What does that tell me?
It tells me that they aren’t marketing.
When I ask them why they aren’t marketing, they tell me it’s because they don’t have a budget. There is a strong belief amongst small business owners and sales professionals that marketing is expensive or that you have to have some special knowledge.
Well, I’m going to debunk that belief because I know it’s not true! I launched my company a decade ago without a marketing budget and I did whatever I had to do to grow my business. Most of the things that I did I definitely did not WANT to do, but I knew that I didn’t have a choice if I wanted to be successful . So I did them anyway. For example, I started speaking for free to market my business and services. Speaking was filled with fear for me so this was not an easy path for me. I also networked whenever and wherever I could, especially if it was free!
The truth is, you do have to market so that you have prospects to sell to. It’s that simple. However, marketing doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Sometimes it doesn’t have to cost anything.
I’m going to share 8 easy, low-cost marketing strategies that you can implement immediately so you have more people to sell to. You don’t have to do all of them, but choose those you are most drawn to doing and then do them consistently—that’s key! Most people give up on marketing or they aren’t consistent with it, so it never works.
You can also try them all and see which ones you like best. I’m guessing that you are already doing some of them. But if they aren’t working, it might be because you haven’t done them long enough to really have proof.
8 Easy, LOW-COST Marketing Strategies to Implement NOW!
1. Speaking: I have speaking listed first because it’s one of the marketing strategies that I implemented early on in my business. Initially, as I mentioned above, I hated speaking. Actually, that’s an understatement! However, I stuck with it and over the years it paid off immensely. I grew my database by thousands and thousands and some of my clients have been on my list for ten years. Speaking is one of the fastest ways to get out in front of many people at the same time. Plus, it positions you as an expert in your field, which means that your prospects will trust you, what you are saying, and your products and services. The best part about speaking is that you can actually GET PAID to market and sell, or at least get a free lunch or dinner. Think about it.
2. Networking: I’m sure that if you are in business, it’s likely that you’ve attended some kind of networking event. The question, though, is did you get any leads? Most people are so afraid of looking like they are selling at a networking event that they don’t even get a chance to make any good connections. The truth is, you are ALWAYS selling, even if you are just connecting with someone. The key to networking is to ask a lot of questions, keep control of the conversation, and figure out if you might be able to solve a problem for this person or company with your product or service. A big tip with networking is that you really need to network where your Top 20% of clients hang out. I was working with a client recently and we realized that she was networking at places that her Top 20% would never be. She then knew immediately where she SHOULD be networking and I have no doubt that her sales will go up simply by hanging out with the right prospects. If you are networking at the right places, you should have a good return on your investment. In fact, the cost should be outweighed by your return.
3. Social Media: If you aren’t on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter yet, then I highly recommend you find someone that can help you get on. To me, social media is really about staying connected with your network—new and old. By staying connected and keeping a “conversation” going, you can then make casual invitations to take the next step with you. Although social media doesn’t always have an immediate impact on sales (although it can), it is a critical part of your overall marketing strategy. Smart marketers know social media is tied to your projections and your business plan. Social media isn’t free when you have someone doing it for you (whether they are part of your team or a company that you’ve hired), but it’s much more effective to have support and a strategy. There are many awesome companies offering social media strategies today.
4. Email/Online : Once you’ve been out speaking and networking enough, you can begin to build your database. Your database is the best way to keep in touch with your clients, colleagues and prospects and let them know when you have new offers coming out or FREE events or opportunities that they might have interest in. The key to staying in touch with your database is to send enough emails to be interesting and make invitations, but not so much that they begin to tune you out. From there, you can expand your online presence and begin to use videos, Facebook ads, Google ads and more. While you can do some of this yourself in the beginning to keep your costs down, eventually you will want your team or an outside company to assist you.
5. Direct Mail: For a while, I think the world thought the days of direct mail were over. However, I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen a strong resurgence of mail hitting my mailbox. It’s more sophisticated than ever, and it still works. I can see it still works by the mountains of credit card applications and glossy advertising magazines I receive. The key to direct mail is standing out. If you are going to send something, how will it make an impact with the recipient so they take action? Obviously, there is more direct cost here, so the key is to be very strategic with how you implement direct mail.
6. Cold Calling: If you were hoping that cold calling was dead, it’s not! In fact, cold calling can be a fantastic way to get new clients and we still teach people how to do that during our two-day Sales Camp courses. My clients are pleasantly surprised when they find out they can make a successful cold call that yields results. It’s also a fast way to get in front of your Top 20%. After all, they are just a phone call away. Other than the cost of your phone service and your time, this strategy is FREE.
7. Warm Calling: Warm calling IS marketing and it is simply following up with someone after you meet them at an event or when someone refers you a prospect. Statistically, with cold calling and warm calling, you need to call someone five or more times for ultimate results. Most people quit after the first couple of calls. Don’t let that be you. Warm calling is another FREE strategy. Simply invest your time.
8. Strategic Partners: Strategic Partners, or “Referral Partners,” are those individuals or companies who share your client base and are willing to market to their list on your behalf. The best strategic partner relationships are reciprocal, meaning that if I market to my list for you, you will do the same for me. It’s a phenomenal way to get in front of your Top 20%. Successful online marketers will tell you it’s the key to their success. This can be a phenomenal FREE way to market. The time invested will be in developing the relationships of the individuals or companies you want to partner with.
Next, I want you to ask yourself some questions so you can create a plan:
- Which marketing strategies have you had the most success with?
- What hasn’t worked?
- Which strategies are you most consistent with?
- Which strategies would you like to add to your marketing plan?
Whatever you decide, make a commitment to yourself that you will be consistent with your new plan for a minimum of ninety days. It takes at least three months to see what’s working and to also develop a habit that will ensure you are consistent.
Are you still thinking? Don’t wait! Decide to take action today so you can begin to see results soon!