Sales and Marketing Advice for Florida business
Five effective, easy-on-your-budget marketing ideas
It seems like all of the great low cost promotion strategies take too long to get results. There’s no getting around it. Activities such as content and email marketing require tireless dedication and lots of time. The same goes for social media and networking.
These may not cost a lot of money but they sure will cost you time. And time is a luxury you don’t have. Your products or services need to be sold today!
Does that mean the alternative is to spend thousands of dollars on marketing programs? You could, but don’t have to.
The best marketing action plans have a two-prong approach. The first is to lay a solid foundation with activities to build long-term success that tend to be time consuming. The other is to kick start revenue flow by using simple, and quick strategies and tactics.
Try these five high-impact marketing approaches. They won’t cost you a small fortune and will work for just about any business.
Give to get. Giving thanks is part of your job every day of the year. There’s something few people do today that will quickly delight your prospects and customers -- send handwritten notes of thanks. The opportunities to give thanks abound. Such as after an initial consultation or meeting, as a follow-up to a networking event, and to referral partners. Also, a note to people who endorsed you on LinkedIn will do wonders and open up new conversations. And let’s not forget your existing clients or customers, just because you appreciate them. Never include a promotional message -- just thanks.
Showcase your expertise. Create a tip sheet, ebook, guidebook, or checklist. These should be on topics that you want your business want to be known for. What do your write about? Just educate your audience from your point of view. This makes for great follow-up because you can now say, “We wrote the book on that, may I send you a copy?” Use titles that say exactly what it’s about and will catch attention such as, “How To Avoid…” or “37 Ways to …”. Your “book” doesn’t need to be lengthy and take much time to write -- a great tip sheet can be one page. Aside from including a form on your website for downloading, promote your creation by partnering with targeted publications or associations as well as including information in your newsletter and sending out a news release. In promotional materials and activities point people to a landing page you built just for your guidebook.
Borrow trust and expertise. Invite well-known authors and speakers to present at seminars and other live events like teleseminars and webinars. Ask them to speak on topics that appeal to your ideal clients. Many times these outside authorities will do this for free or for a very small fee if their target audience matches your customer profile. Now go get the word out and tout your speaker and their expertise in your newsletter, Linkedin, email, social media, news releases, partners, and with handwritten invitations. Create a content library of recordings and handouts on your website after each event to keep your relationship with these independent experts alive and make the search engines happy.
Build Loyalty And Reduce Churn. People want to know that it’s easy to do business with your company and that you hear them loud and clear. Ask your existing customers their opinion using surveys and polls, or just by picking up the phone and calling -- and really listening to what they have to say. This will keep you top of mind, maintain dialogue with people who’ve purchased from you in the past, and increase the chances they’ll buy again. Don’t ignore prospects when it comes to asking for opinions. These are opportunities for you to learn more about your audience and engage in honest conversations. Ask and listen to send a clear message that you’re serious about building a relationship and you are trying hard to earn their trust. People want to know they can count on you anytime.
A great reputation = return and refer. It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to set your business apart from your competition. Creating positive and unique experiences will get a customer to buy again and refer you to others. Let’s say prospective clients visit your location -- make your lobby area relaxing but professional, have a welcome sign with their company and individual names visible when they first walk in the door, make sure everyone on your team acknowledges and greets people by name, offer a choice of beverage, place their name outside of the room where the meeting will be held, validate or offer to pay for parking, and immediately have follow-up communications after the meeting. These are little things, but will add up to big dividends and quickly. What can you do to make doing business with you enjoyable and unique?
There are hundreds of affordable and effective marketing ideas. Don’t overlook them. Find the ones that work for you and they’ll help you engage customers, build relationships, and increase revenue. Best of all, you won’t have to spend a lot time or effort either.
Do you have other creative, low-cost marketing ideas that you’ve taken advantage of to promote your business? Such as getting an easy link to your website or Facebook page just by commenting on an article or blog post? Tell us about these below.
Ron Stein is President of FastPath Marketing (www.marketing-strategies-guide.com). He works with small business owners, helping them to energize their marketing and sell more of their products and services. Ron has developed his own highly successful 7-step approach to winning new customers as a result of his experience as a small business owner, corporate CEO, marketing and business development executive, salesman, and mentor at two nationally recognized business accelerators. Ron offers one-on-one and small group mentoring, conducts seminars, and consults. He can be reached at 727-398-1855 or Ron@FastPathMarketing.com.