Well, almost. Few days ago I’ve seen funny image with these equations that caught my attention:
Fast + Good = Not Cheap
Cheap + Fast = Not Good
Good + Cheap = Not Fast
And that’s exactly how it works with promoting your small business. If you want to see good results fast, it’s not cheap. If someone promises you cheap and fast results you can bet it won’t be good and if you want good results with low or no budget it will take time.
Good + Cheap = Not Fast
Let’s talk about the last option now since low marketing budget is common problem for many small business owners. Or they are just starting and did not create enough revenue yet to even have a budget or there is just too many other things to pay for and yes, we know we need to get more clients and advertise but right now there is always some other issue that is burning even more.
The downside of this is that one day you may realise that your phone is not ringing that often and clients that are coming to your store are the same old. Nothing wrong with old loyal clients, but if you want your business to grow you need to be attracting more new customers on regular basis.
So, how can you do that with low or no budget? Let’s be honest here, there is always something that you need to invest, if money is low than it has to be your time and energy. With some knowledge added to the mix. So the new equation would look something like this:
Time + Knowledge + Action = Results
Time and effort (action) has to be yours and as far as knowledge goes, there is many resources on Internet or you can start right now with these simple tips:
- Find your position on the market
To make it easy to understand I like this example used by April Dunford in one of her speeches.
Are you a cupcake or a muffin? Is your product all sweet and fancy with sparkly frosting for special occasions or is it a nutritious healthy snack for every day?
Think about it and try to get in the shoes of your prospects. Are you being clear about services you provide or products you sell? Ask your friends if they know what exactly is your business about. You might be surprised with the answers.
- Screen your website
Now when you know where you stand on the market, take a look at your website. Does it reflect and clearly show what you do? Is the most important information on your homepage? That’s exactly where it has to be, since it’s probably the most visited page of your website. And you only have few seconds to catch the attention of the potential client to tell him that you have exactly what he’s looking for.
If you are not sure how to formulate your message, again ask your family and friends or even better some good clients for help.
- Get social
Are you getting nervous yet? It seems like the term Social Media gives heart attack to many business owners. Some of them dread it so much that they delegate this task to a family member or an agency. In all honesty, there is nothing to worry about. You don’t have to be on every social media channel and get yourself totally overwhelmed.
First step here is to find out where do your potential clients hang out. Very important thing is to determine who your clients are and what they like to do.
For example if your ideal customers are over 50 years old, the best place to reach them is on Facebook, while younger generation is probably a little bit more into Instagram. If you are interested in male clients, try to engage on Twitter where the male audience is larger. For more specific information check The 2018 Social Audience Guide.
- Spread your message
Start a blog on your website. Explain to your customers what is your business about in a way that will catch their interest. Write about problems your clients have and how can you help to solve them. Show your audience and the search engines that you are an expert in your field.
Don’t forget to share your blog posts as much as possible. Post it on your preferred social media, on your LinkedIn page and engage at places where people go to find answers to their questions such as Quora or Reddit.
- Make friends with Google
Majority of people who search information online use Google as preferred search engines. As a business owner you definitely want your business information be easily found on Google search result pages. The best way, and it’s free, is to create your Google My Business listing. With Google trying to serve the users as much information as possible it actually should be a must for every business.
Claimed Google My Business listing allows you to collect and manage online reviews, showcase your business on Google, promote your special offers and events and if you have physical location direct your prospects right to your store with help of Google Maps.
- Get listed in online directories
Another free way of gaining more visibility online is being listed in online directories. Directories have been around for a long time and if used properly, they bring great benefit for the business. Directories help refer traffic to your website and increase your search engine ranking results.
The quality over quantity rule is more than relevant when working with directories. Stay away from great looking offers that promise you hundreds of online directories listings online. Instead do your research and look for directories that show up on first search results pages and that are relevant to your business and location and list your business there.
- Use classified ads
Classified advertising is an easy and cheap way to connect with potential customers. People are always selling and buying things. There are thousands and thousands of new classifieds ads posted every day. Take advantage of the free ads that almost all of these sites allow you to post and promote your products or services. You can reach your local audience and increase the visibility of your business in general.
As you can see now, even with low or zero budget there are many things you can do to grow your business with the help of online marketing tools.
MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER
Promoting your business online is not a rocket science but it’s not a piece of cake either. As with everything else in order to achieve lasting results it is important to not only keep educating yourself, but also to invest your time and be consistent with your marketing efforts.
At Effortless Marketing our main mission is to make life of small business owners easier. Participants of our live workshops keep asking us the same questions – How can I do this by myself? How do I know which tactics to use so I don’t waste my time? And mainly – I do not understand that fancy “Internet marketing language” and it makes me feel overwhelmed.
In order to help business owners whose budgets do not allow them to purchase our full regular services (meaning we do everything for you), we have created an online marketing course that allows entrepreneurs easily and effectively promote their business online for FREE.
Do you want to:
- Get weekly step-by-step tutorials on how to optimize and promote your business on your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) for free?
- Get lots of 5 star Google Reviews?
- How to advertize your events and products to get more sales?
- And more…
There are ways to promote your business for free but like with everything else you do have to do the work and be consistent and persistent in order to get results.