12 Ways to Market Your Small Business on a Shoestring Budget
Taking your business to the next level is all about dreaming big. When you’ve found someone to help you with the manufacturing, and you want the whole world to know what you have to offer, there should be no limits that you set yourself.
Take a look at the following hints and tips about how to market your small business on a shoestring budget, and you’ll be amazed at all the new ideas you come up with.
1. Produce an email newsletter to stay in touch with your audience
The great thing about producing an email newsletter is that once people sign up to your mailing list, you can send them something for free. Keep the writing genuine and from the heart, and don’t mistake it for a long piece of sales copy. By all means, showcase a couple of your latest products, but make the newsletter more like a feature piece than an ad. That way, you’ll be able to build a readership that cares about your brand, and buys your products soon after they’ve come out.
2. Start a flash sale and promote it on social media
When you want to start a flash sale, you need to think about how much of a discount you want to offer, and for how long. It sounds like common sense, but you need to think about these things carefully; otherwise, you won’t make any money. You also want to avoid doing them too often, as all this will do lose your credibility in the eyes of your target audience. Believe in what you’re doing, and drop in the occasional flash sale as a reward to your loyal customers.
3. Create a portfolio to showcase what you can do
Portfolios are such an underrated marketing resource, which is strange when you think that artists and fashion houses have been using them for centuries. Your portfolio should reflect your core brand identity, and above all, it should be work you’re proud of. That way, you will enjoy showing it to people, and it will be a true representation of what you’re trying to achieve.
4. Launch your own blog and show people how you get creative
Launching a blog is another smart way of marketing on a budget, and if you do it the right way, you can get people coming back for months, even years. Online services like PickWriters enable you to select the right localization services for your blog by browsing a whole host of translation reviews. Find the right match, and it will help add the perfect finishing touch to your new blog.
5. Collaborate with similar manufacturers and small businesses
Collaboration and hybrid collections are great ways to enter a new space. Think about the new August McGregor clothing line that’s uniting the worlds of sport and fashion like never before. It’s about finding people you want to work with and embarking on a shared creative journey. When you’re trying to market, two heads are often better than one.
6. Promotional giveaways work wonders when they add value
A promotional giveaway is another smart way to market on a budget, but you don’t want to make the mistake of going over the top with it. The bigger the giveaways and the more frequent they become, the more likely you are to run the risk of jeopardizing the credibility of your brand. Find the right balance, and you’ll know it when you see it.
7. Think differently about the way you market
If you want to know how to market your business in a way that will make you stand out from the crowd, guerrilla marketing is the thing you need to read up about. By being different, staying true to your authentic roots, and not being afraid to tear up the rulebook, you’ll soon stand out. Just make sure you don’t do anything to get views and likes — keep the focus on your brand.
8. Do something eye-catching in a public place
Planning something in the city center on a busy Saturday afternoon is a great way to get plenty of free publicity. Music, dancers, flyers; whatever you think works with your brand. The key is to make it high energy and engaging so that people want to share it all over social media. So have a hashtag prepared, and make it part of the visual spectacle of your performance.
9. Educate people on how you got this far
No matter how small your business is right now, you need to communicate your brand’s story. You can do this with an About Us page, feature pieces on social media, and by approaching magazines and influencers. People like to buy into brands, and not just buy their products. Believe in your story, get it out there, and then see how far you can take it.
10. Referral programs can be started at any time
Referral programs are another smart way to market your business. By offering early adopters and followers discounts and exclusive access for sending more buyers your way, you’re essentially turning your own customers into a marketing team. If this sounds too good to be true, remember that global brands like DropBox turned themselves into billion-dollar companies with exactly this approach.
11. Ask your customers what they think
Asking for feedback and customer input is something that so many businesses are afraid to do, and it really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. If you want to know what your customers want going forward, why not just ask them?
Just to be clear, we’re not talking about reviews here — we’ll get to that shortly. We’re asking them what kinds of collections they want to see? What was the last thing they bought? And why did they buy it? It’s essentially the art of getting to know your target audience better so that you can refine your offering. When you put it like that, it’s a bit of a no-brainer, isn’t it?
12. Build up a mountain of 5-star reviews online
There’s more to getting a great review than giving someone exactly what they want. You also have to be proactive so that people take the time to leave a review. The chances are that they loved what they received from you. But who else outside of their immediate circle of friends and family will know if they don’t leave a review?
Be proactive and engaging, but not over the top. That way you’ll maximize your chances of your next happy customer leaving a glowing endorsement for everyone else to see online. Just what you need when you want to establish plenty of that all-important social proof.
You don’t have to have a gigantic budget to get a new brand out there. You just need to understand why you’re different. And figure out new and creative ways to go out there and tell the world. Once they hear and see what you have to offer, the orders will come.
If you need any help with your small business marketing, contact us today!