4 simple, free marketing strategies for your business right now
For anyone who runs a small business, works as a sole trader, or is a freelancer, the day is filled with remarkable balancing acts. A significant portion of your job is getting the product or service to your customers so that you can make money.
Although you may want to concentrate solely on the things that compelled you to start your business, it is impossible to do so. A few accounts must be retained. A phone call is required. It is important to keep bringing in new customers and retaining existing ones.
Marketing is what comes into play. It helps increase your sales. It gives people the ability to identify you. It brings in and retains old and new customers, turning them into loyal clients.
For those of us who despise marketing, it can be the most dreadful part of running a business (especially for me, because…). It can be nerve-wracking, bizarre, and intimidating to put ourselves out there. For some of us, the question is “where do we start?” while for others it’s “where do we find the money?” I understand why you want to focus on your business, so I’ve listed three simple, efficient methods to promote your enterprise that you can implement right away, and you can get back to doing what you enjoy.
Make it so that your customers can do it.
To generate the best clients, look to those who are happy with your services. Referrals are sometimes referred to as “earned advertising” because your customers have a reason to advocate for your product or service because of the great experience they’ve had with you. Neilson states that word of mouth advertising is far and away from the most trusted form of marketing and advertising. A full 84% of the citizens polled in 54 different countries, moreover, want to see this outcome.
Does it not make sense? I am more likely to believe my friend than some well-produced ad or long-winded infomercial with a similar product.
The issue is that we frequently forget to ask for referrals, feel awkward doing so, or choose to ask for referrals when we hand over the invoice. There are a few ways to encourage your clients to refer you for new business.
Decide who your ideal prospects are by identifying key details like their industry, project type, or order size. There is a very good chance that this customer is connected to others like them. This group is ideal for requesting whether customers will recommend your products or services.
Instead of requesting a referral at the end of the project, ask for one at a more advantageous time. Your client may ignore your invoice-included final email, which means that it’ll never reach accounts and your request will be lost forever. When working on a project with multiple milestones, it’s a good idea to inquire about the project status after completing a few of them. You should ask for a review immediately after delivering a product to your customers. Test your sense of timing and trust your instincts with each new client.
For repeat customers, think about a reward system; a good example is offering discounts for regular services, like haircuts and subscriptions. Make your faithful customers aware that they may get a discount on their next purchase by referring your business.///
Instead of considering your perspective, consider theirs. What do they stand to gain by sending you, clients? While I’m not looking for a special deal or discount on the next job, I do think it’s helpful to give a referral to someone who can stand to benefit from their customers’ appreciation for how much they’ve helped that person or business in the past. If you think that’s the case, then you should not be ashamed to bring it up.
Many different types of businesses can help customers with goods and services that are complemented by other professionals. For instance, as a content writer, I can help a web design agency fulfill its mission of delighting its customers by providing well-crafted SEO copy to fill its brand-new website.
A similar idea to the one we discussed earlier is what you see here, but it follows a slightly different approach. If you are an accountant, for example, you might want to research bookkeepers, while a photographer might want to speak with wedding planners. Regardless of what you’re doing, there is likely to be a business that could collaborate with your service or product without being in direct competition. Think not only about how they can assist your company but also how you can assist theirs. If you want to be successful, you should seek out other businesses that appear to have similar values to your own. The objective is to build a relationship that’s beneficial to both sides.
Draft a letter, email, or a few loose phone scripts to use as templates to contact these prospects. As my father used to say, if you don’t ask, you won’t get anything, and there’s no harm in asking; a simple ‘no’ won’t hurt you.
I assume you’ve been waiting for this one, haven’t you? Even with Google Ads and promoted Facebook posts, people are constantly discussing how to be successful. The more people you reach, the more money you’ll spend. So, if you’re on a tight marketing budget, or you have no marketing budget at all, advertising and marketing on social media can get very expensive. It’s possible you won’t even notice any effects right away. Before you even start down this path, you need to be sorting your statistics and figures — but that’s something for another discussion.
In any case, I said I would provide free marketing advice, didn’t I?
Social media groups provide a fantastic source of free marketing tools. If you haven’t done so already, create a business page or profile and join some of the groups on that page. Just because you have received invitations to these groups or communities doesn’t mean you should be spamming them.
Choose your groups carefully because they should line up with your business interests, connect to what you do and your abilities, and be something you’re passionate about. This is a delicate way to build leads, and it requires some time, but the results can be beneficial.
If you own a campground, you might be a part of several groups that revolve around camping, such as motorcycle camping clubs, groups for women only, or those tied to your geographic area (UK hillwalking or cold water surfing for instance). Keep the customers up to date with camping information, and be available to answer questions, giving them the best information possible. Achieving these excellent results from a marketing perspective provides trust, you’re viewed as a helpful and knowledgeable business, and you’re always top of mind for community members. Post ads for your business every once in a while if it is permitted within the group rules. A few groups will have specific days when this is okay, while others will ask group members to reply about what they do randomly. Take note of any openings you see.
I’ve had tremendous success with groups of this type over the past few months. When I write content for groups I am in, I put it in those groups and note what I do when members are encouraged to promote themselves. It has already begun to produce new leads for my freelance writing and has also helped me grow my email subscriber list.
To avoid getting sidetracked, I limit my social media time to one to two hours a week. I log on to each of my platforms at least twice a week, but I try to restrict the amount of time I spend doing so to no more than half an hour. I devote time each month to crunching numbers and reviewing stats to identify what is working, what is not, and how I can improve.
When it comes to using social media for my business, I think it’s important to have a clear plan and a firm understanding of how much time I can dedicate to putting my ideas on social media. (I use a spreadsheet to record the things I post on social media and other channels, as well as the time and date each was shared.)
Businesses can also use free Facebook groups to advertise on social networks. I’m part of a select few who support my specific areas of expertise, subject matter, and corner of the world that I write about. This is useful because members are encouraged to post about what they know or do, and the businesses they represent. These groups’ purpose is to increase the local economy or assist one another’s businesses. This can be accomplished by helping each other out easily and by utilizing the groups as a sort of local directory.
Give more than you take with social media. A positive outlook like this will provide you with a much higher return on your investments and make it more fun. You’ll also improve your health with a bit of volunteering!
To market anything, it’s necessary to set oneself apart and create a brand identity. This makes them feel comfortable and even proud when purchasing the offered service or product. If you’re anything like me, composing attractive posts with gorgeous photos and polished fonts is not a skill. A great thing to know is that there are many free resources available that can be used to create professional-looking ads and social media posts to help you advertise your business and do things like pamphlet drops (if you would like to do that while walking your dog).
For this purpose, I like to use Canva and PicMonkey. Each of these options lets you import pictures, add text, and create professional-looking ads, posts, and other marketing materials. It is possible to obtain design guidelines and templates with which you can simply insert your own words and images, which will then magically appear. an attractive pamphlet is available for download.
You may already know about Unsplash, which is popular among bloggers and writers on Medium.com, but there are plenty of other royalty-free image sites that can be used to get photos to illustrate your business, services, and benefits to customers. When Unsplash doesn’t produce the goods, I use Stocksnap.io and Piaxabay. If you are able, always acknowledge the sources of your free images and resources.
So, if you’re planning to take advantage of your clients’ referrals, connect with complementary businesses or use Facebook’s communities and groups, then you’ll want to consider using the free tools listed above to create some excellent promotional materials.
Effective marketing does not have to be laborious, expensive, or unpleasant. A few free resources and a few hours of effort could get you ahead of the marketing and sales funnel with a little bit of thought. Have no fear, as you have your friends and family with you on this venture!