10 Ways to Market Your Small Business on a Shoestring Budget

When budgets are tight, online marketing might be the first expense you look to cut.

Let me stop you right there.

While traditional advertising methods are costly and hard to measure, small businesses have never had greater access to cost-effective, trackable marketing tools. The best way to market your business might be a lot more accessible than you think.

But with so many digital tools available, how do you know where to start?

Email marketing is the tried and true digital marketing channel with an average return of $38 for every $1 spent.

Small business marketing services are just the start. Here are the ten best ways to market your business on a shoestring budget.

1. Craft an elevator pitch

You should be marketing all the time — wherever you are. Therefore, you need a compelling elevator pitch.

Research shows the average attention span of an adult is about six to eight seconds. That’s all the time you have to grab someone’s attention.

If you successfully engage them, then you only have a little over a minute to really sell them on your product or service. Invest the time to craft a killer elevator pitch. The return on your investment will pay huge dividends in terms of creating business opportunities.

2. Leverage your community

You don’t have to think big when it comes to your marketing efforts. Think locally. What’s going on in your community?

Sponsor a Little League team or a 5k charity walk/run. Print bookmarks and leave them at the local library. Get to know your ideal customer and think about how and where they spend their time.

Then search for opportunities to get in front of your customer with your marketing message.

3. Collaborate

Put together a group of synergistic, non-competitive businesses in your area and agree to cross-promote.

You can use coupons, fliers, reciprocal website links, bundled promotions or social media platforms. By collaborating with each other, you can expand your customer base because you’ll be reaching new people.

4. Network

I’m a huge fan of networking. I don’t think there is any better way to build a business than to get out there, shake some hands, and get to know people.

Networking requires a time commitment and it doesn’t provide instant gratification, but a strong network is one of the greatest assets any business person can have.

5. Give a speech

A lot of people hate public speaking. However, there are many organizations looking for qualified, subject-matter experts who can present to their groups.

Take a deep breath and volunteer. You don’t have to be a pro as long as the information you share is helpful to the audience. And the upside — the more you do it the easier it gets. Plus, it positions you as a credible authority in your field.

6. Create buzz

I started my corporate career in the field of public relations and the business has changed significantly because of technology.

Today, a small business owner can accomplish a lot without hiring a professional firm. Subscribe to Help a Reporter Out. You can respond to reporters’ queries that are looking for story ideas and resources. Some are small media opportunities, but others are major media outlets that use this service too.

7. Ask for referrals

Don’t be shy about asking for customer referrals. The majority of people say they are willing to provide a referral if asked, but very few take the initiative to do it on their own.

Referrals make it easier to get in the door with new customers. If you aren’t asking for them, you are missing opportunities.

8. Build relationships

It is a lot less expensive to keep a customer than it is to get a new one. That’s why establishing strong relationships with your customer base is crucial. One of the ways you can do that is by keeping in touch with people through email marketing.

Ask customers for their email address when they visit your store or website. Then, make your communications informative, helpful and professional — something your customers will look forward to receiving.

9. Offer coupons

Coupons are a good way for many businesses to attract new customers. Research shows that people will go out of their way to use a coupon, proving that this method is successful in expanding your customer base.

Coupons can also generate return visits. For example, if you give a customer a coupon for a discount to use on future business, there’s a high probability they’ll be back.

10. Give it away

If someone has the opportunity to experience your product or service, chances are they will want to purchase more.

Don’t be afraid to give someone a free trial or a sample. In today’s economy, people are more comfortable purchasing something they have been able to experience first.

These ten inexpensive marketing strategies will help you engage customers, build relationships, and ultimately keep your brand top-of-mind. It’s not always about the money you have to spend on marketing, it’s about the time and effort you put into it and above all, the relevance it has for your customers.

Author:

Constant Contact 

 

Susan Solovic

Susan Solovic is THE Small Business Expert — An award-winning entrepreneur, keynote speaker, New York Times bestselling author, media personality, and attorney.

We Do SBA Right!

SBA Working Capital Loan

up to $5 million

start-up, acquisition or expansion

working capital, purchase real estate, equipment, inventory, etc.

SBA Express Loan

$25,000 and $350,000 in quick cash

Revolving Line of Credit
or
Term Loan

SBA 504

Owner-Occupied Commercial Real Estate Financing

Up To 90% Of Cost

Competitive fixed rates

Amortizations from 30 years

Non-recourse

30-day closings

The Most Fluid Accounting and Advisory Service Available For Small Business.

Only 30% of Small Businesses Utilize an Accounting Service.

But Did You Know That Ebizmore Accounting and Advisory Services Will Save You Money, Increase Profits, and Ensure Your Success.

Bank & CC reconciliation,
Accounts Payable
Accounts Receivable
Financial Reports
Payroll
QuickBooks catchup/cleanup
Invoicing
Compliance reporting
QuickBooks Online
Much, much, more.
+++Business Credit Builder

We Do What It Takes and the Proof Is In the Numbers!

Visit
or
Email Us

No Income No Asset Personal Lines of Credit
for:

Startup, New Businesses or  Personal Use

Funding Up to $250,000  
Fund starts in 7-10 Business Days. 
680 FICO 
Co-signer OK 
NO INCOME DOCUMENTATION 
100% UNSECURED 
BK must be over 4.5 years 
Collections, Judgments, Late Payments must be over 12 months

Learn More

Is Waiting For Your Receivables Making Cash Flow Tight?

Let Us provide the Money You are Owed Now!

Receivable Advance Allows You to Maintain Your Cash Flow and when the Client Pays we Take out What We are Owed and you Receive the Balance.

Advanced Rates up to 95%
Discount rates from 0.35-0.63%
Funding Startups to $25MM lines

Contact Us

Overwhelmed by Business Debt?

Let us negotiate and consolidate. Reduce what you owe by up to 60% or more.

We Get You Back On Track

* No payments for 30-60 days
*Save Thousands
*Maintain and Build Credit

Merchant Cash Advance & Other Business Loans

Reverse Consolidation
-Daily Savings up to 40%

Have Defaults and Need Emergency Funding

Flexible Payback Options
No Industry Restrictions
We will set up flexible funding options for all Businesses.