Do you struggle with getting new customers? Are your resources strained? Here are some easy and effective marketing ideas that won’t break the bank!
1. Become known as the expert in your field. Write articles and submit them on free article submission websites. Post the articles on your website, newsletter, or blog. Contact your local newspaper to see if your article would be of value to their readers.
2. Develop a niche market. For example, I love working with dentists who own their own practice and have young families.
3. Create strategic alliances with other businesses who also work with your customer. For example, if you are a banker, partner with a commercial real estate broker.
4. Create your own strategic alliance networking group. Take the alliance one step further by creating your own strategic alliance networking group. For example, for my dentist’s niche, I formed a networking group that included a dental staffing company, dental office construction company, dental office supply company, etc. This group has consistently generated about 30% of my total revenue for the last 3 years. For best results you need to meet every two weeks in the least. The only cost is for your meal if you choose to meet over one. One great place to publicize your networking group is on meetup (.com)
5. A blog is a must do: The key is to update it regularly with information that is important to your customer.
6. Twitter: Again, this is the way to get your name out there. Make sure your post or “tweets” are valuable to your customer. Don’t use twitter to sell, it turns followers off. Instead, use Twitter to point people to your blog or your website.
7. Have a contest that relates to your business. For example, if you are a graphic designer, you could sponsor an “Extreme Logo Makeover” contest. Promote on your website, send press releases to the media. Pick a winner and promote them in the media as well.
8. Create a special promotion to celebrate an unusual holiday or create your own holiday. For example, March is National Frozen Foods Month. Give away free popsicles on a street corner, or to a women and children’s shelter. Make sure you notify the media. For more info about holidays go to: Chases.com.
9. Get Free Publicity: You don’t have to hire an expensive PR Company to get noticed, you can do it on your own. One source for free publicity is a website called helpareporter (.com) which lists reporter’s needs for expert speakers. When there is a fit, then you just contact the reporter directly.
10. Give away your service or product for free. I saw a local TV news story about a landscaping company that was going around the neighborhoods they service and cleaning the yards of abandoned properties for free. The neighbors that it was fantastic. Who do you think they are going to call when they need a landscaper?
11. Write an E-book and give it away for free on your website or blog.
12. Wear a nametag. Not one of those professionally engraved ones. Those attract customers like wearing garlic around your neck. Instead, wear a real peel off “Hello my name is” name tag sticker that you buy at Staples. You’ll be amazed at how people respond to you.
13. Make friends. Jeffrey Gitomer said in his Little Teal Book of Trust, “All things being equal, people like to do business with their friends.” Take your contacts out to lunch; get to know about their business and their needs. Don’t tell them about what you do unless they ask. Take time to develop a relationship.
14. Use social media to meet people: Facebook and Linked in are two of my favorite social networking sites. Join groups, be active in forums or create your own group.
15. Volunteer in the community. Turn your hobby into business opportunity. If you are passionate about art or photography, volunteer at an art museum or join their board of directors. Don’t do this to get new business. You truly have to be there to make a difference. But people will want to do business with you as they get to know you and become friends.