4 Tricks to Marketing Without a Budget
We all know marketing is a very important aspect of any business. How to properly manage and budget your marketing is a great topic for another article, but for today we are going to look at some of the sometimes overlooked ways of marketing that require little to no budget. Instead of spending money – putting a little time into these 4 categories will help you jump-start your marketing. So let’s get started.
1 – Create Relevant Content & Information
So first and foremost, you mind as well forget all other forms of paid or unpaid marketing if you neglect this first tip. Your website, social media accounts, pamphlets, business cards, all the way down to your voicemail message always need to provide concise, understandable, and relevant information that a prospect client could easily utilize.
It is easy to forget at the end of the day that our clients might not connect well if we use specific terminology or industry jargon. People love easily understood text that gets the point across.
So your first step to better marketing is to take the time and make sure all your content is relevant, concise, and is written for a specific purpose / target. Start with bio’s in your social media platforms, text on your website, emails, and anywhere else you find useful. The more you perfect all the text that is already existent, the better the response will be from prospect clients.
2 – Get Social
A great place to connect with prospects and suppliers alike is through social media platforms. Utilizing the knowledge we took from our first tip on writing relevant content, we can engage with a wide audience of people online. This is completely free (unless you decide to do paid ads) and only requires time. Try engaging with clients personally, writing posts that might intrigue / interest potential buyers, and simply interact with the posts and comments of other users to build a connection with as many people as possible. Nothing beats genuine connections and conversations.
One form of social media that is often neglected if not at all considered is LinkedIn. LinkedIn provides a great place to meet others interested in widening their professional network, which is quite different than the atmosphere of Facebook or other types of social media.
Each social media platform provides you with a different experience, so to get the most out of each of them, we suggest you check out our post Social Media Essentials for Marketing. We go into more detail there about what platforms work best for what. But the best way to see what works best for you is to try them out. See what renders the best results for you, and dedicate more time to it to connect with prospect clients and widen your reach.
3 – Offer your expertise through contests, classes, free services, etc.
Depending on the type of product or service you provide you could entice potential clients to do business with you through things like offering a free class, trial offer, limited quantity of your product, or running a contest. I will go through a couple of examples here.
Let’s say I run a gym or fitness club. I could do a free yoga class outdoors at a popular park once a month to gain the interest of potential customers. By running this class and handing out flyers, new customers who may not have considered my service or were never 100% sure they saw it’s value can get a taste of it and if they enjoy their experience, can become a paying customer.
The next example is something I do personally. As well as running the design and marketing studio I also specialize in wedding photography and videography. One fun and interesting way for me to market these services is to hold a free contest to couples getting married. By sending in their fun / original selfies, the most creative one chosen by the others wins a free engagement video prior to their wedding, which can be shown during the wedding reception.
For this type of marketing you are generally not spending any money but simply investing a bit of time to offer something of value to potential clients who will not only be more engaged in your product / service but will also have a greater understanding and emotional attachment to it. It is a great way to organically increase sharing across social media and to build some hype behind the service or product you are selling.
4 – Create a referral program
Many will argue that the best kind of marketing is word of mouth. The best way to get that type of marketing is to simply provide the best product or service you can (which you should already be doing). When you think of it, not only is it free, but taking the advice of a friend or family member will hold a lot more value than an advertisement online or in a magazine. Because we know and trust this person, their opinion has way more value. This is the principle behind word of mouth marketing.
The issue here is that there is no guaranteed way that every client you leave satisfied will pass on the message to their friends and family. But one way to entice them to do so would be to introduce a referral program. The specifics of your referral program would depend on the type of product you offer.
As an example, let’s say you offer a per-hour service. If a client hired you for a minimum amount of hours you give them a coupon to give to a friend. This coupon gives them 1 free hour of service with the purchase of X hours, and the giver will also get 1 free hour for their next order once the coupon is used. So by simply offering a small benefit to both their friend and themselves, you got yourself a repeat client and a brand new client you may not have found otherwise.
What is great about this is that you’re accomplishing two things in one. Your initial client has an incentive to become a repeat customer, and they also have the incentive to pass on the word of your services to a friend or family member. All this comes at the cost of offering some sort of discounted product or service to help entice them.
So there you have 4 simple tricks to getting your marketing going at little to no cost. Just remember that whether paid or free, marketing is all about making calculated decisions so that investing your time and money can be as effective as possible.