Community Futures Meridian

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12 Ways to Market Your Business for Almost Nothing

  • November 4, 2016
  • Written by Meridian Admin

One of the biggest issues all small businesses face is having enough disposable income to spend on marketing. The problem is, not marketing your business can only result in lower sales. It’s a Catch 22 situation; if you had more business you could promote more, but to get more business you need to carry out more marketing.

If you are continuously fighting this battle, then you need to create a guerilla marketing strategy. A strategy that relies more on ingenuity than dollars. Here are 12 ways you can spread the word about your company and what you sell.

1. Go out and sell – by far the most effective way of promoting your business and getting sales is to cold call. Yep, this means actually figuring out who is most likely to buy what you are selling and then talking to them. One by one. It’s tough, a lot of businesspeople don’t like doing it, but it works. You are guaranteed to get more sales!

2. Attend networking and community events – become involved with local business associations, attend community events, go to trade shows, be seen. Promote yourself and you are automatically promoting your business.

3. Get a decent website – you will not be seen as a credible business if you don’t have a professional website. These days you can actually get one for free – spend just a little and it can be fabulous. Add a blog to provide valuable information to visitors and keep up with it.

4. Comment on other businesses blogs and relevant forums – the more your name, and that of your business is seen where your clients or customers hang out online the better.

5. Be active online and get a business Facebook page - Also check out LinkedIn if your focus is B2B.

6. Send press releases to the media – whenever you do something new announce it to the press. Editorial coverage is free and worth its weight in gold.

7. Send out a newsletter – send it to all your customers and anyone else you know and encourage them to share it with others. Make it useful and entertaining so it’s worth sharing.

8. Become a speaker – share your expertise and people will perceive you as an expert. People buy from experts because they trust them. Speak at business events, trade shows, or create your own seminar series.

9. Create instructional, or educational videos – we live in a audio-visual world; YouTube is the world’s second biggest search engine, second only to its owner Google. People use it all the time to get help, advice, or instructions. Create your own channel. Your laptop, or desktop comes with a camera and will record your video easily, as will your smart phone.

10. Ask for referrals – encourage your current customers to give you leads and tell their friends about you, or give you a testimonial, or mention you on social media.

11. Hold an open house at your store, or offices. Invite people to learn more about your business, try samples, see a demonstration. It doesn’t matter what it is, just so long as the offering is interesting enough to attract people through your door.

12. Do something outrageous for your clients/customers. It can be anything that will get people talking. If you have a store why not put a table outside with hot non-alcoholic, mulled cider on a freezing cold day and offer a cup to anyone walking by? It doesn’t matter what you do as long as it’s unexpected and kicks customer service up a dozen or more notches!

Not all of these ideas will work for your specific business, but think of them as a starting point. Take the ones that might work for you and add some more of your own. Be creative; the trick is to figure out who buys what you sell, where they hang out (physically and online), and find a way to get your message in front of them. If you have big bucks to spend you can get your message in front of millions of people on television, if you have no (or few) bucks then you need to be far more targeted, track down your potential customers and subtly announce yourself to them.

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