10 Tips for Marketing Without a Budget
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When you are hustling to grow your business, you will have to put aside time and money for your marketing initiatives. This does not seem like an issue when you are a big enterprise and have abundant resources to spend on your desired marketing campaigns. Such businesses, at times, also have a department dedicated to marketing and spend millions.
However, what if you have a tight budget or no budget at all and limited time to spend on marketing activities? Does this mean you should wait until your business picks up or has more cash flow? No! Instead, use these top 10 marketing ideas to create an impact on your business even without a budget.
Improve your pitch
It does not matter where you are, be it a friend’s wedding, watching your kid’s soccer game, at a family BBQ, or even traveling, you always need to market your business. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is by having an impactful elevator pitch. However, this is not so easy, considering the short attention span of many people.
As per the Shark Tank investor and serial entrepreneur, Robert Herjavec, “You have 90 seconds if you’re lucky. If you can’t make your point persuasively in that time, you’ve lost the chance for impact. Facts and figures are important, but it’s not the only criteria — you must present in a manner that generates expertise and confidence.”
So, how to improve your elevator pitch? Initiate this by employing the following ideas:
- Incorporate social proof
- Understand what motivates your target audience
- Anticipate a few important questions from your audience such as ‘What is your USP?’
- Narrate a story to your audiences to showcase how you are qualified to solve their problems
Mix in with your community
Many times entrepreneurs might perceive marketing as a nationwide initiative. However, at times it is best to see what your community is doing and think smaller and closer to your business. Think about whether you can sponsor a children’s soccer game or a 4K charity walk? Is there an NGO wherein you could choose to volunteer? Can you make arrangements for organizing a get together along with other businesses in your locality? Can you print a few bookmarks and stack them at your local newspaper stand or library?
Ask for referrals
Referrals are one of the most cost-effective pathways, to generate new leads for your business. The problem in this is that entrepreneurs often feel shy to ask for referrals. This is mainly because many small business owners are afraid that their requests might come off as desperate. Thankfully, there are other ways to ask for a referral without offending anyone or without sounding desperate. Some of these ways are as follows:
- Ask for referrals via emails, social media, or your invoices
- Instead of asking all of your customers, it is best to ask the ones which have been the most pleased with your services
- Offer incentives such as charitable donation, a small gift, discount on future business, or a gift card
- Urge your customers to like or subscribe to your social media channels
Join networking groups
Networking has proved to be one of the most effective, easiest, and fastest ways to build sustainable relationships to assist your business to grow. If you have not started networking as of yet, you need to begin immediately and reserve some time for this activity. Today there are numerous apps and meetup groups that facilitate networking. You need to figure out which ones work best for you and start networking.
You can also join an organization that facilitates new business and encourages its growth. By doing this you can learn from the veterans in your industry as well as your fellow entrepreneurs. You can also look out for industry-specific organizations that can benefit your business.
Participate in local trade fairs
Participating in local trade fairs give you a chance to market your business to the attendees. It will also help you to understand your competition better, and how other businesses are going on about their operations. These insights will help you to tweak and optimize your business.
Once you have perfected your elevator pitch, you need to start acting on it and start talking to as many people as possible. Trade fairs or business fairs are the best way to accomplish this. Also, give importance to industry-specific trade shows as well, since they will open doors to your target audiences.
Apply for business awards
Often organizations and industries arrange award functions, and give out awards such as ‘Best Customer Service’ or ‘Best Restaurant of 2020’. Apart from creating buzz around your business, if you win, you can post the award on your social media channels. You can also develop a badge and display it on your website to boost your credibility.
People buy from other people they trust, and from what they know. This is the very reason why marketing via influencer channels is gaining rising popularity nowadays. With the advent of numerous digital channels, influencers can urge their millions of followers to purchase a product, with just a tap on their smartphone.
When you are with no budget for such an engagement, you need to focus on quality rather than quantity. You also need to be on the lookout for influencers with a large following and generate a relationship with them. You can also choose an influencer that works well for your product. And once you have identified your influencer, you can choose to offer them free products and services in exchange for a video post or a review on their social media channel.
Collaborate with other businesses
Collaborating with a business in your industry can help you to get a larger audience. You can achieve this by teaming up with a business via online webinars or offline exclusive events. When you have successfully partnered with a local business you can simply place your brochures, flyers, or business cards at their offices.
Go cold calling/ emailing
Emailing or cold calling is still one of the most effective ways to generate new business for your organizations. It rarely costs you any time or money, however, it requires a specific set of skills you need to imbibe. Cold calling, if done in the right way, can work wonders for your business.
Work with resellers and affiliates
Rather than marketing your business all by yourself, you can choose to work with resellers and affiliates. These resellers and affiliates will help generate leads for your business in return for a commission on sales. If you are choosing this route, then consider these fees and commissions while formulating your pricing structure.
There are numerous other ways to go about your marketing initiatives when you are on a low budget. The tips mentioned here in no way complete these numerous ideas of marketing. These tips are effective and worth a try when you have a low or no budget at all for your marketing needs. Before, venturing out in the world of marketing it is advised that you conduct thorough research and then select the routes that best suit your needs and requirements.