Cheap Ways To Get Exposure, Stay Profitable.
March 18, 2017
Cheap Ways To Get Exposure, Stay Profitable.
What do smart entrepreneurs do different to ensure their business stays profitable? They do the simple things right. Simple things really, like finding cheap ways to get exposure, or hearing their customers out, or networking in the right places. Number one marketing tip is don’t just think outside the box, get rid of the box! Be creative. Think Guerrilla. And if that doesn’t work, sometimes it just doesn’t hurt to ask. The truth is, your success is going to be at least in part dependent upon how much work you’re willing to put in and how good you are at telling your story.
A recipe for marketing on a shoestring budget.
Lack of funding is a problem many people face when looking to start a new business. Sometimes, taking out a loan is not possible or is simply not enough to cover costs. While there are many funding alternatives, including crowdfunding, equity-sharing, and pitching for angel investment, if you’d prefer to go without the loan, there are a number of things you can do yourself:
1. Blogging, blogging and blogging
The best way to create new buyers is by creating a company blog and posting on it frequently. Think of the quality of your product and the quality of your blog as two distinct things you could work on. Keep blogging from the beginning, but with an added intensity once it feels like you’ve become a popular voice in your niche. Of course, well-written and well-researched content derives better responses.
In the virtual world, people will keep trusting you if you appear active enough. And somewhat like God, the internet works in mysterious ways. If any of your blog posts goes viral, you’ll be building links on and attracting customers from places you have never even heard of.
2. Join online communities and maintain a social media presence
LinkedIn and Google+ are great platforms to turn to if you’re looking to find and join a community of people that will be interested in what you have to say or offer. To become an active member, you don’t even need to start your own community. In fact, I recommend first joining other existing communities to get a lay of the land. Don’t forget to include social media in your marketing strategy! With billions of people logging onto social media platforms each day, it’s imperative that you maintain active accounts that allow you to engage with your audience through posting regular updates and integrating sharable content.
This will expand your reach even faster and further than ever before.
Speaking of social media and marketing, you can also visit 40billion.com which is a fastest-growing network of entrepreneurs and crowdfunders. They specialize in promotion of small businesses by broadcasting and promoting to its large network of several million users across the most popular social networking sites for small businesses – including Twitter, LinkedIn, 40Billion, and even Facebook. Innovative services like tweet ads and promoted company listings were created for small entrepreneurs to tap into a growing, active network online without spending thousands on pay-per-click ads or traditional advertising. They also offer crowdfunding promotion and promote crowdfunders and their campaigns/projects.
3. Ask your current customers for referrals
There’s absolutely nothing shameful about asking your customers to refer a friend or two if they’re happy with what you provide. People prefer to do business with people they know, or with people they know of. Next time someone compliments your product or service, thank them and be sure to ask if they know of someone else who might benefit from what you’ve got to offer.
4. Pitch the press
Before you do this, get your “corporate story” straight, after all, this is what you’re really selling, and this is what people are interested in reading about. Products come and go, but great stories remain alive in our minds long after the product has had its day. People like Galileo, Henry Ford, Albert Einstein, and Steve Jobs are especially memorable not just because of the things they made, but because they lived interesting lives, faced challenges, and overcame them. A great CEO, company, product, or service is one with a story. Take advantage of your own life to create your company story. Once you’ve got that ready, you can begin writing to newspapers, magazines, editors, and journalists. Twitter is a good place to get started-many journalists have Twitter accounts which you can skim through to figure out whether they’d be interested in writing about you. You can also use websites like Help a Reporter Out, My Local Reporter, and ProfNet to do some easy PR outreach.
5. Network, be friendly, and speak up
Great networking is about developing real relationships that are beneficial to both parties. Poor networking is shallow transaction-driven. If you’re going out to speak to people solely with the intention of selling your product or getting what you want, you’re unlikely to build trust, and therefore unlikely to get what you want. On the other hand, if you are genuinely interested in the other party, you’re far more likely to find them opening up and getting in touch with you after the event.
Developing relationships within your local community is the best way to get your first customer. Reach out to the local Chamber of Commerce to establish and build relationships with people that then referred business to you.
6. Create a Marketing Plan
By starting off with a marketing plan, you’re really putting the time into laying out exactly who your target market is, what your competition is like, your company’s strengths and weaknesses, and any budget or advertising plans that you’d like to remember. Like a business plan, a marketing plan is not a static document, but rather something that can be adjusted and added to over time. As you update it, you’ll also be getting a better understanding of your business and of how you came to be where you are today. If you’re unsure about how to write a marketing plan, there are hundreds of sample plans available online to help you get started.
While this is by no means a conclusive guide to marketing on a shoestring budget, it’s a list of tried and tested approaches that will give you a PR boost. As you’re just getting started, enjoy the ride and take every opportunity to spread the word as creatively and proactively as possible.
Conclusion: Leverage the influential, spread your business cards in original ways, provide customer service that goes above and beyond, involve your customers, exhibit your work, offer promotions, give your product away, tell your story and above all, have fun!