Are you in the process of planning your future marketing? Here are some of my favourite marketing ideas for freelancers and small businesses with a small budget:
1. Advertise on your company car
Removable magnetic signs are an affordable alternative to wraps. Just make sure to add your website & phone number and most importantly: drive sensibly!
2. Find local networking events
Bring your business cards, your lovely smile and start making connections.
3. Happy faces
Instead of your usual advertisement use the testimonial of a happy customer. And never forget to tell your customers what you want them to do and where to reach you (“Call us now on 0131-123456789”).
4. Support an event or local club
Find a conference or club that is important for your target group and start volunteering or sponsoring in kind.
5. Organise your own meet up (for example on Meetup)
You can make a lot of useful contacts among your target group when you organise a meetup.
6. Offer ‘Summer Savings’ or ‘Winter Deals’
And get more customers in the quieter time of the year.
7. Help others
And don’t worry about giving free advice – every contact is important for word-of-mouth marketing.
Look for businesses that offer complementary services to yours & form a strategic partnership. This way you can share the cost and reach a new audience.
9. Offer mini versions of your product
To give your customers an idea of the benefits.
10. Link up
Link from your email signature to your website and Social Media profiles. And don’t forget to link from your Social Media profiles to your website and vice versa. To be thorough communicate them additionally in your brochures and leaflets.
11. Be an expert in your field
Volunteer for talks at events, workshops or a regular column in your local newspaper.
Place an offer on Groupon or itison to introduce a new product and attract new customers.
13. Alert the media
Anything newsworthy going on in your business? Write a press release and send it to relevant newspapers and magazines.
14. Start a monthly newsletter (for example with MailChimp)
Build up a mailing list with a sensible balance of useful tips and advertising. Use them to give your business a personal touch.
15. Be charitable
Consider donating your product to a charity auction. A great way to network and raise your profile.
16. Join up
Prove you’re an expert: Get accreditations and show your membership of professional bodies.
17. Get reviews
The internet (and Social Media) is not just about content: Use Google+ Local for customer reviews or create events on Facebook and Eventbrite.
18. Ask your customers (for example via SurveyMonkey)
Find out why they chose you and what you can do to improve your services. Nothing better than feedback directly from the source.
19. Open up your business
Plan an open door day or an informal event where potential customers meet existing ones.
Optimise your website and/or blog for search engines. No better and cheaper way to drive traffic to your online presence.
21. Send cards
A thank you card after a completed project or Christmas wishes go a long way.
22. Print on- and offline
Do you have a company brochure or product catalogue? Make sure they’re available as pdf download on your website.
Encourage loyalty from your customers with a reward scheme for referrals. Offer a discount or extra service.
Do you have an ‘About’ page on your website? Build trust and tell your customers all about you and your business.
If you are interested in reading more about this topic, have a look at these:
Small Business Marketing Ideas
What’s Your Plan for the Next 6 Months? – 11 Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business
Not Just for the Big Ones – Affordable Marketing for Small Businesses
6 Proven Ways to Grow Your Small Business