Fact 1 about marketing: it’s expensive.
Fact 2 about marketing: it’s necessary.
If you want your business to grow, you absolutely need to invest in marketing in some way. Of course, word of mouth is great, but it’s often not enough on its own. Even if one day it is enough, you need a lot of customers continuously recommending you.
If you’ve got a shoestring budget, this poses a huge challenge for you. It costs a lot to operate a business and because of the price tags as well as the overwhelming number of options that it involves, marketing is sometimes what ends up getting overlooked.
The good news is, OLSO Marketing has taken the time to publish our 7 Small Business Marketing Tips That Won’t Break The Bank.
1. Carry Business Cards
It doesn’t matter if you’re going to a networking event, or a quick trip to your local Tesco, always carry business cards. Business cards give you a quick way to exchange information as well as lending some credibility to your professionalism. There is the possibility of meeting potential clients or vendors pretty much anywhere, so be prepared.
2. Start Networking
This ties in very nicely with the business card strategy but works both online and in person. Your network already knows and hopefully trusts you, so leverage your network for all its worth. A simple Facebook message letting them know that your business is open and highlighting the different services that might help them is all that’s needed.
3. Offer Referral Incentives
This is one of our all-time favourites! Let your current clients know that if they send you a referral that turns into a customer, you’ll give them 10% off their next invoice for example. This is far better than cash incentives as it ensures that your current client can only benefit from their reward if they continue using your services. People are very forgetful, so it’s always worth sending out an email a few times each month to jog their memory.
4. Small Business Partnerships
Teaming up with other small businesses is a great way to go. Look for businesses that aren’t necessarily in the same niche but have very similar audiences. Three of the best strategies for you to adopt are setting up a referral programme where you send each other clients and pay a 10% fee on the first project booked, offering package deals together and splitting the profits based on workload and finally, launching a social media contest with each business contributing to the prize as well as marketing it to their customer-base.
5. Email Marketing
You know all of those email addresses that you’ve managed to capture through previous orders or social media competitions, well don’t ignore how useful they all are to you. Use email marketing campaigns to stay in touch with your audience. Mailchimp is our personal favourite because you can add up to 2,000 subscribers and send them marketing material without spending a penny.
6. Contests and Competitions
If you want to get new clients quickly or increase your social media presence, contests and competitions are a great way to drive conversions. This presents a low-risk, high-reward situation for potential customers, where have everything to gain and nothing to lose. You might ask for them to follow your page or provide your email address, but that isn’t asking a lot in exchange for them getting something for free, is it?
7. Start Writing
Content marketing is free to do and allows you to rank for more keywords, keeps your site content fresh and allows you to establish expertise in your chosen field. When potential clients visit your website, it shows that you’re active and keeping your website up to date, meaning they can trust the information that they read. Blog posts should have a goal in mind, like getting users to subscribing to an email list, or picking up the phone and giving you a call.
Whether we like it or not, marketing is necessary if you want your business to survive, let alone grow to the next level. These 7 Small Business Marketing Tips can help you actively invest in your business so you can get the most of any budget that you have available.
If you would like to discuss more about how you use your budget and if it can be utilised in a different way, please contact our helpful team.