Oh my gosh, marketing is so expensive! I hear people say this all the time when we discuss how they are promoting their business. But marketing does not have to be a massive cost. If you only have a piggy bank of coins to spend, then you can still market your business in an effective way. These are my favourite creative marketing ideas for when you are working with a tight budget.
Effective Marketing is Affordable Marketing
You know that you need to market your business to get your name out there. But marketing does not have to mean a huge budget, appearing in glossy magazines and blazing your brand across the television. The most effective marketing is the marketing that you can afford.
There isn’t much sense in crippling your business finances to pay for expensive marketing options if you can’t afford to pay yourself afterwards. The best marketing is where you see a significant return on your investment. That is the investment of your time as well as a monetary investment.
My Favourite Creative Marketing Ideas That Are Actually Affordable…
1. Create Great Content
Creating great content costs you nothing (unless you choose to hire a copywriter to help you out) and serves so many purposes. Not only do you get your business in front of people, but you build a relationship of trust with potential clients and prove that you are an expert in your field. Make people want to read by solving a problem for them, telling them a good story, or giving them a list of ideas to action.
You can also breathe new life into old content by rewriting it, or repurposing it for other platforms. Turn a collection of blogs into an e-book, use a webinar as a video tutorial, or an internal training manual as a beginner’s blog series.
2. Network And Then Network Some More
Networking only costs your time, and the returns you can see are amazing. Actually meeting someone face to face gives you the chance to make a genuine connection. And word of mouth referrals are so powerful – they are effectively someone endorsing your business.
While networking in person is great, you can also network online. There are hundreds of online groups for people in small business, pick the ones where you can find your ideal client, or people who are connected to them. But a word of caution: don’t constantly push your business in these groups, take the time to build relationships instead, and deliver value to the community. Read up on How To Avoid Being a Sleazy Salesperson here.
3. Run A Giveaway
The chance to get something of value for free will see your business flooded with new leads and opportunities. Make sure that your prize is targeted so that you attract the right kind of entrants. It doesn’t have to be an expensive prize either, just something that people will be interested in getting their hands on.
Make sure you maximise the opportunity and have a way to contact the entrants after the competition ends. Collecting email addresses is a great way of doing this.
Partnering with complementary businesses can be a great way to get work in the door. If you make cakes, partner with someone that sells party supplies, or if you are a personal trainer, partner with someone that sells activewear.
You can work together to grow your businesses and utilise each other’s followers. You can expose yourself to a whole new audience of people that you might not have reached beforehand.
5. Engage With Your Existing Contacts
Don’t be focused on getting new leads through the door all the time. People that you have worked with before know the standard of your work and that you can deliver on your promises. Repeat business is an important part of your marketing strategy, read about the importance of it here.
Staying in touch with your past, current and prospective clients will keep you at the front of their mind. When they need your services, you will be the first one that they think of.
Marketing your business does not have to be an expensive exercise, but it is a necessary exercise. Hopefully these creative marketing ideas will give you some inspiration on how to build your brand without building many business expenses!