Most entrepreneurs who are just starting out work within a specific budget. Do you find yourself wanting to market your business based on a shoe-string budget? The best way to market at the beginning of any business endeavor is to research which advertising methods are the most effective for your business at the minimum cost. Set up an advertising budget and do not spend more than what is indicated on your budget. You may want to consider the following 5 marketing/advertising methods for your business:
1. Market research
- Decide who your main customers are. Find out their age group, demographics, etc. How much money do they make? What are their interests? A detailed profile of your customer base will allow you to focus on the type of people who will be your main customers and purchase your product/services.
- Target the type of media that will allow you to market without breaking the bank so to speak. Each media type has its own target audience. Target newspaper, magazines etc. which will focus on a specific segment of the population. Match your main customers with the kinds of media they are currently using. For instance, “flyers” delivered door-to-door could also lead to prospects about your business. Although the return of people actually seeing your advertising is lower then other advertising avenues, this is a cost effective method. You should advertise in flyers around seasonal peaks and ebbs. Choosing the right time to place an ad on flyers is important, if you want to get a higher exposure rate. Flyers can be designed on your computer or at a printer location. Distribute them to specific areas which you’ve identified as potential business. Remember to monitor the response rate of “flyer” distribution.
- Consider placing an ad in the “local community paper” and don’t forget the classified section. Rates are cheaper for as long as you run the advertisement. Many papers are now hip to home based businesses and have advertising displays which are quite cheap. Check your local community paper for details.
- Also, consider “brochures” that are professionally prepared which are invaluable for trade shows, networking events, mailings, promotions and seminars. It should give enough information, but peek the curiosity of obtaining a call from a potential client. Take the time to prepare an informative brochure that is professional and shows you as an expert in your field. Remember to also include your website/blog in all your brochures.
- Lets not forget, “thank you cards”. When you receive business from clients, be sure to knowledge them by sending a “thank you” card. Offer a discount fee if they recommend you to friends and neighbors and remember to send those referrals a “thank you” card as well. Your efforts will be remembered.
- Last but not least, “word-of-mouth advertising” spreads twice as fast as conventional advertising methods. When you give the very best to please a customer, they will spread the good word for you. When closing a business deal, make sure to provide them with brochures, business cards, etc. and ask that they refer you to their friends, families and neighbors. Word-of-mouth is a very cheap and effective method of advertising. Do your research!
3. Effective marketing
- The key is consistency. Market your message again and again. We all know that the prospect must see or hear your message seven times before they consider buying from you. Again, choose a less expensive type of media that you can afford to market your business product/services.
4. Free publicity
- Media is constantly on the lookout for great stories. Take a look at Yahoo Buzz. They offer a digg-style service where people vote on articles/news so submit yours today at http://www.yahoo.com/. You will need to have a yahoo account set up though, but that’s as simple as joining for free. Don’t let this incredible opportunity slip you by. There are other free publicity methods out there, again do your research.
- Also, don’t forget Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+ and Pinterest. These are all FREE methods to marketing your business.
5. Sell your benefit
- I can’t stress this enough. Sell the benefit. Stay in touch with your customers. Talk to them and find out how your product/services improved their lives. Constant communication is key!
Are you implementing the above to market your own business? Do you have other budget tips that has helped you and wouldn’t mind sharing? Please leave your comments below this post. Thank you!
About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog, and owner at Once Upon A Star. For additional powerful business articles and Internet marketing tips for maintaining a lucrative business subscribe to her newsletter.
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