5 ways to market if you don’t have a lot of money

ways to market if you don't have a lot of moneyNo matter where I speak, who the audience is or even the topic I am supposed to address, this same question comes up:

How do you market your business if you don’t have a lot of money?

Well, the short answer to that is you’d better find some resources for marketing or you are in a lot of trouble. But, that doesn’t mean they all have to cost an arm and a leg.

In the meantime, while you’re scraping together the money to spend on marketing — try this budget friendly tactics.

Hang out where your potential customers hang out and be helpful. Do your clients read certain blogs? Then be there and share your expertise. Do they all run in local marathons? Be there, handing out clean, dry socks with your logo on them. Do they go to industry trade shows? Be there and host a free Q&A about their biggest problems. Don’t wait for them to come to you. Go out and find their watering hole.

Know your perfect customer and only take work from them. This requires incredible discipline but pays big dividends. Rather than taking clients for cash flow, ONLY take on those clients that you can delight. And who delight you by paying you a fair price.

Create a referral network by delivering the first referral. When you help someone, it is human nature that they want to return the favor. Why not set the example by making an incredible connection. Now of course to do that…you need to know who their perfect customer is. Which means you get to have a very meaningful conversation that’s all about them. See how the human nature thing is going to work?

Use handwritten thank you notes to show your appreciation. In today’s high tech world, a personal gesture like a handwritten note means a great deal. It doesn’t have to be long or fancy. Just from the heart. And if you can’t thank a client from the heart, you should fire them before they fire you.

Let them have a taste. Sampling is one of the most effective marketing tactics around. There is no substitute for actually experiencing your product or service. This is your greatest opportunity to earn their trust and their business. So do it right.

I can hear your collective gasp. Give away what you sell? Sampling is a golden oldie in terms of marketing tactics. The biggest buying obstacle any business has is the uncertainty of that first time.

Why not leapfrog over that worry by just giving them a taste? Walk through any grocery store or big box store on a Saturday and watch the marketing tactic at work.  This works just as well for service-based businesses even though they don’t have a physical “thing” to offer.

Bottom line on how to market without spending a lot of money – know who you can help the most and be relentless in your efforts on their behalf. Be generous and be grateful.

I know…I didn’t even mention social media or direct mail or cold calling.  Trust me.  If you try these 5 ways to market if you don’t have a lot of money — the rest will fall into place.

Comments

  1. says

    This is a great post Drew. In an ideal world we would all be able to afford a sufficient marketing budget, but here in the real world there are always going to be times when we need to make do with what little we can spare. These tips will help with that.

  2. Amanda Michaelson says

    Nice post. It’s good to know that even until this day, there are still other people who use handwriting. Your right that in today’s high tech world, a personal gesture like a handwritten note means a great deal. It’s a good expression to show how you appreciate your client. That’s the simplest thing to satisfy a client.

  3. Danny Graves says

    Great read Drew, I agree completely. I would call each of these “Strategets” (I use this word to describe individual components of a strategy). This is sound advice for any small business with an eye on growth. Anyone working on a business plan also should consider including these components. Any start-up business which places emphasis on it’s service and product development first and income second will succeed in time. It’s called Smart Investing!

    Thanks Drew

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