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17 April 2018
Zero Budget Marketing Plan
Marketing is a key component of any BUSINESS, be it to start up or a well-positioned CMMI level 5 firm. What really makes marketing challenge is the risk of heavy investments and expectation of its ROI.What if one fine day you hear that you need to invest zero bucks into marketing and still expect the same ROI!!!.....still with me??? Good ..Let me take you for a ride!!!
These 10 strategies are what I would call the basic backbone of any marketing plan and are important to anyone wishing to build a successful business. They're so easy that sometimes people overlook them, or worse, think they're not important enough to warrant doing, which often results in a fatal outcome.
love what you do and let it show! Doing business with someone who is excited, passionate and happy, is completely different to doing business with someone who is grumpy, bored and even angry. Now, this doesn't mean you have to leap up excitedly and run over and hug the person when they meet you! All it means is being nice, friendly, helpful, focused and present for your customer and their needs - now aren't that easy?? If you're doing something right now that you aren't passionate about, stop causing yourself and everyone you deal with pain - instead look at things you do love doing and can do passionately... All that's stopping you from doing it is YOU...
2.KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH IN YOUR BUSINESS AND KEEP FOCUSED
if you don't have a plan in place of where you wish to be, and how you want your business to be functioning in a year or 2 - then you're on the road without a map! You'll go round and round in circles, and life will be a little chaotic. Not only will you be confused, in most cases your clients and team will certainly feel the adverse effects of this lack of direction too. Start thinking about where you see yourself and your business this time next year, then go about setting up little goals (or steps) for yourself that are achievable between now and then to ensure you set yourself up for a successful and profitable outcome.
3.HAVE SOME SUPER EFFECTIVE SYSTEMS IN PLACE
To back you up in business. Make sure you're organised with systems that will assist you and your clients. Simple strategies like having a diary or schedule so you don't double book or forget things. A phone that works and has good coverage if it is a cell phone, a quick and easy system and standard in place to return calls if you miss some. Let's face it, if you're returning calls to clients a week later, it's highly possible that you will have already lost their business. If you send out quotes, have a system such as diarizing a follow-up call. Systems can make or break your business. Stick to your schedule so you're not running behind. If you're continually late, can't find things when clients call you up, your payment system is off the rails, products are late etc then you'll find your clients start to dwindle quickly. So challenge yourself to implement at least one effective system per week that can make your life and your clients' lives a whole lot easier.
silent passion is not going to get you anywhere. If people don't know what you're doing then how can they do business with you, or refer you to others? One of the cheapest and most powerful marketing strategies is networking. That doesn't mean you have to impose yourself on everyone who comes into your space! Instead, it means to be prepared for what you will say when the opportunity arises or when you can create an opportunity to communicate with the person about what you do. And remember to speak up to your family and friends; this is a real bugbear among many entrepreneurs and small business people starting out. Don't be shy about what you do, or what you are creating for yourself - speak up, be proud!
5.LIST YOUR BUSINESS
With online sites that will happily have your business submitted and shown on their directory for free - get out there! If you have a website, you'll find numerous businesses or organizations in your local area, state, country and also globally that will accept an online listing from you. Remember this opportunity can help you build your exposure and profile. Take ½ an hour each week to list your business somewhere different. Just make sure you keep track of who they all are so you can update your details if necessary in the future.
6.BUILD GREAT RELATIONSHIPS
it's amazingly important to everyone you deal with. Building great relationships with your clients can increase business, profitability and longevity beyond your wildest dreams if done well. It's just as important to build good relationships with your associates, you'd be surprised how many sales reps, suppliers and clients can feel the energy of a happening, successful and happy business when they walk into your business, and you'll be surprised at how these people can talk! Make sure they talk about you for the right reasons.
To your clients in any way you can. There are so many people out there giving standard service, it's actually not that hard to give superior service. If you're not sure where to start, simply ask your clients how else you could help them! Also, remember to ask them what they'd be willing to pay for that extra value or service. Basics such as remembering their birthday or something else that's important to them so you can send a Christmas card or small gift with their interest in mind etc. Little things such as, if your client is into golf an email to let them know of an upcoming golf event with a 'saw this today and thought you may be interested in it, happy golfing, jack' or a golf ball with your logo on it given to them out of the blue, and if you really have some money in the bank a round of golf for 2 at the best golf club in their area... Obviously you need to put your prices up to ensure you're not running at a loss but people buy value - they love to be made to feel special and this is what the marketing strategy 'adding value' is all about. Until you can afford to spend some $$$, a cold water or cup of coffee, a call, an email or a bit more time in getting to know your client goes a long way.
8.DO THE LITTLE THINGS EXCEPTIONALLY WELL EVERY SINGLE TIME
You'd be surprised at how well that rates in a clients mind. Things like being on time, such a small thing but how many times have you heard people complain that their tradesman, doctor, hairdresser etc who was late? How many times did that professional call you prior to you arriving at the site to it to let you know they were going to be late? I can guarantee you with all of us put together, we'd be able to count the amount of times (if any) on our fingers! Such a little thing makes your client feel respected. And just how much effort does it really take?? Hardly a thought, all it really entails is a little system to be put in place for you and your team to follow through on it every time to ensure your client is respected and will come to you again.
9.ASK THE BIG QUESTION
Which is, how did they find you, where did they hear about you? Every business big or small needs to put this at the top of their list. If you don't know where your clients are coming from then how on earth do you know what marketing initiatives are working? There is a valid quote that goes 'Only 50% of marketing works, do you know which half is working for you?' Amazingly many don't, and that's because they don't ask their clients that all important question.
10.DON'T GO IT ALONE
You don't need to! How many millionaires and business success stories have said they had mentors and coaches that were instrumental in helping them get there? LOADS!!!! Most will tell you they had a little help and guidance, the truly honest ones will tell you they could not have done it without their mentors and coaches. There is no shame in asking others for help, truly, you don't need to walk this path alone, after all, anyone who has ever had a business knows what a huge task it is. You can fast track yourself, save yourself loads of time, energy and money, AND your sanity if seek out some people who are excellent at areas you need experience in. Some excellent Zero dollar solutions and hints can come in the form of simply signing up for a newsletter or free teleclass on subjects of interest. It's a terrific and low cost starting place to help you build up your business. Try mine for more marketing strategies and ideas each month - sign up on the website http://www.marketingtosuccess.com
There are different ways to market your business with zero budget
1.Focus on the web Advertising requires funds. However, you don’t have funds. Luckily, we have one of the most game-changing, cost-effective tools at our disposal when it comes to marketing: the Internet. Therefore make it the focus of your marketing plan.
2.Start with a small niche You may have big aspirations, but with no budget, you’ll need to pull back a little. Some of the biggest businesses in the world started by focussing on just one niche. So, pick one product with one or two key features and a single market at which to target it.
3.Build the website yourself Investing in a professionally-built website is still advisable for businesses, but you have to start somewhere, and with tools like WordPress, you can build a good looking website yourself and spend nothing on it but your own time.
4.Utilise social media Ensure your business has presences on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. Spend time ensuring the profiles are accurate and decorated with your logos and brand ethos and start a regular posting regime. One a day will do, but try and utilize hash-tags which relate to your product or offering to make sure your message cuts through.
5.Start bloggingOne 500-800 word blog post published every week on the same day is all that is required to start your content marketing strategy. A lovely bonus of doing this is that you can use the blogs as content for your monthly email newsletter. Content marketing is king and, again, costs you nothing more than your time.
6.Build your LinkedIn network Over the last few years, LinkedIn has transformed from a ‘check out how many connections I’ve got’ bragging rights website into a rich, vibrant social network full of opportunities for free marketing. If you’re not on it, set up a profile now and start connecting with old colleagues, customers, and industry influencers.