The life of an entrepreneur can sometimes be challenging, especially when you wear all the hats. You have to bring in sales, be the accountant, the marketer, the operations team, and more. We also recommend that whenever you are wearing too many hats in your business, you find a strong individual or team to fill in the gaps where you can’t manage on your own. So often we see entrepreneurs who are strapped for cash and one of the first things they do is cut their marketing budget. Marketing is the lifeline of your business. It is an integral part of any business plan and cannot be ignored. The good news is that there are many low-cost, effective marketing strategies that entrepreneurs can take advantage of on their own or with the assistance of a marketing team.
If you’re an entrepreneur who has been in business for a while, or if you are a new business seeking creative ways to stretch your marketing dollar, then here are 3 ways to market your business with no budget:
1. Start a LinkedIn group – Make sure you already have a profile on LinkedIn. When you’re logged into your profile, visit the Groups tab in your page and scroll down to Create a Group. Setting a group on LinkedIn has numerous benefits. You can create a niche group that is focused providing value to customers who have an interest in your industry. This gives you the chance to maximize exposure of your value, your brand, and yourself to a group of connections you might not have otherwise met. You can also invite your current LinkedIn connections to join the group as a way to jump start members. As the moderator of the group, you have the ability to send weekly messages to your connections.
2. Become an expert – If you’re in a local market, start booking yourself for speaking presentations. You can also host your own webinars or teleconferences on a particular subject that you are good at. When you speak or host webinars, focus on attracting people and groups with high influence and leverage. As you become more visible in your local market, you gain credibility in the eyes of your prospects which can build trust which eventually leads to more business.
3. Make sure you can be found – If you have a physical location for your company, make sure it is listed so that customers can find you. Visit Google Places, Yahoo Listings, Yelp, Manta, and other similar business directories to ensure that you are taking advantage of claiming or setting up your free company profile. Many of these directories allow you to upload images of your business, add your social media networks, specify your business hours, and there’s usually a place for customer reviews.