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November 19, 2021

Episode 25: What to do when you don't have a marketing budget

by Kristy Pask

About this episode.

Last month I conducted a number of surveys and almost every single person that responded told me that finances and the cost of marketing were barriers for them in marketing their business and getting it to the level that they ideally wanted to be at.

And I totally feel this and I understand all of the struggles that anyone trying to market a business with a small marketing budget is feeling.

So I wanted to take this opportunity to chat about a few different marketing strategies and tactics that you can focus on to bring you some truly incredible results, without a big marketing budget.

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Today I wanted to chat with you about Marketing your business when you have a little to no marketing budget.

Last month I conducted a number of surveys and almost every single person that responded told me that finances and the cost of marketing were barriers for them in marketing their business and getting it to the level that they ideally wanted to be at.

And I totally feel this and I understand all of the struggles that anyone trying to market a business with a small marketing budget is feeling. 

As someone who has worked with brands with marketing budgets in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, to brands with only a few thousand dollars per year, and even brands like the very first business I started, where the marketing budget was basically non existent - I will admit that as a marketer, marketing with a healthy budget really just allows you to do things different to a brand with little to no budget.

The biggest difference being you can literally pay people to do all the things for you.

However when you have no budget, you need to be incredibly resourceful, be willing to give things a shot, try different strategies and tactics, you will have to do the groundwork, to do things you might never have done before and start from the beginning. 

You probably won’t have the PR and Magazine contacts. You might not know how to run facebook ads, understand how to create a content marketing strategy but that doesn’t mean that you cannot create an incredibly effective and engaging marketing strategy.

Instead of throwing money at the problem, this is an opportunity for you to sit down and really work out ‘what do I want my business to look like, where do I want to take it, what are some of the incredible things I can do, and who can help me’.

One of the things I want you to take from there - WHO can help me. 

I think this is one of the key things people tend to overlook when they think about marketing their business.

Who can help you? And who can you help in return?

And by this, I don’t necessarily mean getting someone else to do the work for you like an employee or contractor or agency…

But really understanding who you can work with, who you can call on, who you can connect with and then begin to look out for those people and seek out those opportunities as well.

When we work alone, when we just think about our website, our socials, our reels, our blogs, our content creation and photoshoots and we only focus on our owned media, the things we fully control and own - it doesn’t allow us to reach as many people and create the same impact as what we are able to when we work with others - and yes, this is when a bigger budget would really come in handy. 

While you are responsible for everything within your business and the success of your business, there are so many ways in which you can leverage the support and the skills of other people within your networks and your communities to help you market your business. 

So what does this look like or how does it work? 

I really want to give you a few examples here of this in motion. 

A few years ago I was working for an accessories brand, a micro influencer with about 2.5 followers approached the brand I was working with and asked for free product, in exchange for some photos that we could use across our social media.

She was really kind and genuine, wanted to build a profile in the fashion industry, we loved her style and her photos and we thought, why not?! What she was asking for was about $100 of product at retail. 

So we sent it to her, and the photos were amazing, she went above and beyond and we used her photos in our socials which helped her build her audience and also gave us some really great content.

When we released a new collection we asked her if she wanted something and we continued to support her, and she continued to support us. 

Another client of mine who released a childrens clothing line didn’t have the budget to pay for a professional photographer, this time SHE approached a few micro influencers and asked if in exchange for some clothing, if they would take some photos for her. 

A bunch of them said yes, they posted to their own feeds, supported her in launch, shared her posts, shared the photos they had taken themselves and became advocates for her brand. It allowed them to tap into her audience and gave her a great opportunity to reach theirs which helped to increase her brand awareness and gave her so much content for her socials. 

Another opportunity presented itself when a stylist approached me looking for brands to feature in a shoot for an online magazine, my client was able to provide a couple of outfits that children wore, featured alongside some other incredible and some bigger well known brands - being featured alongside those brands again not only got her product in front of more of the right people, it really helped to position her alongside those brands too. 

So while those last two few examples were all really heavily centred around photography, what was really going on here was collaboration. 

The opportunity to connect and work with people, to share audiences, knowledge and skillsets gives you a huge advantage over continuing to do everything alone.

And it doesn’t just have to be photoshoots, I just went live on Instagram with a connection of mine, Anna Shipley, Anna is a Facebook Ads expert who works with ecommerce brands, I am a marketing coach for product based business owners, we compliment each others skillset so well and share a very similar audience, in going LIVE together we were able to provide both of our audiences a ton of value.

So while collaboration is one of my favourites I also want to touch on a couple of other ways you can market your business without a big budget.

Another slightly overlooked channel is small business directories. There are a lot of small business advocates out are genuinely doing what they can to support small business. 

Some don’t charge you anything at all to be a part of their directories, others might charge a really small fee - the listings include email mentions and social media shoutouts. 

They want to be known for supporting small businesses and they’re doing all they can to drive traffic to your website from their own. Again there is often a great opportunity within these communities for collaboration. 

Some are very focus on a geographic area, others are product type specific so it could be food or cafes and restaurants, handmade items, we also have communities and directories like buy from the bush which has been such an incredible way for businesses to be discovered. 

And the last one I want to mention is PR or press, so having your product, your brand or even you and your story shared by a magazine or publication and putting you in front of their potentially hundreds of thousands of readers

This takes persistence, it’s about getting in touch with the right person, at the right time with the right pitch, or product. You just have to keep in mind that these people probably see hundreds of pitches, idea, products and receive multiple gifts and items sent to their desk with brands attempting to get a feature - just because you don’t get a feature this month doens’t mean you can’t get one next, you just have to keep going, speak to the editor when you can, find out what’s coming out, look for different opportunities and angles you could work your brand in and don’t give up.

I know when it comes to marketing your business without a budget everyone's mind just goes straight to social media and email marketing, and while they are both essential and I really encourage you to look outside what you alone can create and look for opportunity to work with others and leverage off each other to create as much exposure for your brand as possible. 

A few quick things I want to drop in, which we can come back and chat about again at another date also, other ways in which you can market your business without a budget…

Jump on Pinterest, most definitely underutilised and a really good platform for product based businesses to convert sales.

Google Shopping - last year in, I think it was March or April or maybe May, Google announced it was going to make shopping free for small business, if you haven’t already create yourself a google my business account and get it linked up so that when people search for a product just like yours, you’re more likely to come up. 

And with that I am going to leave this episode here. 

If there is anything else in particular you would like me to discuss around this topic or if you have any questions please come over and find me on Instagram, I am just at Kristy pask. 

And why you are there on Instagram I encourage you to check out the live I did earlier today with Anna Shipley on how to make the most of your black friday and cyber monday sales, this is a great episode not only if you’re thinking about the sales period, but just on increasing your sales over this period. 

And don’t forget if you would like to work with me I am currently offering single, 90 minute 1:1 sessions where we can dive into and discuss any area of your business and marketing.

Thank you so much for joining me here again today, I look forward to chatting with you again soon.

Links and resources:

Learn more about my 12 week, 1:1 coaching program: The Holistic Marketing Method

Connect with me on Instagram: @kristypask

Book in a 1:1 single session with me here.

Find me on social media

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@KristyPask

We acknowledge the Wiradjuri, Waveroo and Dhudhuroa people as the traditional owners of the land where we live, learn, create and work. We pay our respect to Elders past, present and emerging.
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