Many small businesses are run from home computers and fall under the radar of business statistics. Whether you are working for a multi-level marketing company or selling painted bird houses, the difficulty of advertising your products without a budget is overwhelming. Let us face the fact that $20 a month spent on classified advertisement isn’t going to bring in a flood of visitors. Therefore, you need to implement effective marketing strategies at little or no cost to help boost your business and increase your customer base.
Like many of you I run a small business and have learned through trial and error what works and what doesn’t. Despite putting some notches in my belt I have never stopped learning. In the beginning, I wasted money paying for different types of advertisements. Some worked a little more than others, but I knew I needed more. Regardless, I continued to research, educate myself, and apply the right marketing strategies to get the results I wanted. Consistency is key!
What marketing strategies did I use ? There are plenty of marketing strategies out there, but I wanted to share four strategies that will make a difference, especially if you’re working with little to no budget.
Marketing Strategies #1 – Email Marketing
Instead of paying for lists and possibly getting in trouble for spamming I send businesses a very personalized email message. How do I find these businesses? I find them by looking on the web, going to their homepage, reading a little about them, and then sending them a personalized email about my product or service. The key is personalization. Write a basic sales letter which highlights your product or service and how it can impact their business. Cost to do this: FREE
Marketing Strategies #2 – Content Marketing
Search engines and customers love informative articles. We have all heard the saying, knowledge is power. Customers want to learn about your business as much as possible. Posting informative articles on your web page will help visitors keep returning for additional information and hold them there longer. Information also increases your credibility as a business to the potential customer. If they agree with what you are saying they are more likely to purchase from you. Search engines, like customers, are constantly searching for content related information. If your articles are about the product or service you are selling chances are that search engines will rank your site higher. Cost: FREE
Marketing Strategies #3 – Business Cards
Off-line marketing has never gone out of style. It may even be more necessary today than it was in yesteryear. Always have your business cards with you whenever you’re out in the public.
Your business card is another form of advertising. With this in mind, your business card should represent your business in both words and design. A well-designed card is one that the recipient wants to hang onto and one that stands out in the crowd. Remember, your credibility is at stake here, so make sure your business card represent your trustworthiness, honesty, and reliability.
But get this, if you’re having a conversation with a potential customer and that customer asks for your business card and you don’t have one immediately available, your reputation and credibility is at stake and you just lost a customer. The cost to make business cards vary in price depending on design, card stock, and number of cards printed. I suggest you go to vistaprint.com and check out their $10 business card deal.
Marketing Strategies #4 – Ezine Articles
People love free information. Make sure your articles are informative, professional and worthy then submit those to article databases for free content. Then websites pick up the article to post on their own site. The trick is to have your personal contact information either embedded into the article or as a tag line on the end. Personally I use my web address and my name. The better your article the more times it is posted around the web and the more customers you will get. Cost: FREE.
The following explanation of Ezine Articles was taken from ezinearticles.com:
- EzineArticles.com is a platform for experts in over 600 niche markets who share their expertise in the form of short articles (400-800 words long) for the benefit of having access to the tens-of-millions of monthly visitors the site receives.
- EzineArticles members submit their best quality original articles in exchange for being able to post a resource box, with a link back to their website at the bottom of each article. This link drives pre-qualified visitors (traffic) back to their website.
- Members get traffic, market visibility to their target market, media exposure and a platform on which to build their own platform… for FREE.
- EzineArticles.com gives experts in 600+ niche markets a “voice”… a chance to be exposed to their target audience.
- In terms of marketing strategies, EzineArticles.com is more like a “Grassroots” strategy because membership is free, yet the traffic results over time are very tangible.
I couldn’t have explained Ezine Articles better!
These four strategies work together to enhance the popularity of a website and reduce the amount of time you waste everyday. Writing informative articles about your product and submitting them to ezine directories helps to improve your sites search engine rankings, retain your customers and increase overall exposure. Passing out business cards and networking with other owners works well together and kills two birds with one stone. Sending out personalize emails and reading about your customers’ site helps to increase your understanding of your customers needs while advertising to them.
In a nutshell, the overall strategy of any business is to make more money and spend less time and resources doing it.
To your success…