5 Effective (Free) Ways To Market Your Small Business
Putting up a bunch of content is a great long term plan, but it rarely generates sales very quickly (if at all…and it’s very hard to track).
I like the influencer approach to marketing (also known as strategic partnerships), but those oftentimes take months to build a relationship strong enough so that they trust sending work your way or giving you a shout out on their platform.
Here’s what I’m suggesting if you’re a business that can’t afford to spend money on marketing: put content creation on pause, continue outreach for building strategic partnerships (or influencer marketing relationships), but focus 2/3 of your marketing efforts on a proactive strategy you can control.
Here are a few methods that work really well for generating quick results:
- Get interviewed on podcasts in your niche. Get on iTunes and search for podcasts your customers are likely listening to. Reach out to the host with a few ideas on how you could provide a ton of value to their audience. Put together a PDF or something else valuable you can give away to their audience in exchange for an email address. Or offer a discount for your services if they fill out a short questionnaire. Do the interview and give a CTA to your website or landing page. Follow up with everyone who signs up.
- Find groups in your customer’s industries. If you’re a marketer, don’t go to a Meetup for marketers to find customers. That might be a great place to find people to build partnerships with, but not to find customers. Go to a Meetup where your customers are likely hanging out. Build a solid connection, provide a ton of value, and set a time to meet afterward. Follow up afterwards.
- Start your own Meetup group. For example, if you offer a service to small business owners in tech, start a Meetup group for that community. Be the person who brings your industry together. People LOVE this. Plus, it gives you something that you can always invite people to.
- Put together a solid outbound strategy. If you can’t afford to spend money on tools, keep it basic. Get on LinkedIn and Google, and search for company’s in your target market. Build a list of 100–250 (depends on the size your industry) companies to connect with over the next 3–6 months. Connect with every one of them on LinkedIn, and send a message. Or use something like (costs a bit of money) or (free) to mine their email address. Send a personalize email explaining who you are and why you think it makes sense to chat. Follow up, follow up, follow up. (pro tip: if you have a Meetup you run, you have something you can invite the prospect to!)
- Find blog articles your customer’s are commenting on and engage directly with them. There are likely industry leaders in your space who create content. Take a look at their websites and social media pages. Connect with the people commenting the most on those pages. Share that you have a mutual interest and that you would be interested in discussing how you could help each other out.
I find that if I have something I can always invite people to that is free or really cheap ($25 or less), I have a way to offer value to them. For me, it’s my company. We host regular events for growth-oriented people and provide great food and drink.
Anytime I meet someone new, I invite them to this event. It’s a great way to establish a relationship based on value first, so that you can do business together second. It’s also a way for people to see that I enjoy offering value to others, and helping connect others as well.
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