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 Shoe String Budget Steps to Market 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 target customers who will be interested in interacting and purchasing 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 and price set. Target newspaper, magazines and networking sites at a minimal cost to you in which you can focus your advertising skills to 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 own computer or at a printer location at affordable prices. If going the flyer route, distribute them to specific areas which you’ve identified as potential business attractions. Remember to monitor the response rate of all your media marketing efforts.
Another excellent method is to 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 about your business, 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 URL address 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 them a discount fee if they recommend you to friends and neighbors. With e-cards currently available as an easier method today, always remember to send those referrals a “thank you” card as well. Your efforts and business will be remembered.
Last but not least, “word-of-mouth advertising” spreads twice as fast as conventional 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 your brochures, business cards, etc. and ask that they refer you to their friends for a discount amount on their next order. Word-of-mouth is a very cheap and effective method of advertising.
3. Effective marketing
The key is marketing 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 and keep at it.
4. Free publicity
Media is constantly on the lookout for great stories; some with social media free publicity methods. 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
This can’t be stressed enough. Sell the benefit of your business first and foremost, stay in touch with your customer base and find out how your product/services have improved their lives. Constant communication is key to a successful business.
Do you agree with the above? Please leave your comments below. Thank you.
About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog & The Biz Buzz of A Latina Mom Blog. She is also owner at Books About Me. Sign up for the newsletter and never miss a powerful business marketing article plus receive a FREE eBook on ‘How to Rock Your Business with A Blog’.
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