Russ Perry, Founder of Design Pickle will be speaking at the AMA Phoenix Direct Marketing Special Interest Group (SIG) on Thursday – March 10, 2016. This is a blog post written by our speaker, which is bound to provide some helpful tips on how a business (especially a small business) can attract new prospects and clients on a bootstrapped budget. Join us and REGISTER TODAY!
If you’re a small business owner, you know that the ability to attract new prospects and clients is just as important as providing a strong product or service. But that can be challenging when often times what goes along with attracting new customers is a hefty ad spend and some serious marketing dollars. While that’s just not an option for many small businesses, that also doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel.
Small Business on a Bootstrapped Budget
With some focus, creativity, and effort, showing prospective customers just how awesome you are doesn’t have to break the bank. The following five tips should be part of any small business on a bootstrapped budget when your growth-hacking marketing and the bottom line.
BE SUPER SOCIAL
The importance of getting social can’t be overlooked. And not just social media networking. Real life networking. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, these sites can absolutely help you develop and expand your network and audience, both near and far. They definitely need to be a part of your strategy and you should be constantly communicating with those audiences, spreading the word about sales, promotions, contests, events, and even your honest growth metrics. The more people hear from you the more trust you’ll gain. But don’t discount face-to-face.
Some of Design Pickle’s best sales months have been directly tied to certain events we’ve attended. Physical networking—you know, handing out business cards and talking to people in person—is still a relevant and often underrated way to gain some great headway with your start-up or existing small business.
CRUSH CONTENT MARKETING
Think about the most critical issues affecting your industry. What gets people scratching their heads and what does your target audience care about? If you know the answers, share them!
If you make T-shirts, do you have thoughts about supply chain issues or better ways to print on sleeves? If you’re a farmer, are you an expert on a particular agricultural topic? Sharing your expertise whether by hosting a blog, publishing articles on Medium or LinkedIn, doing a weekly Podcast, or SlideShare presentation round-ups can help your business get its brand out there while establishing you as a thought leader. Thus all goes back to the trust building thing. You want people to take interest in what you have to say and when they do, they’ll keep coming back.
DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF, OUTSOURCE IT
Often one of the biggest challenges for small business marketing is the in-house overhead of having a fully staffed marketing team. Between the writing, the designing, the ad planning, and PR, it’s a lot of moving parts in an ever growing jigsaw puzzle. Luckily, there’s some great services around that allow you to outsource some of the smaller headaches and focus on the larger strategy.
Need unlimited design requests on a monthly basis? We’re pretty good at that. Need unlimited small development requests for your WordPress site? Try WP Curve. For a whole bunch of other outsourcing solutions to your daily marketing problems, check here. Don’t pay full-time staff and all that comes along with it when you can scale fast and cheap with these outsourced services.
DON’T PLAY HIDE & SEEK
Are you doing SEO right? Most of us are not, but there are definitely easy ways we can get better. Find and attend a free workshop or webinar to learn some of the industry’s best SEO tricks. Here’s a great one we recently caught. You’re welcome!
Think about hiring an SEO consultant for a short-term engagement or starting a free trial with ClickMinded. It’s less work than you’d think to craft a beautifully optimized site just ready and waiting for Google to eat up. And don’t forget to keep your online real-estate up to date. If you’ve got a Yelp page, keep it fresh. Jump on VendorDB and keep that current too.
There’s endless opportunities to get found, if your not hiding.
AD HOC AD HACKING
Advertising can be crazy expensive for small businesses, right? Yes and no. Some ads are off the charts pricy, sure, but we assume you’re not looking to get a Super Bowl spot. You can always save some dough running ads off peak hours or shrinking their size (whether print size or video length).
Programmatic ad buying is the future of ad hacking. You know all those “you might also like” tiles at the bottom of Buzzfeed and Mashable? You can get your content promoted there for relatively cheap with syndication services Outbrain, Zemanta, or Simple Reach. Set your daily budget, add your content, and let the clicks flow in.
Marketing is a challenge for most businesses, let alone the small ones. But even on a tight budget, a little creativity and a lot of hustle will help you boost your business’ visibility and clientele. For more marketing tips and inspiration, subscribe to the Inside In-house newsletter!