Starting a business can often seem overwhelming. Many people don’t have a lot of money when they begin. You need money to create your business presence, sell inventory, and establish yourself as an industry leader. Many people believe that the best marketing tools are ones you pay handsomely for. But you’d be surprised to know how many marketing tips can be accomplished on a shoestring budget.
The most important thing is to be smart. Understand your clientele and what they respond to. As long as you’re targeting the right people with the right kind of advertising, you can’t go wrong.
- Post incredible blog content.
There are multiple reasons why your business should have a blog, no matter what industry you’re in. Your chances of being ranked higher by search engines are almost four times better if you have a blog. You’ll also generate substantially more leads.
You started your business for a reason. You’re providing a product or service that no one else can manage. The fastest way to set yourself apart from the competition is by using unique blog content.
What should you blog about? It depends on your business. One of the best strategies is to find out what questions consumers are asking most, and then to provide answers to those questions.
- Learn how to focus on your ideal clientele.
Different marketing strategies work for different consumer bases. Rather than approaching your marketing with broad messages, you should try to target your specific customer base. The more specific you can be, the better. Your marketing messages should be focused and to-the-point.
Your business will never get anywhere if you don’t have a focus. Just like you needed focus to turn your business dream into a reality, you need focus to implement effective marketing strategies. You can discover more ways to hone your focus as well.
- Build an email list.
No matter whether your business has a local or international reach, an email list is critical. In this day and age, a huge amount of marketing is done through the internet.
Many management services for emails will charge a monthly fee. You might not have the budget to make this kind of commitment. However, if you have a small mailing list, there are certain services that will offer you free help. Generally, if you’re taking advantage of free email management, you’ll need to have less than two thousand subscribers.
- Contribute articles to a magazine in your industry.
You may be surprised by the number of different magazines available. There seems to be a magazine to suit every industry. Even if you don’t think the magazine is hugely popular, its readers are more likely to engage with your business content than random people off the street.
Part of establishing yourself as an industry expert is being recognized by the industry. If you publish articles in an industry-leading magazine, you have credentials to show off. Not to mention the magazine will generate leads for your business.
- Attend local events for networking.
There are all kinds of networking events no matter where you live. Networking in rural areas will be different from urban areas, to be sure. You should have a sense of your community and the businesses around you.
When you go to a networking event, always keep a goal in mind. Are you looking for potential clients? Are you looking for other small businesses to partner with? Your end goal should be to grow your business and increase your visibility. Bring business cards with you to help.
- Co-sponsor an online or community contest.
If most of your business is done through the internet, consider an online contest. If you’re a local business, find a competition to sponsor in your community. Sponsorship will generally involve offering a monetary prize, your services, or your products as part of the competition’s winnings.
This is a great way to get people excited about your business and sharing your information.
- Make guest posts on industry-related websites.
No matter your industry, there are probably popular websites with leading information about said industry. These are spaces that aren’t affiliated with any particular business, where people can gather to share information. Get a sense of the top websites in your industry. See if you can make guest posts addressing common consumer issues or explaining innovations.
- Get into the social media game.
Social media is crucial to marketing. Two of the biggest social media platforms for businesses right now are Facebook and Twitter. Facebook groups allow you to connect to local consumers and businesses. Twitter, meanwhile, lets you connect with niche groups all over the world.
You can use Twitter to answer common questions about your industry as well as to post business updates. Facebook is great for organizing local events and reaching out to other business owners.
- Give a free informational product through your website.
Who doesn’t love free stuff? One great marketing tactic is to offer free information through your website. People who appreciate the information will wonder how much better the paid-for content is.
Free information might be anything from an e-book to a brochure about your industry.
If you’re running an e-commerce business, you could give away a free sample of your product or a free whitepaper that helps your prospective customers solve problems relating to the products you offer (if you’re interested in starting an e-commerce business, check out this awesome review on the popular Amazing Selling Machine course)
- Use eye-catching business cards and web design.
Branding is a huge part of making your business memorable. You may not have the budget to hire a top web design firm. That’s okay. Many businesses make functional, aesthetically pleasing websites using tools like WordPress.
You should also have business cards that catch the eye. They should reflect your brand and give a good first impression of your business, along with your important contact information.
Marketing your business doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. What’s most important is that you make smart decisions that target your clientele. For local businesses, that means reaching out to the community. For industry-specific online businesses, you’ll need to establish yourself as an expert in your field.
These tips can help any business expand their reach and hone their marketing without breaking the bank.