There’s a misconception that marketing your business costs a lot of money. Not all marketing is as expensive as advertising in Times Square. In fact, there are more affordable marketing strategies now than ever before that will help you gain more customers, increase brand awareness and reinforce your reputation in the marketplace. And used well, these tactics may actually be more effective at helping you stand out from the crowded marketplace than a traditional ad.
I’ve shared social media marketing tips with you in previous posts, so today I want to recommend other types of proven tactics that you may not have tried yet. Test them out and see what works for your business.
1) Public speaking
Community events, chambers, libraries and networking groups all look for guest speakers for their events. Schedule as many talks as you can fit into your schedule to establish your reputation as the go-to expert in your field. These opportunities enable you to demonstrate your knowledge, show passion for your work and pitch your business to new audiences.
2) Complimentary samples
Whether it’s a bite-size treat, a phone consultation (for example, see my offer at the end of this message) or a gift with purchase, there’s no more convincing pitch than giving consumers a no-cost experience of what you offer! Explore options beyond sampling at your place of business; for example, you can offer samples – whether it’s food or advice – at community event booth.
3) Birthday messages
Sending your most loyal customers best wishes on their birthdays is a thoughtful, unexpected gesture that helps reinforce your business relationship. Sweeten the message with a discount or gift. If you’re a retail location, use the birthday message to attract customers into the store where they not only claim their gift, but also see what else you offer.
Grow your customer base by joining forces with a business or organization that’s in a related or adjacent category. From writing a blogpost or email campaign together to hosting a live virtual or in-person information event or offering a special discount, you and your partner will both benefit from putting your names in front of new audiences. This tactic can work just as well with a local business as it does with a nonprofit organization: think creatively about ways to build support for the organization that drive traffic to your business. A good example is local restaurants and grocery stores that donate a percent of a day’s sales to a non-profit organization. The organization prompts their supporters to visit your business, so you get more sales and the organization gets a larger donation.
5) Apply for Recognition and Community Service Awards
Community publications and organizations sponsor annual local business awards to shine the light on businesses that contribute in various ways. Explore what category might be a good fit for your business and find out what it takes to become a nominee.
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