The challenge of getting a business up and running with next to nothing is part of the fun of starting an enterprise. I think so anyway. It is too easy to throw money at a problem and make it go away. It is much more satisfying to come up with innovative ways of getting attention. The effect tends to last longer too. If you’re looking at business marketing on a budget, this post is for you.
Everyone has something to say and most of it has been said already. The only thing you can do to stand out from the crowd is to say it differently. Finding your own voice and not being afraid to speak with it is at the core of small business marketing. You need your customers to understand you are both a business and an individual.
They also need to know why you do what you do. A person’s motivation for doing what they do can be a compelling argument when looking for someone to work with. If you can communicate that in your website, blogs, marketing materials and everywhere you publicise yourself, it will help bring people into your fold.
To begin with, you are likely to have a bit of spare time on your hands while you wait for customers. Spend this time wisely as once things pick up, spare time will be a thing of the past. Spend that time building your knowledge, contributing to forums within your niche, write informative blog posts, offer to write guest posts and go everywhere your potential market is likely to go.
A lot of this labour will have to be offered free but as long as you use your real name on everything you do, it will eventually be regarded as authoritative in your niche. If you have authority, people will begin to believe in you.
Offering discounts and coupons is nothing new and happens across all industries. For many entrepreneurs, the idea of working for free is an anathema. I prefer to consider it as an investment rather than a cost. You have to speculate to accumulate after all. The speculation is your time and creativity while the accumulation is good will, a good reputation and hopefully, positive reviews.
Choosing your offers carefully and only offering them to clients you think most likely to respond positively is key though. Perhaps consider making feedback or a review a condition of the freebie to ensure you get at least something out of your time.
Search Engine Optimization is a huge subject with constantly moving goalposts. You can do something to help your website get noticed if you stick to the basics though. Have someone like me build you a site with SEO in mind or make sure you use descriptive page titles, do some keyword research and feature keyword terms popular in your niche.
Adding a blog to your site and writing quality content is essential as the search engines quickly realise there is fresh content for them to index. Blogs not only help SEO but also with marketing, building authority and engaging with an audience. If you can’t write great posts, I certainly can!
Marking on a budget is about spending what capital you have wisely. If that capital is time, using it to build a web presence can only help attract customers and contribute to your success.