Every business owner knows the importance of marketing.
They know that having a strong marketing strategy is the key to gaining new customers for their business. Customers are key components to the success of any business. Without customers, which provide much needed finances that help your business thrive, your business is destined for failure. So the burning question on the mind of the small business owner would be, how can they get in front of their desired customers and grow their businesses without breaking the bank.
As mentioned earlier in this article, the key to growing a business is having a strong marketing strategy. Depending on the size of your business, you may not have access to a marketing department. In fact, you may be the marketing department at this moment.
No matter where you stand, this article will show you four free or inexpensive ways to grow your business by using organic marketing efforts.
Organic marketing consists of those marketing efforts that will work for you over the long- term. This form of marketing is free, but does require some elbow work.
1. Create a blog for your business. Blogging is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies you can introduce in order to get the message of your business out to those who need to see it.
A blog can educate your audience about your business, and the articles can be tailored to meet the informational needs of your industry.
This is a low-cost strategy, because you will want to add your blog as an asset to your business; which means you will want to buy a domain and hosting for it.
Some companies build their blogs on sites they do not own; such as Blogger and WordPress.com. While these sites are used by many first-time bloggers, it is not ideal for someone who wants to have full control over what they can do with their blog.
Free blogging platforms often come with stipulations. Paying for your domain name and using a site that you have control over, such as one you would build with WordPress.org, is best for your brand.
2. Start an email list. This is an often overlooked method for marketing a business; though it is cost-effective. There is a bit of a learning curve involved with the set up and management of email lists, but many of the companies who offer these services, have tutorials and teams who are ready to walk you through the entire set up process.
Many of the email marketing platforms have free trials.
The free trials allow you an opportunity to try these platforms on for size to see which one will fit your needs; as well as the needs of your business.
3. Utilize social media. Depending on the type of business you own, you should choose a social media platform to market your services on.
If you are a stylist, Instagram would be a great place to show off photos of how you made your clients look their best.
A hairdresser could share photos and tips on the latest hairstyle they completed for one of their clients.
If photos are not exactly your thing, you may want to utilize LinkedIn. If your audience is composed of professionals, this platform will allow you to make connections with them, and share your content in a way that makes you stand out to those who could use your services.
Facebook is also a platform you can use to promote your business. With the ability to create groups, you could even build communities for those who engage with your business, allowing them to connect with others who love what your business stands for.
Social media is free to use, but if you have the budget, you can always hire someone to setup and run your social media account for you.
4. Create an eBook. Company owners probably don't see themselves as authors; and the thought of writing a long and drawn out book probably puts a sour taste in their mouth.
But there is a form of eBook that can actually help to grow your list of prospective customers.
Have you ever seen a commercial, asking you to call a number to get their free eBook fo learn more about whatever it was that they were talking about on the commercial?
Those books that people call to get are eBooks, and they are a form of a lead magnet.
A lead magnet is something of value that you give away for free in exchange for a name, email address, or some other form of contact information.
You can then use the information that you collect to build a list of people who are interested in the information that you have to offer on a particular product or service.
These eBooks are simple PDFs that are downloaded by the person who gave their information.
eBooks are inexpensive to make, because all you need is a word processing program and the ability to save coffee with espresso the file that you create as a PDF.
In order to grow your business, it is imperative that you be creative. It may mean taking advantage of tools you may have otherwise never thought of considering.
While you may have never given much thought to writing an eBook, launching into the social media waters, or even starting a blog, these are all cost-effective strategies that don't cost you much, but can help you grow your business in exponential ways.