FREE MARKETING TIPS FOR THE ENTREPRENEUR WITH NO MARKETING BUDGET
A lot of entrepreneurs get discouraged because they don’t have massive marketing budgets and they assume that there aren’t effective ways to promote their business without deep pockets. This is far from the truth.
Here are three ways to market your business, even if you don’t have an existing budget for it.
- Build an active and loyal social media following.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter give you direct access to millions of potential customers, located all over the world. You aren’t going to attract followers by just being average. There are far too many options out there. You will need to put out interesting and unique content in order to build a large following.
As you work on your social audience, you will create a valuable asset that allows you to market over and over, without it costing you a dime. Make sure you don’t overwhelm your social audience with constant promotional offers. If someone follows your business on social media, he or she is obviously interested in what you offer. You don’t need to flood your audience members with direct advertisements; that flood will turn them off and cause them to disconnect with your brand on social media. Instead, subtle and clever posts will naturally spark interest in your brand.
- Develop referral partnerships or collaborate with businesses that share your audience.
This is a very easy way to place your brand in front of a much-targeted audience and quickly build a customer base and generate revenue, which in turn will give you more working capital to scale.
You will have to identify potential referral opportunities that will complement the product or service of the partner. For example, are you an ice-making factory? Partner with a mobile bar owner or an events planning agency and you could offer them a flat fee for any referrals made to you.
It’s important to set up a deal with two things in mind — longevity and keeping the referral partner happy, so he or she continues to funnel business your way. While this strategy may eat up a portion of your profits, think of it as an advertising expense. Only, it’s as a lesser cost. Also, you’re receiving direct benefits as opposed to advertising to a large audience and never really being able to measure the success of the advertisement.
- Constantly engage with your current customers.
Who are the best customers? Repeat customers.
You should have an email list of all your customers, and make it a point to touch base with all of them often. Rather than send direct-sales offers, send interesting information related to your industry. Email marketing comes in very handy here. Some useful tools include Netcore and mail-chimp which send out useful bulk emails to your audience.
This kind of marketing keeps your brand fresh in the minds of your customers. That way, the next time they’re in the market for what you offer, you’ll be the first company they think of.