Guest Author: Jessica Swanson
Unfortunately, many small business owners believe in the motto, “it takes money to make money” in the world of small business. The good news is that nothing could be further from the truth.
Here are twenty-one shoestring marketing secrets that will provide you with the right frame of mind so that you can begin the process of building a thriving small business without spending a dime on marketing.
What every small business needs to know is that Shoestring Marketing is:
1. Low-cost. In today’s internet and social media age, there are now more low-cost marketing options than ever before. Not only is it possible, but absolutely doable to substantially grow your small business on a shoestring budget.
2. Commitment. If your marketing is going to eventually take hold, then you need to make a strong commitment to see it through until it sticks. Don’t give up in the early stages.
3. Patience. The fruits of your marketing labors don’t happen overnight. You need to plant your marketing seeds and tend to them regularly before your marketing garden blooms.
4. Branding. Your clients and customers need to have a clear picture in their minds as to who you are and how your product or service can solve their most pressing problems.
5. Consistency. Marketing is much like breathing. It’s the life of your small business and should be a regular part of your daily business activities.
6. Domination. If you want to explode your small business profits, then you must dominate a small part of your market. You need to become the “go-to” person in your particular niche.
7. Customer-focused. Your primary job is to clearly identify the problems that your prospects face and offer them the obvious solutions.
8. Identify your target market. It’s crucial that you know exactly who needs your product or service. Mass marketing doesn’t work in today’s business environment. Not only does it force you to water down your marketing message to please the masses, but it’s much too expensive for the shoestring marketer.
9. Elicits confidence and trust. Create experiences and situations that boost the level of confidence from your prospects. At the end of the day, people buy from those whom they like and trust.
10. Massive visibility. Since your prospects are exposed to over 4,000 ads every single day, you need to ensure that your small business is utilizing as many marketing platforms as possible. Your prospects should come across you in as many places as possible.
11. Repetition. Research suggests that prospects need to encounter your small business between seven and twelve times before they are ready to purchase. So, put yourself in front of your target market over and over again.
12. Ease of use. If your sales process, marketing materials or any other part of your business is too complicated, your customers will become confused. Confused customers simply don’t buy.
13. The WOW Factor. What are you doing to get noticed? How are you different than your competition? The fastest way to small business failure is to blend in with the crowd.
14. Quality. If your product and/or services aren’t top quality, then you won’t get repeat business. Your long-term success depends on satisfied customers who spread the word about your business and purchase from you repeatedly.
15. Education. Position yourself as an expert and educate your prospects as to why your small business can offer them the remedy to their most pressing pain points.
16. Relationships. Create real relationships with your prospects and customers. Answer their questions, solve their problems and help them if they’re stuck. Your prospects want to know that there’s a real person in front of your small business.
17. Increasing the lifetime value of customers. Over 20% of your existing customers will purchase from you again (since they already know and trust you), so create additional ways for them to make purchases.
18. Automation. We’re living in a fast-tracked society that doesn’t work using old-fashioned marketing methods. So, embrace automation tools such as landing pages, email autoresponders, shopping carts, customer management software, etc.
19. Tracking your results. It’s essential to your overall survival that you have a clear understanding what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to your marketing. Use link tracking software to track your ROI (even if your only investment is your time).
20. Flexibility. Things change quickly and you must be willing to adapt. When the next “great” marketing platform emerges, be willing to jump on board and embrace it with excitement. If you are a flexible marketer, you’re always miles ahead of your competition.
21. Everything that you do. Marketing isn’t just about your advertising campaigns. Every single interaction that you have with your prospects promotes your small business. So, be careful how you answer the phone, respond to your emails and treat your customers because all of it makes an instant and lasting impression on them.
So, there you have it, twenty-one Shoestring Marketing strategies that will literally transform your small business from “just getting by” to “flourishing.” And, the best part of all is that you can do it all on a shoestring marketing budget.
Jessica Swanson, “The Shoestring Marketer,” has helped entrepreneurs, all over the world, explode their businesses using cutting-edge, proven and completely free marketing strategies. To receive your FREE Shoestring Marketing Kit, which has helped thousands of entrepreneurs, just like you, learn the exact techniques for marketing their businesses for no-cost, visit: www.ShoestringMarketingKit.com