This is it, folks, the chart-topper on my “most frequently-asked questions” list by small business owners.
“How do I promote my business on a zero-dollar marketing budget?”
I’m going to share five with tips with you in five separate blog posts, followed by one big, fat, juicy piece of unsolicited advice.
This is a long post, because I’m giving a lot away here. If you want it, it’s right here on the page, FREE for the taking. Enjoy, small business managers, entrepreneurs, and other business-adventure types!
Marketing Net-Zero Tip #1: BE VISIBLE
Come out from behind that computer screen and be seen! Don’t try to do all your promotion from your desk. Get out into the community and interact with real people.
Networking is different than just being socially involved, so be strategic in your networking.
Choose networking opportunities that will give you access to:
- Potential customers
- Other business owners who have contacts with your direct audience
- Opportunities for bartering, co-promotion, co-marketing, or co-speaking with other businesses that will help propel your mutual success
- Avoid mixers where everyone in the room is in your exact line of business. (You’re not likely to sell a lot of ice cream to the other ice cream men on your block.)
Parlay your expertise into speaking opportunities, teaching a workshop or class, participating in or leading a small or specialized business group.
- Keep an eye out for opportunities to get paid for speaking and teaching.
- The more expert, experienced, and recognized you become, the easier it will be that you will get paid, and paid progressively more.
Hang out where you are likely to interact with your most desired audience targets.
- Ask yourself what you know about your the likes and habits of your most desired targets? This will give you some clues as to where to network where there’s a hope of interacting with potential customers, members of the press, or other businesses you want to network with.
- Examples might include: participating in workshops, joining (or starting) a book club (if you're a budding author), attending free community events that your customers are likely to attend also, serving on a committee or board, attending craft fairs or art openings, or participating in community sporting events and fundraisers, participating in "maker's" events.
Check your local Chamber of Commerce and community events guide for ideas and choose some that are relevant to your industry.
If you're stumped on ways to be visible that will benefit your business, drop me a line through our Contact page.
How have you had success with marketing on a net-zero budget? Go ahead and brag about it in the comments!