Once you have a Product & Cashflow in place, Marketing is Everything.
Marketing can make or break you. In the simplest form, marketing is letting people know what you have, where to get it, and why they want it. Starting with letting people know what you have can be as easy as working from your contact network to get the word out. Make a commitment now to focus on getting your marketing strategy right.
Can you market something with a limited budget?
Many small companies and business start-ups consider marketing an insurmountable problem when they have no spare cash. A limited budget makes buying radio, newspaper or TV spots impossible. The good news is there are plenty of options that require time and energy, the first available resources of an entrepreneur, instead of cash.
The first step in marketing is for you to decide on your offer. This will be the gateway for your sales lead generation and is a critical tool to further enrich your existing leads.
A good marketing offer communicates your unique selling proposition by addressing the problems, needs, and interests of your target market. Identify your target market and get to know them. Spend some time researching on information like who they trust, what kind of event triggers their decision making, where they look for answers on just about anything—social networks, friends, Google, online communities, and the like. This way, you will be able to identify what will be valuable to them and you will be able to tailor-fit your offer according to their concerns. Conducting some online surveys may help you in this. There are already some internet sites that allow you to create online surveys for a minimal fee like Survey Monkey and free online surveys.
Now that you know your target market and offer, some low cost marketing option are:
1. Prove your Knowledge.
Create a blog that has great content. Use keywords in your articles that will help readers identify and classify the answers to their queries or concerns.
2. Use the power of social networks.
Post your blog in social networks to allow your target market to easily find your offers and other information in social networks. Make sure that you add key words so that search engines can index it.
3. Create a Website
You will need a user-friendly website for your business. Add registration forms for them to sign up, name and e-mail should suffice, as people don’t like complexity. Rhe database you build is gold for low cost marketing, especially when you want to promote or develop new products and services.
4. Establish a relationship.
Be active online and follow interesting industry figures on twitter, facebook and other networking sites. Get familiar with what they do, their blogs and other social networks, and communicate with them. Commenting on industry blogs really does wonders, because people read them.
5. PR is your friend
As you connect with influential people in your industry, make sure you build relationships with the journalists that report in high exposure media that your target market reads (remember your market research). LinkedIn is an amazing tool for connecting with journalists, you can also find contact details quite easily on the inside cover of magazines, at the bottom of columns, or on web sites. Find a topic they are interested in, that is also relevant to your business, and start talking to them about that. Offer to help them. Provide them free content. All PR is going to cost you is time and energy.
Remember, you don’t have to always “sell”. You just have to know your business and target market. Sincerely reach out and offer the solution to problems.