6 Ways To Market Your Business On a Shoestring.
When you’re running your own blog, startup or small business, it’s likely that your enthusiasm alone will generate a constant stream of new ideas. Most of these often fall away because of limited budgets and limited time but what if you could harness that creativity into thinking about how to market what you’re doing to make your content, products and messaging stretch further; enabling you to share your vision with the world.
Bootstrapping is in my DNA so I’ve come up with six strategies you can try out to shine a spotlight on your what you're doing, without breaking the bank.
1. Tell An Authentic Story
Instead of just introducing yourself as a blogger, entrepreneur or business owner, delve deep and develop a narrative that not only differentiates you from others but that also ‘feels’ right and sparks conversation. Did you come up with your business idea during a troubling life event? Tell people! Mentioning it may inspire others and encourage them to open up.
2. Stop selling, start supporting
Why anyone keeps pumping out hard sell posts, products and business news with no personalisation is beyond me. Using your favourite social media channels, it is so easy to engage your target demographic without looking like you’re just trying to advertise. Build brand trust by showing your support, whether it’s of your community, a cause or your online following. Sharing someone else’s content doesn’t mean losing your audience’s attention – it shows that the people around you matter and that it’s not just the ‘me, me, me’ show!
3. Know your niche and build credibility
Your shoestring budget can’t keep you from carving out a space within your chosen niche. Your blog can offer others the chance to see things from a new perspective. A webinar or a podcast can help viewers / listeners feel like connoisseurs and speaking at an event can propel you in the role of the teacher; allowing you to share your thoughts and ideas with a captive audience. The world needs to hear what you have to share so instead of attending the next networking event or business conference, why don’t you ask if they’re looking for speakers.
4. Help people to find you
Just because you have a website, some social media pages, a blog, or even a pre-launch holding page, it doesn’t mean it’s easily discoverable by your target audience. With every post you publish, use keywords specific to your niche and to improve your Google rankings. Next, help people find your content by practicing a few SEO techniques, starting with your website. Title your pages with phrases unique to your business so they stand apart from other sites and install an SEO plugin.
There is an abundance of social tools out there which specialise in helping your blog or business get discovered by large networks of people – including Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook. They all offer advertising services, promoting you to an active network and save you from spending thousands on pay-per-click ads or traditional advertising.
5. First impressions last
Did you know that people make decisions about the people they meet within six seconds of meeting them and when that happens online you won't even know if someone didn't like what they saw. A quality brand design can tell your story, make your business stand out from the crowd & build a lasting relationship with your audience.
There are lots of free tools out there (Canva is one of my personal favourites) that can help you to create professional designs but if you don't have the time or an eye for it, a professional can help you to look your best online. There are many platforms where you can find freelancers (like People Per Hour) or you can join relevant Facebook groups and ask the other members for recommendations. If you need a logo design, I am offering an introductory price of £111 / $150 until 31st March 2018 (shameless plug!).
Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression!
6. Get people talking about you
If you’re just starting out, you may have a hard time introducing your business or products to the public. A great way to generate word-of-mouth is through quid pro quo samples and giveaways. Try reaching out to eager members of your community or audience and offer your product (or a sample of it) in return for a review and shares on social media.
Evaluate all that you do. If something hasn’t worked as well as you’d of liked; pause and question it. Always check in to see what you can tweak and then try again.
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