Likely the biggest challenge that any business faces is expanding their reach and finding new customers. Even if you offer a great product or service, it can be difficult to market those without burning a hole in your wallet. Especially when you are just starting out, marketing can seem like a daunting task that’s bound to lead to lost energy and wasted dollars.
Or so it seems.
Your Business Won’t Grow Itself
We understand that it’s just not always feasible to hire a professional to manage your marketing campaigns, but it’s also not sensible to avoid marketing altogether. It’s important to remember that your business won’t grow itself; you must take active measures to increase your consumer reach. We’ve compiled a list of free marketing methods that you can start implementing today to gain more leads and increase your profits.
All of these methods won’t cost you any money, and because they are bound to lead to results, the time you spend doing them will not be wasted.
If you provide a service to any business, this should be your default marketing method. You may be thinking to yourself, “This doesn’t apply to my industry.” But chances are that’s not true – telemarketing can be used to reach a wide range of potential clients that are not limited to any industry. Whether you offer web-design services, accounting, commercial roofing or business planning services, or even if you own a restaurant or a meeting space, you can effectively generate leads by calling businesses in Calgary. Candidates easily can be found by scouring the Yellow Pages. The trick here is perfecting your marketing message. If you’ve seen our workshop, you probably know about the importance of benefits.
Door-to-door marketing, while a bit more labour-intensive than telemarketing, is extremely effective in multiple industries. From home service providers to printer sellers, you can greatly increase your customer base by simply knocking on doors. Aim to go to residential neighborhoods between 4pm and 8pm, and to commercial locations during business hours. Regardless of the type of consumer you are looking to attract, meeting them face to face is a great way to sell your product or service. And you can take your time with this. Budget as little as 4 hours or as many as 40 hours per week going out and meeting your potential clients. You’ll be amazed at the leads that are generated. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes, a strong sense of confidence (without being cocky!) and of course, a great marketing message.
One of the biggest mistakes that business owners make is thinking that email marketing is spam. There are, of course, some businesses that continually spam their potential clients with daily emails, but if you structure your emails to provide value to your prospects, many people will eventually buy your product. While this is 100% free, it does require some time, dedication and a website. Add a CRM in the mix and you have everything you need to create an awesome email list. The first step you need to do here is build the email list. The best way to do this is by offering something for free in exchange for their email. We offer a free marketing workshop, but you may want to offer a discount on your product or service, or a link to download a document detailing all the “secrets of the trade” or valuable tips that are directly related to what you do. As people sign up for this freebie, you’ll build an ever-growing list of emails attached to people who are interested in what you do and who will likely eventually go with you, again, if you have a benefit-filled marketing message.
While social media may not be the best lead-generating marketing message, what it does is create brand awareness. And brand awareness is so important in a competitive market. You need to have something that sets you apart from everyone else, and a killer social media campaign can do just that. More often than not, you need a website to back-up your social media efforts, though we have heard of people doing quite well with just a Facebook page. It’s all in your target audience – you will likely have a much easier time selling to millennials on social media than you will trying to sell retirement packages to seniors.
Blog marketing tends to go hand-in-hand with social media, but even if you don’t want to spend any time on social media, blogs are hugely effective. If you have any desire to get to the first page of Google, writing a blog with informational posts is one of the best ways to get there. SEO isn’t the only benefit to blog marketing, though. It’s a great way to show potential customers that you are knowledgeable in your field and that you can provide an expert level of service. Plus, if you are using email marketing, you can add a link to your blog from your emails to get more traffic to your website.
Kijiji is 100% free and it appeals to a wide range of potential customers. Regardless of age, gender, race or industry, there are no limits to the type of people that use Kijiji to find a product or service. Especially in the start-up phases of your business, there is really no excuse to not have a listing on Kijiji. It’s a great way to generate some leads and enough income to invest in more professional, proven marketing methods.
It’s often been said that the best way to sell a business is by what your customers say. If you have a few customers that were very pleased with the service or product you provided them with, use their enthusiasm to your advantage. Ask them to write testimonials and offer rewards or discounts for referrals. You can also up-sell to your existing clients by offering them more products or services that you think they would benefit from. Remember that the most important thing about your business is that you are relieving a burden or stress from your clients, so keep finding ways to do that!
Marketing doesn’t have to be done over the phone or with a keyboard, by creating a network of other like-minded business owners, you can feed off of each other’s energy and experience to find new ways of generating leads. Plus, it’s a great way to get referrals! When a financial planner and a mortgage broker buddy-up, it’s likely that they will refer each other’s business to their friends and family. Once you realize the benefits of networking, you may even want to join a business club such as CGAA.
Create a Webinar
Nobody wants to do business with someone who doesn’t know what they are doing. And what better way to show everyone that you know exactly what you’re talking about than with a webinar? Share your valuable knowledge and gain valuable leads, while building your email list. You might have to master the social media technique before going ahead with a webinar, as you’ll need to market your webinar to make sure you have a good audience
So, what are you waiting for?
By using one or more of the above methods, you can start generating leads without investing anything more than some of your time. You’ll be amazed at the response, and the time and effort you put into these methods will be well worth it. If you’re still having troubles, check out our free workshop for more ideas on what you can do to grow your business.