Before I delve into my top tips for how you can do your marketing with zero budget, I want to point out the obvious: marketing isn’t easy. I would know, I do it every single day. There is no silver bullet, there is no quick fix and there is no way to cheat the system and make £1M without having to get out of bed. To do your marketing effectively, it takes time, effort and dedication.
But if you’ve got big dreams and no marketing budget, it will be worth putting in that time and effort. I promise.
If you want to grow your business but you don’t have a penny of marketing spend right now, here are my 5 top tips to get you started.
Ad hoc marketing doesn’t work. It just doesn’t. How can making it up as you go along ever render real results? If it does, it’s going to be a fluke. Because you’re not in control of anything. You need to have a proper plan of action that is built on a realistic and well thought through strategy. Having your ducks in line like this alone will make a massive difference.
To give an example of this, I was speaking to a client yesterday. He told me the strategy I’d developed has given him so much more confidence in his business. And that confidence has directly impacted sales. He is winning more business just because of the way that he is talking about his company, and all that came from having a strategy.
If you’re not sure how to create a strategy, then check out my blog from 2019. Or, if you’re ready and motivated to take it a step further, then my book will guide you through an easy step by step process, meaning you’ll have a well thought out strategy put together in no time.
2. Know Your Value
People don’t buy toothbrushes because they have spare time before they go to bed. They buy toothbrushes to help them keep their teeth clean. Stop thinking about what you’re selling and start instead to think about what people are actually buying.
People don’t buy a car, they’re buying a way for them to travel. They also want it to be comfortable, to look good, and to be convenient. The car is the means but not the whole purpose. Remember that.
Brand and value propositions are tools that enable you to cut through what you’re selling and see the real reasons people are buying. What problems are you solving for your customers and what benefits are you actually giving to them? When you cut through all the noise and say the words that really strike a chord with your audience, that’s when you’ll start to see success in your marketing.
If you’ve not done this activity before, then do it this week. Do it ASAP. It will massively transform your marketing.
3. Your Hook
When you know your business inside and out and you’ve come up with the perfect way to talk to your customers, now you need to create a hook. This is sometimes called a ‘big idea’ that turns the value points you’ve identified into a catchy marketing message. It needs to capture the attention of your customers.
No matter what the value, putting the world ‘sale’ on a shop window always makes people look. We can’t resist a good offer. We can’t resist something interesting. So how can you add to your brand work so it begins to branch into lead generation?
If you’ve never done a campaign before or developed a hook, I have another blog that details it all.
4. Brand Explosion
This is called a lot of different things in the marketing world, but I like to call it a “brand explosion”. It’s basically making sure that your brand is everywhere. No matter where your customers look, they need to be seeing and hearing about you. Yes, this could cost you millions of pounds in expensive marketing activities, but if you’re savvy enough, there is also a lot you can do for free that will be very impactful. You basically need to utilise all the avenues available to you:
- Where can you add free PR?
- Are you a member of the Chamber or another group where you can add in blogs etc?
- Social media
- Affiliate sites/partner companies
- Free directory listings
- Guest blogs
- Guest podcasts
- Free networking meetings (they are out there!)
- Your own blog
You get the idea. That’s not to say just put a lot of stuff everywhere. Make sure you show the value you offer and you consistently say the same thing.
To find out more about brand explosions (do you see what’s coming?), take a look at my blog.
5. Direct Targeting
While your brand explosion will happily tick along in the background telling everyone who you are and what you do, that’s a slow burner. It’s vital to build your brand and build confidence in your audience, but you need to also directly target your audience as well to balance things out.
With no budget, there is only one way to do this: conversation. Whether it’s via email, getting on the phone or messaging directly via social media, you need to start that conversation. And I’d encourage you to have an actual conversation here and not just sell to people. People buy from people and relationships really matter. So how can you start those relationships right now to get things moving?
At Lindsay Woodward Marketing we specialise in working with small businesses. If you are limited with time and money, then we know how to make the smallest of budgets stretch far. Book in a meeting if you’d like to explore how.