If you operate a small business, you know how difficult it can be to compete with the “big brands” when you have a limited marketing budget. Don’t let that seemingly-minuscule budget stop you from landing tons of sales!
The fact is that with a strategic approach, you can command more attention for your small business than ever and skyrocket profits in no time. To spark your inner marketing ninja, here are 11 ways to Market Your Small Business for less than $100.
Research your market
The more time you can invest in identifying not only your target markets, but the characteristics that would describe your ideal buyer types, the more you will be able to:
- Focus marketing efforts with laser-like precision (become a Jedi)
- Hone your marketing messages to attract and engage new clients
If you spend time analyzing the competitive field to look for their areas of weakness or gaps in the marketplace, you can discover opportunities where your business will have the best chance to grow.
Teach workshops or classes
Offer a free workshop or class related to your business. If you are a consultant, hold a free workshop for local or online business.
If you are a tech startup, hold weekly free workshops and TEACH!!!
There is always something you can offer that people will want to learn
Turn email into your heavy hitter
From $20 to 50 per month (up to 5,000 contacts) via email marketing platforms such as Aweber or Activecampagin
Email marketing comes in high on our list for small businesses and startups, because it works. 🙂
Regardless of the business, marketers across the world point to email marketing as the #1 one tactic that produces their highest return on marketing dollars invested.
ExactTarget.com’s reported that marketers received an average return of investment of $44.25 for every $1 spent on email marketing.
Not only is it effective, it’s also desired. In study after study, consumers regularly say that email is their preferred channel for brand communications.
Side Note: Time after time, email has been my #1 source of ROI.
Social Media Giveaways As Marketing Tools
For our sites, we like to host short, weekend-long social media contests that require simple tasks from our members in an effort to win $25-$50 gift cards.
We require members to sign up for the relevant site hosting the giveaway, answer a question via Facebook and RT about the #giveaway on Twitter. Social media is a great tool for gaining new followers and getting them involved with your company!
Today, a small business owner can accomplish a lot without hiring a professional firm. Subscribe to Help a Reporter Out www.helpareporter.com. You can respond to reporters’ queries that are looking for story ideas and resources. Some are small media opportunities, but others are major media outlets that use this service too.
Writing a press release that addresses an industry issue that your client can help solve is a great marketing tactic, as long as it is tasteful. We wrote a press release discussing about cell phones being linked to low sperm count after a new study came out. We got coverage in Koreas biggest Media outlets.
Focus on keeping the customer for life
When getting a customer, your goal is to keep that customer for life, make that customer come back again and again, and refer your business to others. Think of additional ways your existing customers will buy again from you. Increase the lifetime value of your customers.
Mobile event apps
Bizzabo and Bloodhound make free mobile apps for iPhone and Android users, specifically for professionals to find one another at business conferences. You can use them to connect with other attendees at your next sales and marketing event. With Bizzabo, you can also upload your event information for other attendees to read about your event and connect with you online.
You may find you have developed a nice strong database, and you are sending newsletters out that get opened and even better clicked. But it doesn’t necessarily convert to sales. It might be a great time to do some networking and explore some businesses with which you can cross promote.
Look around for complementary but non competitive businesses that seem to be around the same size as you.
Cost: Free. Or the value of any offer you extend.
Use word of mouth marketing
To foster faith, your products or services must be vouched as superior, beneficial or useful by someone close to your customer, or someone your customer trusts. It can come in the form of a glowing recommendation from a friend, an endorsement from a credible member of the industry or a storeowner, or perhaps from family members.
One way is to distribute product samples to a select group of people (bloggers, influencers) who have the capacity to influence a wider segment of your target market.
Find A Mentor With Actual Business Experience
You can do it on your own, but why? If you have all the time in the world to tinker with your ideas, then more power to you.
On the other hand, why not work through your ideas with an experienced mentor, someone who has the actual business experience, and who can help you avoid the various pitfalls.
Why not accelerate your goal and take the right shortcuts to help you launch your new business as quickly as possible?
Be somewhat cautious, however, of whose counsel you take. There are a lot of people who claim to be experts or “gurus” but many of them have never actually done what they proclaim. Make sure the mentor you work with has actual experience in both creating and operating successful businesses
Cost: The value of any offer you extend.
The above plan takes hard work and hustle. Essentially, you’re using your time and creativity in place of money. There’s no way around this if you don’t have a budget and want to grow your business.