Let’s say for just a moment that you’re in a place where you’re willing to spend a little money marketing your business, but you just don’t have a budget for a $1200 per month billboard. Many entrepreneurs get started with marketing and advertising their business online and through word of mouth. These work great, but in order for these markets to grow, your marketing plan should include advertising outside of these areas. This means setting aside time and money for marketing, but you don’t have to set aside a fortune.
Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
Step 1 – Pitch It!
No matter where you are, you have an opportunity to meet new people and talk to them. One of the most commonly asked questions when you strike up conversation with a new person is , “So what do you do?” Take advantage of the opportunity and really let them know what you do! Be passionate about it, and give them your elevator pitch! The important part of this is that the next time they’re doing anything related to your business, they’ll think about you! The other benefit of giving your elevator pitch to new acquaintances is that you’ll be able to practice and perfect it. You’ll know what works, what gets a response, and what doesn’t.
Step 2 – Volunteer
It may not sound sexy to spend time doing something that doesn’t pay you for your time, but the benefit of contributing your time to a cause is that you meet new people, let them know about your business, and word of mouth spreads like wildfire. Think about events that are happening right in your community, with groups and people that might be interested in your products or services. Perhaps even organizing a block party with other businesses can help. Regardless, you’ll be sure to pass out plenty of business cards and promotional products.
Step 3 – Network
Networking is all about meeting people who know other people who may be able to help you further your goals. You can do this with local networking groups, such as the Chamber of Commerce or BNI, where you’ll be able to build meaningful relationships with people who are in the community and able to help you grow your business. Another option is networking online, with apps like Meetup, where you can find networking events in your area.
Step 4 – Partner & Collaborate
Don’t forget that teaming up with another business in your industry can be a great way to get yourself in front of a whole new group of people. For example, if you take wedding photos, and you know someone who does cakes, create a partnership with them where if someone hires you, then they get 15% off their wedding cake and vice versa. You can also partner and collaborate online through podcasts, live events, and by simply putting your business cards, flyers, or brochures at their physical location.
Step 5 – Engage!
Don’t forget that as an entrepreneur, you are a subject matter expert that other people are likely to want advice from. You can put yourself out there as a speaker for conferences, organizations, business groups, colleges, and libraries. This gets you some public recognition and gives you the opportunity to talk to people one-on-one after the event. Another way to engage with your community is to host an event or a class. You can do this in a library, college, or coworking space. Advertising your own class or event is as easy as creating flyers and posting them on bulletin boards, as well as online.
Remember, at Annek Marketing Group, we can help your business find the perfect balance when it comes to your marketing and advertising budget. Our goal is always to help you do more of what you do best. We’re here to help, so contact us today to learn more about the different options we have to get your business buzzing!