Effective Marketing Strategies For Your Small Business When You Are On A Budget

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Effective Marketing Strategies For Your Small Business When You Are On A Budget

One of the things I love about my work is the opportunity it gives me to meet so many people who have gone ahead of me to build exceptional brands.  And each time such opportunity is presented to me, be sure I’ll take full advantage of it.

It was indeed an opportunity of a lifetime when I was able to have a 15-minute conversation with one of the top events’ center owners in town last year.  He shared with me how he built his business without one single form of advertising for 25 years.  “My event center is always fully booked and most times I have to turn clients down”, he said.  Bewildered as to how this is even possible, I asked him, “what’s your secret sir?”

He simply responded by saying “my secret is simple.  When I started my events’ center business, I did not have a lot of money for marketing so I decided that for every customer that walks through my door, I’ll treat that customer like the only customer I’ve ever had in my life!”  I allowed that to sink in and asked him more questions about pricing and negotiation and how he maintains his facility in excellent shape.  At the end of 15 minutes, I was loaded with life-changing information and if you are reading this I will say, “You are blessed.”

The simple strategy this man shared with me I have implemented in my business and it has worked for me and many others I have shared it with.  The best form of marketing that can sky rocket your business is word of mouth.  Being able to serve your clients exceptionally well and they, in turn, tell others about it is one effective marketing strategy for your business.

How do I serve my customers exceptionally well?

I do not have a one-answer-fits-all for this question since “exceptional” means different things to different people.  For me, however, exceptional means offering service that invokes strong emotions in your clients that it would be an injustice for them not to tell others about you and your business.  Are you currently offering that type of service that invokes strong emotions?

This reminds me of my neighbor who put up a jaw-dropping review about her Dentist online!  She wrote a long epistle of how her Dentist blew her away and how she couldn’t resist telling the whole world about it.  She explained how the Dentist went above and beyond in a way that she had never experience in her entire life (she’s almost 50).  For my neighbor to put up such a review, the Dentist must have done something out of the ordinary.

When my clients narrate their situation of how hard it is for them to attract clients and how low they are on their marketing budget, I simply ask them what they are doing with their current customers. Why?  A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.  When you pay attention to what you already have, nurture and invest time in it by caring for it, it will reciprocate that to you in return

A lot of entrepreneurs simply do not know what it means to be of service.  Most people are all about making a quick sale forgetting that building a brand with customers who blow your trumpet requires that you build great relationships with them.  If you serve people exceptionally well, care about them and nurture them, they, in turn, become your mouthpiece which makes your brand catch fire.  I remember when I planned #Passion2Profit 2015, 99% of those who volunteered were people I was yet to meet physically.  It was not an easy task planning such an event over 5000 miles away but it was made possible by people who were ready to bear the vision without being paid.  This year will be the third year I’m hosting #Passion2Profit.  It’s going to be a web conference where anyone with internet access from any part of the world can register and be a part of it and it’s amazing that more than 90% of these volunteers still identify with my brand today.

That being said, I recognize that some brands need some form of advertising and marketing especially when you are yet to sign up your first client.  If that’s you, here are some other effective marketing strategies you

a. Offer a pro-bono.  This simply means offering your service for free.  If you are in the service industry, look for credible charity organizations that you can volunteer your service for.  People who attend such events will notice the difference if you are truly exceptional.  If you sell goods, offer them for free or give out samples that people can use.  You need to be strategic about this so you do not run into debts.  Once you get your first customer, you MUST commit to doing an exceptional job so that your customers help you carry the message

b. Pay for Facebook Ads.  Facebook Ads are relatively inexpensive ways of marketing your brand to your target audience.  If you target your audience well and design your ads in a way that will cause your audience to take action, you can get customers in the door, serve them exceptionally well, and then watch how they’ll help promote your brand for free.

c. Use content marketing.  This is the use of story to promote your brand such that it raises awareness about your brand, excites your ideal customer base and cause them to take action.  Content marketing is one way I have built my brand over the years.  I love content marketing so much to the point that I developed a customized content planner for my clients which have helped them to gain online visibility as well.  Prospects do not want to be sold to so merely putting your product information online yield minimal results.  Prospects are looking for someone who understands their needs and who they can relate with in a non-robotic way.  Fuse realness and humor into your posts.  Include some behind-the-scenes info and put a face behind your brand.  This makes your brand more appealing and increases the chances of people wanting to identify with your brand.

Overall, utilize social media to your advantage and continue to focus on serving your customers exceptionally well.

Was this article helpful to you?  Do you have other effective marketing strategies you’ll like to share with my readers?  Please leave me a comment or ask a question, I personally respond to every comment.

SAVE-THE-DATE: It’s official!  #Passion2Profit 3.0 webvention is set for November 16-18 2017.  3 awesome days to totally transform your business and life all from the comfort of your home! Yes, distance is not a barrier.  All you need is access to the internet from any part of the world.  Register by October 10th, 2017 to be entered into a chance of winning start-up capital for your brand. For registration details, email seun@theonpointsuccess.com

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4 Comments

  • avatar
    Irene Naume
    September 11, 2017

    Just learnt that what we are currently doing with the company could be the reason we are here.we at ALCM Ltd offer free delivery services to our customers and talk to them in person.wow!

    • Oluwaseun Akinlotan
      September 11, 2017

      That’s right! Do not underestimate the power of service

  • avatar
    Yetunde
    September 11, 2017

    Very interesting and educative. Getting the first customer is always the issue.
    I remember practically begging our first retail outlet owner when we brought farmfresh yoghurt to Ibadan some years ago.
    The conditions were very tight but myself and my husband accepted them anyway, since that was the only way to make the first sale.
    The rest now, is history.

    • Oluwaseun Akinlotan
      September 11, 2017

      Exactly and thanks for reading. Once the first customer gets in and experiences your awesomeness, then it becomes easy!

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