengthen the relationships with your existing clients.
22. Use your email signature
Make it easy to your clients to get in touch with you by having all your contact information as part of your signature. If possible, add links to your social media accounts and use your signature to highlight any news your clients might be interested in.
23. Create an e-book
If relevant, consider compiling an e-document that you can use as a giveaway. Doesn’t have to be long – as long as your clients can learn something new.
24. Look for speaking opportunities
Keep an eye out for industry events and see if you can put yourself forward as a speaker. Being a speaker is great for your personal and business’ branding – especially if you are a good speaker and can make a good impression.
25. Use online forums
Be where your clients are and offer answers to their issues and questions. Forums are very popular with people who are looking to find out more, so responding to them directly will help to establish your profile as an expert.
26. Learn about SEO
Not only for your website, but also any social media interactions. You won’t be able to market yourself to your clients if you are not even able to get to them. Keep up with the trends and look out for ongoing improvements.
27. Ask for testimonials
Use your happy clients to promote your business by asking them for testimonials. There is nothing better to prove your skills that having a satisfied customer telling everyone else.
28. Use case studies
Write up the success stories to date and use them as a foundation for your marketing campaigns. Doesn’t matter of you can’t use your client’s name. Everyone loves a good story – so share yours.
29. Use direct marketing
As everyone is focused on digital, anything physical gets noticed more. Think about giveaways that you can send to your clients – preferably something useful they will keep.
30. Don’t be afraid to experiment
Keep your eyes open and test new, innovative ways to promote your business. You won’t know until you test your ideas so as long as they don’t ruin you financially go ahead and try them out.