All business owners know that marketing is a crucial function of any successful organization, so when you’re just starting your business although it’s definitely one of the areas you should be really focusing on if you wish to grow, it can also be a bit of a challenge when you don’t really have the budget for it, but you know that you need to have solid marketing in place for things to take off.
In this case, it’s good to know that, although it’s most definitely going to be quicker for you invest in paid marketing, it’s not necessary.
At the beginning of your business, when you’re looking to grow it, you’re either going to be investing time or money, so if you’re short on the cash needed to get things moving, then you can definitely do things for free by putting in some time to make it happen, and by doing this, it might take a little longer, but it will certainly pay off.
We know you may be wondering what exactly you can do to market your business that doesn’t require any kind of paid ad placements, so we’ve put together some ideas for you below based on things we’ve seen working for business owners, so let’s dive in.
Start a blog:
By now it’s pretty likely that you have a good understanding of what blogging is, because let’s be honest, it’s pretty difficult to go online without seeing a blog post on some topic or another, and whilst you may think that means there’s no room for what you have to say when it comes to your business, actually the opposite is true.
A lot of blogs means there’s a lot of demand for them, but the other great thing is, if you actually take the time to read some blogs out there, you’ll see that a rather large percentage of them just aren’t really that great.
Many of them use sleazy techniques such as keyword stuffing, which is a big no-no when it comes to Google rankings and good SEO strategy.
The key to standing out and being successful with a blog is to really have a solid strategy and plan in place for it, and most importantly to be consistent.
With a good blogging plan and the ability to stay organized you can basically find yourself with months worth of content that can be marketing your business whilst you sleep.
Let’s take a look at how this could work in action using an example:
For this example, we’re going to assume you run a sports equipment website, and the way you’re going to market is by blogging, so you would make a list of some different categories your blog would cover.
One could be, different workouts that your equipment can help with, one could be the right kinds of foods to eat before and after working out, and another could be how to use the equipment safely.
Now that you have some categories, you would start brainstorming post ideas that would go into these categories. You could map out post ideas for the week, for the month, or if you’re feeling particularly creative, for the entire year (though we don’t recommend this when just starting out).
The next step would be to use something like CoSchedule to have the publishing of your posts automated so that they go out on a pre-specified schedule chosen by you.
Of course this will take you some time upfront, but the consistency that will be coming across in your posts and the quality of them will mean that the marketing efforts will soon see results.
Post on social media:
If you’re a business owner in today’s world, then just like blogging, you likely know that social media lies pretty much at the heart of a company’s marketing, and the reason why is because social media is instantaneous in getting a message across to thousands or even millions of people simply with the click of a button, which is something you just can’t do with other forms of marketing so easily.
The other good thing about social media is that it’s something that you can use in tandem with other marketing tools, such as blogging.
To give an example of this, you could look at your blog posts for the week and take snippets of those posts which you’d then share as social media updates and drive people back to your website.
Now that you have them on your website, they’re a step closer to being interested in what you offer, so make sure they have a blog post to read that gives them value and then encourages them to take some kind of action, such as signing up for a freebie or your newsletter so that you can capture their email address or phone number and then using a tool like Slybroadcast to send them personalized follow up messages through voicemail or email which you will use to nurture them until they become a paying client.
Get out and talk to people:
In a world where it’s almost too easy to hide behind a screen and not have to speak to a human all day and still manage to run entire companies, the idea of getting out and speaking to people can seem like a bit of a waste of time, and also quite scary.
The thing is, though: communication and human contact are still one of the fastest ways to build trust, and if you’re in business, then you’re going to be relying on trust a lot, so make sure that you know the potential of going out to things like networking events and even just visiting business owners in your area to talk about your services.
If you’re working with no marketing budget or a very small one, then this is going to be one of the best ways to get things done and see results quickly.
Although the list we’ve given you above certainly isn’t extensive, what we’ve hoped to achieve with this is to give you an idea of what you can expect to put into making your business work when you have a small marketing budget and to show you that it’s completely possible to do it.