Believe me when I say ‘I get it’… When you’re running a business (or starting a new one) you don’t always have a lot of money to put towards marketing, and while you know that you need to be doing something to get your business out there to attract those clients, you might not be sure where to start.
Thankfully, there are so many amazing things that you can do that can really make and impact and grow your brand that won’t cost you a fortune, or anything at all – here are just some of my favourites:
- Social Media: I know, it seems obvious, and it kind of is, if you have a business and no social media presence you’re already losing out. The key here is to pick the right platforms, and remember, you don’t need to be on them all. My top tip here is to focus on one or two platforms and do them well. Stay consistent, post, engage, comment, be active – don’t post and ghost! Once you master the first one or two, you can then think about adding in another channel. Get organised, have a strategy, know what you’re saying and when you’re saying it and know exactly WHY you are there.
- Email marketing: If you don’t have an email list, it’s time to get one! When someone joins your email list they are opting to hear from you because you have proven you have something valuable to say, I’d also say it means they trust you and the information you will be providing them. These people should be nurtured, love them hard, provide them with so much value that when they do decide that they need a product or service just like yours, it will be yours they choose!
- Start a blog: Content marketing is so incredibly valuable, it’s good for your brand, it helps to position you and a good blog can help to improve your SEO. Share your blog (or snippets of) throughout your social media channels, send it to your email list, share to your google business listing and Pinterest (which is a search engine, not social media) – and drive everyone back to your website.
- Collaborations: You are not alone! Community over competition – find someone (or several people) with a similar target audience to your own and work with each other. Perhaps you guest blog for each other, Instagram / Facebook takeovers, run a competition, put together a photoshoot, swap product… The possibilities are endless, find some businesses you’d love to work with and then approach them with your ideas, maybe they’ll have some great ideas too.
- Cross promotion: Similar to collaborations, except this time you are recommending someone else’s product or service… For example, you could be a florist who specialises in event and wedding florals, perhaps someone needing your services could also be looking for furniture hire for their event / wedding, maybe they need a good make-up artist, or a celebrant… Again find some people who serve a similar audience as you and recommend each other.
Note: I would never recommend someone you hadn’t worked with or met before, you absolutely need to be certain they are going to provide a product or service to the quality you and your client would be expecting.
- Sign up for ‘Google my Business’: Create a listing for your business, even if you are an online business with no physical address for clients to visit. It ranks super high in search and also allows people to find you by location. So if someone we’re to search ‘photographers near me’ (for example) and you were in the next suburb, your business listing is more likely to pop up. You will also link this to your website.
- Update your website: Does your website show your best or most recent work? Does it truly represent your brand? Do you even have a website? Do some research and get across the best website practices including SEO, make sure your site is up to date, isn’t taking too long to load and doesn’t have any broken links.
- Word of mouth and reviews: Don’t be shy about asking for reviews for past or present clients / customers! Word of mouth marketing is incredibly powerful and a good review could be the deciding factor in winning a piece of business. Think about where these are, ask people to review you on Google and Facebook (which are both public) or if they send you some warm words via email make sure you pop it on your website.
And remember, you don’t have to do it all – don’t let marketing overwhelm and consume you, it should be fun, you’re speaking on a topic you know so much about. You can start by picking one to two activities to get you started, and then incorporate something new once the first are up and running.
Marketing on a budget allows you to get creative and think outside the box, it’s an opportunity to do things differently.
And finally my last tip, whatever you do, don’t blend in. Stay true to your brand, stand out and allow people to see your personality, it will set you apart.
If you’d like to discuss how I can help you create a custom marketing plan for your business please get in touch.