Free and effective yet the most undermined marketing strategies.
The success of a business relies on adding more clients and customer. If you are a start-up and especially on a shoestring budget you know even a month or two without new business can rock your boat. Our general impression is that marketing will cost you a fortune and only businesses with deeper pockets can afford to do it. Well, thanks to the internet this isn’t true anymore!
I will share you some of the tips that can be part of your client acquisition strategy without burning a hole in your pocket.
Step one is getting a professional website.
First and foremost of this is to create a website for your business. But a website shouldn’t be run for a meal. I have personally seen some horrible and shabby website to be quite frankly you wouldn’t even consider inquiring with. Remember, your website is your virtual office and part of your brand image. Please don’t be careless with it. You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a decent website.
Step two create an email with your domain name
Often we receive emails from general email ids such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc., well little you may know that it sounds scam and spam, even if your business is legit, thanks to numerous scam artist. It is important for you to use your official email when sending a proposal or approaching to initiate a business relationship.
Remember, you must have an email address with signature in it. Your signature must consist, a bare minimum, of “Thank You” or “Best Regards”, name and contact details.
Not that these two important things have been taken care of, I will share with you several free yet effective marketing channels (that I can think off the top of my head) you are aware of but haven’t used it to its full potential.
Remember the key over here isn’t the money you can invest but the time.
1) Friends and Family Member
Your product is meant to bring improvement in a person’s life and if you really think it can they should be the first one because you want to help them right?
Some may not need your product as they might not have a need of it however still they can be valuable. Ask everyone who buys from you or rejects your business for referrals. Yes, referrals of those who they think can benefit from or has a need. Do not every shy away from it or you will be losing opportunities. Referrals create credibility and you know half of the battle has been won.
3) Participate regularly in groups, forums, and community
This is probably one of the best ways to discover your targeted prospects. Participating regularly creates brand awareness and gain a reputation as an expert. However, when you become a part of the group or forum your sole intention shouldn’t be to gain rather contribute value to it, too.
4) Social Media
If you are selling B2B (Business to Business) products or services, LinkedIn is your best go-to social media platform. Create a profile and connect with professionals. Introduce yourself and create a relationship. You can either directly ask for their business or ask if they can give you some referrals. Twitter is another handy tool.
If you are in B2C, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc can be explored too for more business.
5) Newspaper ads
Again this is for those who are in B2B sales. Newspaper can provide you with the information of businesses that may be a potential client and the best part is that it will provide you with the contact information (board number).
6) Attend business seminars
For a business, nothing can be great then meeting like minded people and getting yourself introduced to other entrepreneurs. Going to these seminars will help you build a network you can benefit from.
7) Exchanging information
You can reach out to other businesses who aren’t your competitors or an indirect competitor and ask them if they will be interested in exchanging the information of their current clients or the data of businesses they have with yours.
Better yet, (as some may be skeptical about the idea of exchanging data) ask them to send an introduction email about your business for a vice-versa. Give them certain incentives if you have to if their efforts result in a client acquisition.
Well, there are other lots and lots of other great ideas you can put into your marketing strategy without worrying about the budget. The key to the success is consistency with your efforts and not shying away from creating opportunities.
Do not be afraid of rejection and avoiding phone calls. Pick your phone and start calling, email everyone you know and repeat if every now and then at least once a month. The more you are in front of their face and in constant touch, the more the chances are of your brand name resonating in their mind when a new opportunity arises.
If you have any new ideas or feedback, please feel free to comment or contact me.