Marketing is one of your most powerful tools to get your business up and running. As entrepreneur of a small company, you probably don’t have the resources for large-scale campaigns or to hire a marketing expert. Don’t let this discourage you. There are plenty of ways to showcase your business with a modest marketing budget and some creativity. Let’s start with 6 low budget marketing ideas that will boost your business.
We kick off with probably the most important key to success: networking. Research shows all successful start-ups create meaningful relationships. It’s about people getting to know you, trust you and wanting to do business with you. Make sure you attend events in your industry, or even complementary industries so you can refer customers to one another. Join business networking groups, social media groups for entrepreneurs or become part of a co-working space. Networking can be a mix of both online and offline, but definitely the best way to grow a network of potential customers is by speaking to them in person.
2. Personal Branding
As entrepreneur, you are the face of your company, so it’s important to get your personal branding right. It is a chance to stand out of the crowd and build trust with your potential customers. Be authentic and tell your own unique story about who you are, what you stand for and how you got to where you are today. A short but compelling story that shows your expertise, passion and how you’re qualified to solve your target audience’s problem or need. Use data and facts to support your story and find out what moves your potential customers. Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools to elevate your personal brand.
Check the video Why is personal branding important?
3. Content marketing
You can scream very loud that you’re the best and run expensive campaigns, or you can just be yourself and show your customers that you are knowledgeable and great in what you do by offering valuable content. That’s the power of content marketing. It’s a great way to build trust, engage with your customers and drive traffic to your website, without having to push a service or product. Creating and sharing relevant and valuable free content also gives your company a voice and opportunity to differentiate yourself from competitors. Google also values high-quality content and will make your website more visible. Before you start creating content for your target audience, figure out their interests and what kind of support or inspiration they need. Don’t try to create content for everybody, because you will end up reaching no one.
Referrals are one of the strongest trust signals and priceless when your potential customers are considering doing business with you. People are much more likely to buy your product or service if they’re referred over to your business than someone who wasn’t. Still, most business owners don’t proactively ask for referrals and miss out one of the most effective ways to get more customers. If you feel uncomfortable asking for a referral, start with asking your best customers face to face. They’ll be more likely to refer your products or services to others since they trust you. Another tip is to send personalized messages, instead of sending general referral requests. Referral requests can also be part of your email and social media campaigns or added at the bottom of your invoice.
5. Social Media
Use the power of social media to draw attention to your new business. Popular social media sites are Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Which social media channels you should use depends on your target audience. While Instagram tends to be popular for food, fashion and interior design, LinkedIn is best for business-to-business companies. Whatever social media platform you join, you should always start by getting to know your audience’s needs, wants and interests. Create or share useful content that is interesting and relevant to your audience. Don’t just post something and forget it, but really engage with your audience by asking and answering questions, responding to comments and by running polls. People want to see a genuine personality, particularly social media for small businesses thrives on authenticity and consistency.
6. Local press
There are several ways for you as business owner to use your local media – newspapers, magazines, radio – to promote your business. Local media are often interested in entrepreneurial stories, especially if you have a special story to tell or you offer something unique or innovative. Another option is to present yourself as an expert in your field. For example, if you have an online business and a clear view on the future of Ecommerce, you can contact the newspaper editor to check whether they are interested in an article about this topic. Make them aware of your business and check if they’re interested in stories that relate to what you do. They can give your business a boost of exposure.