There is a natural stigma tied to the word “marketing”. It is often thought that if you market your business it will cost you an arm and a leg. If you are making a commercial or a print campaign, this can be quite true. However there are ways to recharge your business’s marketing strategy without sending profits plummeting. A unique, well-done, effective and consistent strategy is all you really need to concern yourself with, rather than determining success by the amount on the bottom line. That is why I decided to put together a small list of how any business can boost their visibility, lead generation, reputation and profits that’s free or inexpensive. All of the tips below are simple, easy to do and more importantly can put your business in a leadership role within your industry. Let’s take a look.
1. Blog Your Heart Out
Writing is extremely important in business. With most of the world turning to the web for advice, strategy, and solutions, it would be silly not to be adding to the pot. The important thing to keep in mind about blogging is that whatever you put out there should be to solve a problem, share exciting news, and simply to share information relevant both to your business’s services and target market’s interests. Don’t have a website or blog? No problem. There are many great services that can help you build your website or attach a blog to your current site, however they do cost money. If you are looking for an inexpensive or free way, check out these sites:
2. Join Hootsuite (www.hootsuite.com)
Do you have a Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and more? Or even just one account? We all know it is very time consuming to keep up with updating, responding, and exploring these social media platforms. Hootsuite is a simple tool that allows you to schedule social media posts, respond to messages and tweets, and view all your accounts in one place. It is free for small contacts, around 5 accounts or less. There other packages give you access to more tools and the number of accounts you can link.
3. Join a Networking Group
Almost every city or community has a networking group. These groups meet, interact, share information, leads, and help build each other’s businesses up. They are often either free or a small price. Attending a networking meeting gives you more practice in talking about what your business provides and allows you to meet others that can help you improve it.
4. Develop a Small Leave Behind
Almost every business has out of the office meetings or maybe you frequent a local place. Both of these are opportunities to leave behind something with your business’s information on it. For example, say you go to a local coffee shop three times a week. Develop a branded pen or a small business card that you can leave on a table or attach to a community board. Pens are functional and if it is a nice one, it can last and potentially stay in the coffee shop. There are also many sites that offer cheap or free business cards or samples.
For promotional items and ideas visit:
5. Say “Thank You”
Nowadays, saying “thank you” seems like something of the past. I know what you’re thinking: “I always say thank you”. But how do you do it? E-mail? In person? What about a letter? Writing a hand-written and heart-felt letter can show that your company cares and is willing to take the extra step to make sure you customers feel appreciated.
6. Hire an Intern
Hiring a student intern is a great way to bring new eyes and new ideas into a business. Work together with a local university to find and hire interns for credit or experience. This will improve your business’s reputation by helping students succeed.
7. Develop an E-mail Newsletter
Enabling a way for customers to give their name and e-mail on your site is a wonderful marketing strategy. You can develop newsletters and share them with a click of a button. This also can give you leads into new sales, partners, etc.
Site to help with email newsletters:
8. Attend or Sponsor a Community Event
This is a great way to show the compassionate and generous side of your business. Almost every city has local charity walks, cookouts, mixers, etc. that you can attend, donate, or volunteer at. These are great opportunities to increase visibility and to frankly get out of the office and into fresh air and see your community up close.
9. Offer a Free Seminar or Speak at a School or University
Knowledge is power. It’s a cliché, but it’s true. Offering a free class or seminar can do amazing things to your marketing strategy. It gives back to the community, can increase leads and visibility. Put up flyers on local community boards, post on your social media, and your website. You will be amazed at how many people love to attend events for free information, and sadly how few seminars exist. This is an open opportunity to take advantage of right now.
10. Create Educational Resources for Your Customers
Besides blogging and seminars, it is also important to create basic educational resources for your customers. Develop tip or strategy sheets, share relevant articles, or develop a YouTube series. There are many ways to share information and thus becoming an industry thought leader, all of which amps up your marketing strategy.
Rosie the Blogger photo credit: Mike Licht
Pen photo credit: Paul Worthington
Dalai Lama photo credit: @mjb
Cover photo credit: Marco Raaphorst