I’m going to let you in on a secret. And you have to promise to tell everyone you know! Ready? Effective marketing does not mean expensive marketing! *gasp*
Nowadays, no budget means no problem for people who are self-motivated! While the old saying “you need to spend money to make money” is still relevant, there are ample options for people who don’t have a dream budget, but do have the motivation and savvy to try new things.
The Power of Asking
From asking existing clients for referrals to simply asking that new lead to give you their business, you’re simply more likely to get something if you just ask for it. Nervous or new to being so bold? Here are a few things to keep in mind:
• Remember that people LIKE to help others, especially if there is no negative cost to themselves.
• Remind yourself that the worst that can happen is them saying no. And in all likelyhood, that doesn’t result in a “no” that means the door is closed. Very often, that “no” is accompanied with a conversation about why, which means you get better insight on how to reproach the topic later, or prove your value.
• Make asking for a referral part of your customer lifecycle! If its a step in the process, you’ll naturally (and more comfortably) prompt people when the timing is just right.
Get An Elevator Pitch Together
Nothing is more detrimental to your business than being flustered or rambling when someone asks what it is that you do. Learn how to win prospects over by emphasizing the benefits of what you do, how you do it and the results you deliver.
• Organize the essentials of who you are and what you do.
• Make it unique to you (IE: don’t outline that your strengths are “customer service” – because EVERYONE delivers in customer service. If you don’t, you won’t be in business long).
• Keep it short. If you can’t communicate what you do in the time it takes the elevator to get from the first floor to the third, you’ve gone too far.
Develop a Social Media Plan
Social media is at your fingertips. And while a lot of people do social marketing completely wrong, there is nothing stopping you from diving in and testing the waters while you figure out the best way to engage your audience.
• Read as much as you can about engaging people on social media
• Only participate in social platforms that reflect where your audience lives! IE: don’t be on Pinterest, just for the sake of having a Pinterest account, if none of your ideal clients are ever on Pinterest
• Understand the difference between distributing branded and non-branded content, and how that effects your strategy. If you’re a local insurance agency, and every blog you share delivers your prospects to a competitors blog site – you’re essentially telling the world “the competition are industry experts”
Join a Face to Face Networking Group
While this is sometimes a luxury small service-based businesses can not afford to participate in (because lets face it, when you’re a solopreneur, every minute you’re away from the desk getting work done is a minute that you’re collectively falling behind), it’s something you should still invest some effort into!
• There is no faster way to meet the other movers and shakers in your community
• While the returns may not be immediate for your investment, it certainly helps you leverage a broader network outside of your usual social-echo-chamber
Write Some Blogs!
Seriously. Just do it. Content marketing has the power to leverage conversation and trust. And when people trust you and talk to you, its a win win.
• Check out what your competitors are writing about
• Find a need to fulfill in your community and geographical area that is underserved
• Create a brand tone – and stick with it
• Most importantly, whatever you’re writing about – do it in a way that serves others first and you second
Where can your marketing afford a little TLC? Make some notes, along with a wish list.
Then bring them to your first meeting with LovelyPixels!