When starting your new business you need to have marketing in mind, all businesses need to be marketed in some kind of way – through word of mouth, advertising, social media etc…
At the start of any new business money is tight, you need to be able to look at low cost marketing ideas which will get your first customers through the door. This article will help show you what avenues are out there for low cost marketing ideas.
This is a starting point for budding marketeers, I am by no means a marketing expert and I would certainly keep researching different low cost marketing techniques after you read this.
Create a marketing plan
I know you all want to get stuck in immediately, but you need to sit down and create a marketing plan. Go through a series of questions and write down the answer:
1. What am I selling?
2. What does the perfect customer look like?
3. Where can you find this customer?
4. What are they worried about?
5. What do they value?
6. Why would they trust you?
7. Who are your competitors and why would someone choose you over them?
8. Pricing – this is key. You may think lowballing will get you customers, but when your business takes off you may have nonprofitable customers you want to get rid off – will that impact your service?
9. How will I get to these customers? this is where the low cost marketing ideas come in.
10. How much can I spend? I don’t mean initially but also ongoing, marketing isn’t a one off exercise.
11. How will you measure success of marketing? Cost per acquiring customer? No of leads? You need to think about it so you can decide whats working
Get your pitch ready
You have all heard about the elevator pitch, the pitch you can real off in about 30 seconds which tells people who you are and what you are selling. This is something which needs to be honed immediately, if you can’t articulate this now then you won’t be able to do it when a customer is giving you a ring or you are trying to network.
Publish compelling content
You probably have created your website, either as a point of presence or as a means to sell. Why not publish great content about a subject you know about and will attract people to your website. Think as content as a trial, where potential customer can read about what you know about, they may learn something and start looking into the rest of your website. The great thing about this low cost marketing technique, Its free!
Get yourself some well designed business cards, give them to every person you interact with. Every introduction should be followed by a business card. They may seem out of date but they still seem just as relevant today as they were twenty years ago. The more people interacting with your business the better. As low cost marketing goes, this is a must have for most business owners.
Get some car signage printed and stick it on the rear window, even if its small, imagine the driver behind you in the traffic jam, they have a surprisingly long time looking at your car. You can get these printed cheaply and can really help businesses, especially trades.
Some business benefit from this more than others. Those who will are the more visual and trendy products, such as baker, furniture maker, photographer etc… While those who don’t have a visual product then it may be more difficult but you should certainly have a presence on social media because you never know!
List on directories
List your company on as many directories as possible, think Google Maps, Google Business, Yell.com etc.. Make sure you can be found when people search for something you sell. Otherwise who knows you exist?
Paid per Click Advertising
While this is supposed to focus on low cost, you can create a very targeted ad campaign on Facebook, Linkedin or Google. I find the best value for money is Facebook, as long as you do a bit of research before you start paying per click you can do well. The key is making sure it is measurable, i.e clicks, sign ups, purchases. Be careful with this one as you can spend £1000s and not get what you want.
Why not start a one month free promotion or discounts on the first order. This can get people to try your product cheaply. This can really help to start trusting your brand.
Join local business groups
There are loads of business networking groups out there, the key is to keep going even if you don’t see results immediately. There will be times when this is a waste of time but you may get 1 or 2 high value clients from a series of these meetings. Remember think about your elevator pitch and be prepared to help people out and not overly push your business.
Read WaterTight Marketing
I would have listed this as number one. Now I don’t normally recommend books, but Watertight Marketing is a great book for small businesses, it gets you to really think about what you are offering and how your market your product. It is one of the best (and only) books on marketing I have not only finished but enjoyed. See it on Amazon
Keep trying new ideas
The key to marketing is keep trying new low cost marketing ideas and see what sticks. Sometimes you need to give something a good amount of time before abandoning it but if you are proactive you will find a great way of marketing your small business.
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