How to Survive Without Marketing – Part Two

Get reviews from clients
If you’re a service-based business, use your network and ask friends and family for testimonials about your work. You could also offer a special deal or freebie for new customers who recommend you to others. Be sure to display these reviews on your website, on business cards and in any other marketing material you create. If you’re creating physical products, seek out beta testers who will give feedback on early versions of your product—and review it after it launches. The next step is to get some press coverage: if you have a unique angle, write an op-ed piece for a local newspaper; if not, reach out to bloggers who cover similar topics. The key is to start with one publication (or blogger) and then move onto another once that initial piece runs. And don’t forget offline options like networking events and speaking engagements.

Post on social media
Social media is a powerful way for companies to connect with their audiences, build relationships and drive traffic. While many small businesses do invest in social media advertising, not all marketing budgets include full-time social media managers. The good news is that you can still market your business successfully even if you don’t have an extensive budget. Here are some tips on how you can save money while still managing your company’s presence on social media platforms
Your initial engagement with social media should be focused on setting up accounts, optimizing them for search and building a network of followers who are genuinely interested in your product or service. Take advantage of any built-in analytics tools each platform offers as well so you can monitor what types of content resonate best.

Approach local media outlets
Local media outlets are a great way to get your business’s name out there with very little cash spent. Write a press release, contact local journalists and show them that you’re an expert in your field and a viable source of information. They may also run quotes from you in their articles about your industry. If enough write-ups come out about you, it could have a positive impact on your search engine optimization (SEO). These days, press is good for business!

Get interviewed online
Getting interviewed by a journalist is a great way to promote your business. The trick is doing it without spending a ton of money on traditional marketing techniques like print ads or radio spots. Getting a writer interested in interviewing you doesn’t have to be that hard; they’re always looking for interesting stories, and businesses with fascinating backstories have an advantage over those that don’t. If you can create a story about how your company was founded, how you developed your product or service, or even just how you came up with an innovative new idea—you could get some free exposure. Just make sure that when journalists come calling, you’ve got something good to tell them!

Don’t be afraid to email cold leads
Cold emailing might not be popular, but it’s still a great way to get started in B2B sales. When most people think of cold calling, they picture themselves reaching out to warm leads—people who may or may not have heard of their business. In fact, there are plenty of leads who aren’t warm at all and are often happy when you contact them. These so-called cold leads include people who haven’t engaged with your company yet (for example, they haven’t visited your website), as well as those who don’t know you exist. While these prospects may seem intimidating at first glance, cold emailing can help make that initial connection and lead to a sale down the line.

How to Survive Without Marketing – Part One

When it comes to starting and running a business, it seems like everyone will tell you the same thing: if you don’t market your business, it won’t survive. That’s just not true! In fact, businesses like this have thrived in one way or another since the beginning of time, and as long as there are people who need what you have to offer, you’ll be able to turn your business into something worthwhile without having to spend all of your time on marketing yourself and your products or services.

Do I really need marketing?

I’m sure you’ve heard from many people that marketing is an absolute necessity for a new business. And if you’re running a business with little money, it might seem like there’s no way you can afford marketing. But although many businesses depend on marketing to succeed, that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to run a profitable company without it. You just have to be creative and come up with other ways of getting your name out there. In fact, some of today’s most successful companies—including Google and Apple—were started by entrepreneurs who decided they didn’t need marketing right away. They got their names out through other means and then began investing in advertising once they had a firm foundation.

Create lead magnets

From cheat sheets and guides, to white papers and e-books, there are a number of different ways you can package your expertise in an easy-to-consume format. Creating these lead magnets helps establish yourself as an authority in your industry. When others see that you’re creating resources they know they can come back to at any time, it reinforces how much value your services bring. If people start to associate you with helpful content, they may be more likely to reach out when they need help. The more content you create, the better known you become as someone who offers great advice and tips—and people will be more likely to ask for your help when they need it.

Share your content with influencers

Influencers have a huge following on social media. When you share your content with influencers, they’ll most likely post about it for their audience. For example, if you’re running a local fitness studio, and Joe Shmoe Fitness Fanatic has 100k followers on Instagram, he or she might want to repost a picture of your new abs workout program; in turn, you gain access to Joe Shmoe’s huge following. This is called influencer marketing. It’s a great way to get exposure without having to spend money on advertising.

Develop relationships with partners

Understand that your partner is as important as you are in your endeavor. If there’s a reduction in budget, look at how you can work with partners who have similar goals and interests. These relationships will only improve over time, helping everyone grow their brand and expand their network of contacts. While partnerships might not generate revenue directly, they often lead to business opportunities down the road.
You should start out by doing some research on potential partners. Use social media channels like LinkedIn or Twitter to find people who might be able to help you achieve your goals; these sites allow you to connect with professionals from different industries and get an idea of what others are doing within their respective niches. If you have a hard time finding someone, try reaching out to other businesses in your area that seem similar to yours—they may be interested in growing their network as well. Once you’ve found a few candidates, reach out via email or phone and ask if they’d be willing to meet for coffee.

How to ACTUALLY market your business easily and effectively

How to market your business easily and effectively can sometimes be a difficult question to answer if you don’t know what marketing strategies work best for your product or service, or if you have limited funds to spend on marketing your business. Luckily, this guide will help you find marketing strategies that are simple and easy to implement while still being effective at gaining new customers and increasing sales.

Target Your Audience
When you understand who your target audience is, you can focus on things that will resonate with them. Rather than just throwing some tactics out there and hoping for a good outcome, make sure you know who will be interested in what you’re trying to do. If a certain demographic or location seems like a great fit for what you’re offering, don’t try to market it—make sure they know about it! If someone doesn’t click on an ad because they never visit those types of websites or use that type of mobile device, there’s not much else you can do—you need to put yourself in their shoes.

Be Consistent
One of our go-to simple marketing ideas for smaller businesses is using social media as a way to grow a brand. Use social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to share engaging content about your product or service with followers. Interacting with followers on a regular basis encourages them to share new content you post with their own followers, helping expand your reach. You can also use social media sites to host contests that encourage users to tag photos with your company’s name or hashtag. These simple marketing ideas can help establish your brand’s presence online and drive traffic back to your website.

Get an Email List
If you’re going to launch a new product or service, make sure you ask customers for their email addresses. The best way to do so is through a lead magnet—something free that attracts interest in return for an email address. There are plenty of lead magnets out there, but what counts is using one. You can even create a lead magnet around your industry if you want. For example, if you run a marketing agency, give away an ebook on marketing trends; it doesn’t have to be anything fancy; just something that will entice people into signing up for more information.

Do Video Marketing
If you’re just starting out, video marketing is a great way to promote yourself. People love visual content, so consider making videos—either on YouTube or your own site—about who you are, what you do, and why people should work with you. It’s not too hard to get started: all you need is a webcam. But make sure that you’re consistent about creating content; viewers will lose interest if they don’t see new videos regularly. Also, it’s important to remember that videos are only one part of an effective marketing strategy.

Create a Social Media Strategy
There are a lot of social media channels out there, and it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which ones make sense for your business. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about creating an effective social media strategy on your own—you can find resources online or get help from people within your network who have already created successful strategies. It’s not a bad idea to talk with others in person, too. You might learn a few ideas by listening to other entrepreneurs’ strategies at networking events or during informal conversations about current projects.

Diversify Your Content
In today’s age of content overload, it can be difficult for businesses with a limited marketing budget to cut through. One way to make sure your brand has a place in people’s minds is by diversifying your content. That means you should try everything from blogs, infographics, and webinars to slideshows, PDF downloads, and Pinterest image collections—especially if you have several aspects of your company that you want people to understand or know about. The more content you create, the more likely you are to appear on search engines and social media feeds; when done right, these efforts will help build your brand awareness and influence potential customers.

Promote Events
One of the easiest, most effective ways to market your company is by promoting events or services through social media. Make sure you are promoting events that are related to or sponsored by your business; if you’re not certain whether an event would be appropriate for marketing purposes, it’s best to hold off until you can confirm with someone in management. An easy way for companies big and small to publicize their events is through Facebook Event postings.

Pivot If Something Isn’t Working
No one is going to blame you for trying a marketing strategy that doesn’t work. That said, I think you should be willing to pivot on strategies if it’s not delivering results. If a marketing channel isn’t delivering, try something else—no shame in that. Once you decide on an approach, make sure you’re not losing sight of customer acquisition costs (CAC) and lifetime value (LTV). CAC is how much it costs you to acquire a new customer while LTV is how much revenue they generate over their lifetime of use. Don’t get lost in vanity metrics like number of signups or active users because these don’t give you any indication of what’s working or what’s failing with your strategy. Instead, focus on how many customers are coming back to buy from you again. You can figure out where most of your money is being spent by looking at which channels are driving sales and which ones aren’t. For example, say you’re spending $5 per sale through Facebook ads but only making $3 per sale from organic search traffic; that means Facebook ads are likely bringing in more expensive sales than Google search traffic but also generating more total revenue due to volume. This will help inform future decisions about where to spend time and money since you know where there’s potential for growth (in our example above, Facebook ads). Always compare ROI across different channels so you can identify which ones are giving you a good return on investment versus those that aren’t performing as well.

8 Low-Cost Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

I’m sure that if you have a small business, you don’t have money to waste on ineffective marketing strategies. You want to make your marketing dollars work as hard as possible. The following eight strategies are ones that have worked well for me, and I think they will be effective for many other small businesses out there as well!

1) Create a Plan
There are lots of low-cost marketing strategies out there and they can help you get your name out to new customers. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that these aren’t quick fixes; it takes time to build brand recognition, so if your strategy revolves around getting people on social media or other platforms immediately, it might not be worth your time. Here are eight low-cost marketing strategies small businesses can use now.

2) Host Events
Hosting networking events is a great way to market your business, especially if you’re in a competitive industry. This marketing strategy allows you to connect with a variety of people and bring them into your network; it also helps people become aware of what you do, even if they aren’t immediately ready to buy. The key here is patience: Don’t expect anyone to sign up right away; instead, treat these events as opportunities to generate leads by making connections and building trust over time.

3) Write Articles
Writing articles is one of those simple marketing strategies that can have a big impact. It’s not complicated, you don’t need any special skills or training and it doesn’t cost much to set up. As well as generating some interest in your business, which could lead to new customers, writing articles on a regular basis also helps you keep your website fresh and relevant—always an important consideration when choosing a small business marketing strategy.

4) Run Contests
Running a contest can be a low-cost marketing strategy. Contests are fun and exciting, and they help establish a sense of community around your brand. Make sure to clearly explain how people enter, give them multiple ways to do so (such as Facebook or Twitter), and reward winners with free products or coupons. Of course, like any marketing activity, contests require you to have a product or service worth talking about in order to get people excited enough about it that they’ll enter your contest!

5) Use Your Website as an Event Calendar
Use your website to make it easy for customers to keep track of upcoming events. They don’t have to go anywhere else—they can stay on your site, which is good for you because it increases your chances of being at or near the top of search results when people are searching online. It’s also a nice way to collect additional information about who your customers are and what they want.

6) Share Videos on Social Media
If you have a knack for creating content, there’s no shortage of social media platforms that can help you earn cash and recruit followers. YouTube is by far one of the most popular sites on which to post videos, but other platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and Vine can also be used. As with all these platforms, though, you’ll need to build up an audience before your videos will start bringing in views. This takes time. But once you do, many of these sites are free to use or offer affordable advertising options. A good way to get started on any platform is by posting useful how-to videos.

7) Use Email Marketing to Build Relationships
Email marketing is a low-cost way to build relationships and let people know about your business. By using email marketing, you’re not just selling; you’re also providing value and trying to help solve your subscribers’ problems. If you want to keep it simple and small, use email lists to stay in touch with existing customers on an occasional basis. If you have more time and resources, create a drip campaign that sends automated emails at specific times over several weeks or months. This type of campaign requires more effort up front but can pay off if done correctly.

8) Guest Post on Popular Sites
Guest posting is another popular tactic among businesses hoping to attract new customers. If you’re willing to write posts on other sites, you can place links in your author bio, directing readers to your own site. You can also use guest posting as a way to increase search engine optimization (SEO) on your site. Search engines love fresh content and will reward you if they see you consistently posting on other sites.