Here are some great techniques and tips to market whatever business you own no matter how big or small your budget.

Marketing Basics

How to perfect your elevator pitch:

    • Know what motivates your audience
    • Incorporate social proof
    • Tell a story that shows your expertise and how you’re qualified to solve your audience’s problem.
  • Anticipate key questions from your audience like “What’s your competitive advantage?”

Initial ways to ask for a referral without it being awkward

  • Be direct and ask for referrals through an email, online, in-person or at the bottom of your invoices
  • Focus on asking your best client or customers instead of all of them.
  • Offer incentives like a gift card, percentage off of future work, a small gift or charitable donation in their name
  • Make it easy for them to refer others, like an email script or recommend function on your site.
  • Reciprocate by giving referrals
  • Ask your customers to like your Facebook page
  • Join a referral or professional networking group

Cold calling/emailing

Here are some pointers to make your experience more successful.

  • Don’t focus on the sale. The idea is to create an opportunity for you to make your pitch. Before contacting anyone, conduct some market research so that you’re only reaching out to your target audience.
  • Prepare an effective opening statement that includes greeting, introduction, reference point (this is something about your prospect), the benefits of your product/service, and a transition to a question or conversation.
  • Prepare a script so that you can easily answer any questions or concerns regarding your product or service.
  • Set up an appointment — you can share your calendar with prospective clients so that they can see your availability and then select a time that works for them.
  • Always be friendly to whoever picks up the phone or responds to your email.
  • Send a small, unique promotional item.
  • It’s suggested that you contact them on Thursdays either early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
  • Be persistent. It may take three or four contacts to set up an appointment.

Create awesome business cards

Thanks to companies like Vistaprint you can create your own unique business cards that stand out at a decent price. This way you can hand them whenever you meet a new contact or you can also leave them at other businesses.

Develop business partnerships and do cross-promotion with other businesses.

Cross-promotion keeps things cheap by sharing the costs of advertising can create valuable synergy that benefits all partners.

Participate in a joint venture

This is another great way to share costs between businesses.

Send out promotions with your invoices

If you’re already sending out invoice documents you can include promotions with them as well.

Learn how to write a killer sales letter

A sharp sales letter will work whether you’re using direct mail or email.  Once you’ve written one, be sure to learn how to maximize the response to your sales letter.

Email and Internet Strategies

Collect email addresses and send out a newsletter

Email is still important. In fact, it’s the preferred communication method among all customers. As such, make sure that you’re growing and nurturing your email lists. Services like MailChimp or Constant Contact are available to help grow your lists of customers.  You can also encourage new sign-ups with incentives like eBooks.

As for a newsletter, if you have a blog then you can send out an accompanying newsletter. Consider creating an exclusive newsletter that has different content than your blog to make your subscribers feel they are receiving unique or exclusive content.

Make the most of employee’s email signatures

This is a simple and cost-effective way to market your business. Just have your team add a short sentence with a call-to-action in their email signatures. Now, whenever they send out an email there’s a non-obtrusive marketing message for potential customers.  You can also add a personal calendar link in the signature to book meetings.

Check your online listings

Hopefully you’ve already listed your business on search engine local directories as well as created pages on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

If so, make sure that your information, such as your website, business owners, and contact information are correct and up-to-date by using a tool like Yext.

Respond to queries

Take the time to answer questions on platforms like Quora, join HARO or be active on online forums relevant to your industry. Not only is this a simple and cheap way to prove you’re an authority figure, it can get you noticed by an entirely new audience or business.

Link building

It’s embarrassing to admit that not everyone is aware of the centrality of link building for any team’s marketing efforts.

Link building is vital to marketing.

After you create content to gain authority and establish yourself as an expert in the field, it is important to link to an article for reference that appears on your blog.

Producing content should be at the heart of your business if you are looking to grow organically with limited resources for advertising and promotion.

If you do not have relevant content regarding a topic you want to write extensively about, you should update a previous blog post and add a link to the new article.

Here is the most important tip  The anchor you use has a great impact on the performance of your link building and SEO ranking. Try to link to your previous blog post through an anchor that is identical to the focus keyword for that article.

You should always set realistic SEO goals to achieve long-term results, but these aspects of internal link building which can miracles for you.

Retargeting links

Link retargeting is one of the most cost-effective ways to scale your marketing game.

It helps you re-track users who didn’t complete their journey at one point or another before checkout right back to your website.

Retargeting links are highly accurate in presenting users with the exact product they viewed or added to their cart when they visited a specific site.

Here’s an example:

A user clicks a link on your e-shop and views a pair of shoes.  As an advertiser, you can retarget the user who clicked that link with link retargeting.  You can choose to show them the same visual as it appeared on your website or customize it.

You can retarget the user by showing them a visual with a special discount or you can craft a more personalized visual reminder to see if they still have an interest in the service or product.

Its like having a bot speak to promote your business.

Build a Website

Turn Your Website into a Selling Machine

There are several important things to consider with your company’s website. It is essential that is does all that it can beyond simply looking nice, professional, and announcing your products and services.

Here are some important tips for building your website:

  • It sells someone on the idea of using your product or service
  • It is designed to entice your potential customers
  • It shows how your products or services are different from your competitors
  • It answer any possible concerns or objections your customers might using your products or services
  • It contains a compelling call-to-action
  • It provides a reason, such as a limited-time special offer, that compels your prospective customer to buy immediately

Turning your website into a “selling machine” is key to growing your business and finding new customers.

Drive Traffic to Your Website

Here are some of the best ways to drive traffic and potential customers to your website without spending a lot of money:

  • Using search engine optimization tools so your website ranks high in search engines.
  • Make the website interesting enough so that people refer it to their friends.
  • Reference it on any advertising, business cards, or even bills you send out
  • Use social media to drive traffic to the website and regularly update content or messages
  • Capture email addresses of prospective customers and use database marketing techniques to reach these people using carefully timed campaigns

Content Strategies

Publish top-notch content

If you don’t already have a blog, it’s essential to get a domain name and create one now.  It is by far the easiest and best way to market your business.  And it is cost effective.

You don’t need to be a skilled writer.  People are looking for advice on how to make their lives better so as long as it contains sound information and content, you don’t need to write a Pulitzer.  Besides, there are apps like Grammarly to  improve your writing skills.

Write for industry publications

Reach out to industry blogs and publications that accept guest writers. Just like in a blog, you’re demonstrating your expertise and more importantly you reach a larger audience.

Look for ad promo credits

Ad campaigns can be expensive, but if you do a little digging you may be able to score coupons or discounts for Google or Facebook ads. Some web hosting services offer advertising discount codes to their members as well.

Re-purpose your content

If you have old published content you can breathe new life into it by recycling it. For example, you could take a study you conducted and repurpose it for an infographic. Your collection of blog posts on a specific topic could be used for an eBook.  Or a podcast you taped could become a new YouTube video.

Leave comments below articles

This isn’t necessarily a scalable and sustainable way to grow your business but it is a good way to keep your business top of mind in the public arena.

Find relevant blogs, bloggers, and influencers and leave comments below their most successful articles.  Read a few articles, use Ahrefs to see which ranks higher, and leave positive feedback or share some of your thoughts.

Make sure to write an original piece of feedback every time you post.  Don’t write one-word comments as these look forced.  Instead, it’s ideal to take time and craft a comment that is spot-on, gathers approval, and gets upvotes by other users. Remember to leave comments one article per blog at a time with different content, otherwise you might be marked as spam.

Original thoughts and comments are the greatest form of flattery for the right publishers.

Your primary goal is to raise awareness about what you do.  Set up an account and upload a profile picture for your business logo or a very characteristic photo of yourself.

Social Media

Take advantage of Social Media Platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube

Instagram and Pinterest are both great platforms to visually tell your brand’s story. Best of all, it costs nothing. You can just use your camera phone, some time to edit, and then upload to a social media platform.

Here are some suggestions on what kind of photos and media you should publish:

  • A behind-the-scenes look at your business.
  • Images that show your products in a positive setting.
  • Memes
  • Short videos sharing advice
  • Image testimonials from existing customers
  • Hashtags and geo-targeting
  • Images of customers on how they use your products or service that they can share

Create a video about your product or service for YouTube or get your own YouTube channel up and running.

Ask your friends to talk about you on social media

Once you establish “proof of concept” it’s time to call on your biggest fans and unconditional followers — Your friends.

They will be the ones to stand up for you and what you do, bet in your favor, and support you on your way establishing your business and brand.

Your friends can help you out if they are in the same industry or have several contacts that are potentially interested in your offerings.

Instead of asking your friends to spam their contacts across social media ask them what their favorite social media network is and have them share content that is appropriate for the specific medium.

For example, if you know a vlogger with a decent following record a video with them.  Ideally, your friends can then share that video with their friends and spread your story and brand.

Make sure to have your blog or website in place so that when users start flocking to your URL you are set up with popups and subscription forms in place.

Marketing Incentives

Offer coupons

Coupons are a great way to attract new customers while also driving loyalty among your existing customer base.  Most people tend to try a new product or a restaurant because they’re incentivized with a coupon.

Run an online contest

Promotional giveaways and contests are a tried and true way of to build awareness and introduce your business to potential customers.

Ideally a contest or giveaway should contain your product or service, such as the chance to win a free membership to your service or a recently released product.

Promote the contest on social media and don’t forget to announce the winner.

Give it away

This may sound counterproductive but you shouldn’t hesitate to offer people a free trial of your service or a free sample of your product.  If they like what you’re offering, they won’t have any problem purchasing more of your product or service since they had a chance to try it.

Create a Loyalty Program

This doesn’t have to be nearly as expensive as it sounds.

A loyalty program could be something as simple as implementing a strategic email list and having an email loyalty sign-up sheet at your register.

You can entice customers to sign up with these incentive ideas:

  • Birthday Coupon – Discounts email to customers to save on their birthday
  • Store Credit – Give customer store credit for referring a new customer.
  • Punch Cards – If you’re a local coffee shop you can print cards that make every 10th coffee free.

These are easy ways to reward your customers for their loyalty without breaking the bank.

Offer Incentives for Referrals

The most powerful incentive is the referral incentive.  It works in two steps.

First you can offer a current customer an incentive for bringing in a new one. For example, if you own a gym you can offer a reward of a one-month free extended membership if your member brings in a friend to try your facility out.

Then you can offer a deal for the new customer they brought in and offer half-price on the initiation fees.

This way both parties are incentivized to talk about and promote the deal to your their circle of friends.

Make Customers Feel Special With Exclusives

Offering exclusive purchases or previews of new merchandise to existing customers is a great way to inspire a feeling of excitement and loyalty. To enhance participation, you may wish to offer a discount.  The discount can be small if the exclusive offering is extremely attractive to customers.

By carefully following these steps and strategies you are sure to increase your customer base and grow your company into a successful and profitable business.