Whether you're looking to get a new business off the ground or take an established one to the next level, marketing can bring you where you need to go. It can help you reach new prospects, stay top-of-mind with your customers, and differentiate your business from your competitors. And most importantly, it can help you accomplish something that every business owner sets out to do — make money.
Though there are plenty of expensive ways to market your business today, you may be surprised to learn that marketing doesn't have to be a budget buster. Here are seven inexpensive ways you can market your business:
- Develop an elevator speech. Whether you are at a networking event or at the barber shop or hairdresser, you should always be ready to sell your business. The best way to accomplish that is to have a prepared elevator speech. An elevator speech is a mini commercial that explains your business, your products and services, and the needs you help fulfill. It's called an elevator speech because your commercial should be no longer than the time it takes to ride in an elevator — up to 60 seconds.
- Get business cards. Digital technology has replaced many paper items, but today business cards are still as popular as ever. Your card provides an ideal way for your customers and prospects to know how to get in touch with you. And thanks to online printing sites, business cards are more affordable than ever.
- Get blogging. Staying connected with your customers is important in relationship building. One no-cost way to accomplish that is to start blogging. A blog will allow you to add value to your customers by giving them information and insights that are helpful to them.
- Network in person. Though sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook make it easy to find professional contacts, it's still important to take every opportunity to meet people in person. Consider joining your Chamber of Commerce and attending networking events or participating in alumni events at your old school.
- Get social. You don't have to be on every social networking site. It's important to pick a few and to regularly update your content. Curate content that's important to your audience and regularly share it. Remember, social media success is not about the number of followers you have; it's about getting your followers to engage with you.
- Create a referral program. Word-of-mouth is one of your most powerful advertising tools. Leverage that power by creating a referral program that rewards customers who get others to try your product or service.
- Use email marketing. Email is an inexpensive way to share information about your products. It's also a good way to provide insights and information that helps your customers.
- Ask for reviews. Ask your best customers to write recommendations and reviews of your product or service. Then share them on your website and on your social media.
Marketing doesn't really have to be expensive or complicated. Take advantage of every opportunity you have to be in front of your customers, and make the most of it by presenting a professional image and a clear message.