16 Free Marketing Ideas to Improve Your Business
I am in the middle of building a business that is out of my wheel-house. I am a technology guy and I am building an old fashioned print business that has a small technology twists. Here are the 16 things that I am doing to guerrilla market my way through this particular bootstrap.
- Use Mee tUp to meet local business people. There are Meet Up groups about a vast many subjects. Find a local business meetup or lead groups and first join the group online. Then show up at a least two meetings to see if the group is for you. There is value in getting out and getting to know your local guerrilla marketers. People attending these meetups are attending a variety of similar events during the week and they are meeting a lot of people. Get to know them, don’t just pitch them. Meetup events were my #1 source of new revenue in August 2014..
- Get people to review your product or service. Google reviews drive traffic. (rephrase – Good Google Reviews drive traffic). I highly recommend sending txt messages with a link to your google review page to your clients who give you permission to do so. If your client uses a DROID phone they won’t need to sign in to Google to do the review.
- Share your knowledge. Do you know something people want to know? Find a few local groups that will invite you to speak and to share your knowledge. Being an expert on something related to your business is good for business.
- Volunteer. Don’t tell me you are too busy. Get out and find a local charity that does something you believe in. Show up, help out and meet the other volunteers. You will be doing good for your community, you will also be making good contacts that will bear fruit for your business.
- Make your print collateral useful. Your business card should be printed on both sides. Your letterhead should have your website clearly printed on it. Everything you print serves a purpose and that purpose is to market your business.
- Promote yourself. Get your logo sewn into a few new polo-type shirts. Wear these shirts when you are at networking events or during your daily business activities. You see people all day who need your service. I like to put my logo on the back of my shirt, centered and under the collar.
- Do one-on-one meetings. Take the time to get to know some of your local business people, sales people and potential customers. Don’t try to sell them anything, just build relationships.
- SEO your website. SEO is the single most powerful element of your marketing strategy. If people tell you that SEO is witchcraft or that it does not work- they are not doing it properly.
- If you blog… Do not use your blog to put out worthless information just for the sake of blogging. Write great content that people want to read or that teaches the reader something. If you do this your blog will have value and it will be read and shared. That is the objective – everything else is wasting time.
- Comment on others’ blogs. This does not mean that you should go add your link to everyone’s blog via the comments section. That is called spam and it is frowned upon. Write thoughtful, useful responses that tie into the blog or offer information to support the writer. Do not criticize the writer or the other people leaving comments. Like your mother told you, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
- Use your social media networks wisely. Wisely can be ambiguous so let me be more specific – your social media pages need to be more than links to your products and your latest specials. Give people something they want to read. Touch them emotionally or give them information that will make their day better.
- How-to videos. If you can use your business knowledge to teach someone something that will help them in their business or in their personal life you will amazed at how many views you will garner. Don’t produce infomercials about your product unless you have the money to hire the talent to sell the product. Teaching someone how to use your product is a much better approach. I have a friend that purchased a very expensive espresso machine because the vendor put out how-to videos on how to create different espresso drinks.
- Send thank you notes. When you get great service from a business or if you love a product you should take the time to send a note. In this day of electronic communications your letter will get extra attention. It may be hung in the lobby of the business or scanned and posted online. (send the note with a business card or on stationary)
- Give referrals. Help someone else’s business by sending them leads and they will return the favor. After you send a referral be sure to follow-up with both parties to make sure both parties were happy with the referral.
- Keep extra business cards in your car. It has happened to all of us, we run out of business cards at the wrong time. Keep extra business cards in your glove box.
- Cold call. Most of us find cold calls difficult or beneath us at this stage in our career. Get over it. Sales drive business and cold calls can drive sales. I recently started doing cold calls again. It has been 22 years since I have walked into a stranger’s office and tried to get an appointment. My 25 year-old self would laugh at my technique and skills. (but they are coming back – it is amazing what we forget).
As always my free advice is guaranteed to work or your money back