As a small business owner or an entrepreneur, you have to closely guard your cash flow to be successful.
But guarding the purse strings is not the same as refusing to spend your cash appropriately to build your business.
The important thing is to be strategic with your spending and make sure that your investments pay off. You don’t have to blow the budget to make a big impact. In fact, there are lots of ways to market your business $400 or less, assuming you are willing to put in a bit of sweat equity.
Here are six easy to implement and inexpensive marketing strategies:
1. Do your market research. I’ve repeated numerous times just how important it is to research your market. The more time you invest and the more you refine your ideal client, the better you can focus your marketing efforts and target them to the appropriate audience. Also be sure to check out what your competitors are doing. Be strategic. Don’t try to compete with big players with an established brand, but analyze your field to see where weaknesses or gaps exist in the marketplace and take advantage of these.
2. Use email to your advantage. There are many email marketing platforms out there that offer free accounts up to a certain limit of subscribers or emails per month. And if you purchase a plan through an email marketing provider they are generally very inexpensive. Email marketing is a tactic that works. Many studies have proven that email is the preferred channel for clients and prospects to receive communications. But remember that nobody likes spam. There are rules in place that specify how you can legally prospect for business. Be sure that you are coloring in the lines.
3. Timing is everything. Most consumers search for a product or service online. Ensure that prospects who land on your website can access the information that they need to make a buying decision quickly and efficiently. Nearly all new websites are already optimized for mobile devices, but if you have an older same be sure that you have a mobile ready version available. Remember that nearly half of all browsing is now done on mobile devices.
4. Make sure you can be found. As noted above, most consumers go online to research products and services prior to making a purchase. As a small business owner or entrepreneur, make sure that you do keyword research and appropriately integrate search engine optimization (SEO) into the content of your site. Used appropriately, SEO can result in favorable SERP, or search engine result placement, in organic search results. When searching online, few people bother to look beyond the second page of results, so be sure that you are able to be found.
5. Use social media. But be strategic. Hundreds of social media sites are in existence, but there are only a small handful that are used regularly by the majority of people. When you did your research, you should have identified which of these social networks your prospects are most likely to use. Create profiles on those social networks and interact with your prospects and clients on the sites. Remember that these are places where people will post comments though, and make sure that you are interacting. You could consider making a small investment to sponsor posts on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook or twitter. All of these platforms allow you to target your ideal market as well as set a daily limit, ensuring that you do not overspend.
6. Expand your team. No, I’m not talking about hiring when you can’t afford to do so. Instead, I’m referring to the concept of creating strategic alliances. Sharing contacts and working with other businesses who can complement your offerings cannot only increase your brand awareness, but can also help you grow your business much quicker than you could on your own. Again, play fair. Make sure that the alliance works both ways.
Until next time…
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