Not all marketing has to be expensive. There are many tactics and channels that you can utilize in promoting your business and generating leads. I have listed just some of the more effective and quick to implement strategies.
Whether you do networking in person or via social media platforms, this strategy remains one of the most cost-effective marketing mediums available.
A mixture of the two approaches will yield a good return on time invested. When all is said and done, face-to-face contact with your prospect develops the relationship faster than the online equivalent.
Researching the networking venues available to you, to ensure that they contain members that are your ideal prospects, is the first step. Becoming a member of two or three of these venues is a good start.
Make sure during your research that the networking venues you choose are well attended (at least 20 attendees on average). If you are networking online on say LinkedIn, ensure that the group contains at least a few hundred members and that there are recent discussion thread still active.
I favour direct response campaigns over traditional or awareness campaigns. By direct response I mean presenting an irresistible offer of goods or services to your target market, along with a clear call to action.
Usually a sense of urgency is built into the offer by way of limiting the number available or the duration the offer is available. The beauty of direct response marketing is that results can be achieved quickly. By results I don’t necessarily mean sales. It may mean that you quickly find out that you offer has fallen on deaf ears. Good. Knowing this allows you to tweak the offer and the call to action for the next try.
Several attempts may be required before you hit on the winning combination. The offer may be delivered via flyer to a prospect list you have developed a monthly basis. By sending the right offer to the right list on a regular basis you can measure the response and your return on investment.
Doing this over a period of time with various offers will provide you with effective marketing weapons as you can deploy when you wish knowing you’ll get a return on investment.
This form of marketing should be part and parcel of every businesses marketing strategy. It is by far the lowest cost and most effective way to approach prospects.
Referral marketing can be performed utilising two avenues. You can approach your existing customers and ask for referrals or you can form relationships with other businesses that will refer business to you.
The prospect that comes to you via way of a referral is many times easier to convert to a customer than a cold call prospect. A lot of the heavy lifting, when it comes to building trust and lowering perceived risk, has already been done for you via the referral process.
More than likely your existing customer has recommended you to a friend, family member or business they deal with, vouching for your trustworthiness.
Add the gathering of referrals as an activity on your marketing calendar each month. Also add introducing yourself to other associated businesses (non-competitive) that have a similar customer profile to your target market.
Don’t expect referrals straight away from new referral partners, as it will take some time to build the relationship and trust.
building on the idea of relationships with other businesses is the concept of alliance partnerships. These partnerships can involve more than just exchanging referrals.
A well thought out partnership can involve joint ventures and co-opt marketing campaigns that lower cost, increase your reach and create scale in your business.
Alliance partnerships also allow for exchange of ideas, resources and contacts that you may not been a have been able to obtain on your own.
Last but not least is public speaking. Now not everyone likes speaking in front of others, that said, it is a potent medium raising the visibility of your business as it increases your authority and credibility. Public speaking can be in the form of keynote speeches at a Rotary club, seminars (your own or an alliance partners), a five-minute stand up at a networking night or a workshop.
I know that the fear of public speaking ranks right up there with fear of heights or spiders, however, don’t exclude it from your marketing strategies entirely. Even if you are an introvert you can start small with speaking in front of five colleagues or business associates, just to hone your skills. You never know, you might learn to love it!
There are many low cost and effective marketing strategies that you can employ in generating leads, contacts and referrals for your business. The above strategies are by no means exhaustive and serve as examples for you to include in your marketing activities on a daily basis.
Of course there are other marketing strategies such as Facebook advertising and social media marketing. If you have the capability by all means include the strategies as well. The qualifier is that you measure and test all of your strategies to weed out the ones that are not working or costing too much.
Which strategies are you using now that you have found effective?