If you want your business to grow, then you’d better set aside both time and money for advertising. That’s not an issue when you’re an enterprise level business that has the resources to spend on marketing. This article is all about how to advertise your business if you don’t have any money. Let’s figure out how to grow our business, and not just the inbox.
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The old adage “you have to spend money to make money” doesn’t always apply to marketing. If you have a product that people want, you don’t need a $100,000 marketing budget to acquire customers.
There are ways to acquire them without spending a penny.
Enterprise level businesses may even have an entire advertising department. They might also have the leverage to spend millions on a third-party to launch a campaign.
But what if you have a tight budget and limited time to devote to marketing your start-up? Does that mean you just need to wait until you have more money flowing into your business? Of course not!
Instead, market your business without breaking the bank by following these low-budget ideas.
Pitch Perfection | Advertise Your Business If You Don’t Have Any Money
Whether you’re at a family BBQ, a friend’s wedding, traveling or watching you kid’s cricket game, you need to always be marketing your business. The most effective way to do this is by having a compelling elevator pitch.
That’s no easy task considering that most people have a short attention span.
“If you can’t make your point persuasively in that time, you’ve lost the chance for impact. Facts and figures are important, but it’s not the only criteria — you must present in a manner that generates expertise and confidence.”
So, how can you perfect your elevator pitch? Start by:
- Knowing what motivates your audience.
- Incorporating social proof.
- Telling a story that shows your expertise and how you’re qualified to solve your audience’s problem.
- Anticipating key questions from your audience, such as “What’s your competitive advantage?”
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Community Outreach | Get Involved
Often times when you think of marketing you think of a large-scale national campaign. But sometimes you should think smaller and see what’s going on within your community.
Ask yourself, or ask around:
- Can you sponsor a 5K charity walk or little league?
- Is there a charity or non-profit where you could volunteer?
- Could you organize a block party with other local businesses?
- Can you print out bookmarks and leave them at your local grocery stores?
You just have to be well informed.
Referrals | How To Advertise Your Business If You Don’t Have Any Money
Referrals are the most effective, and cost-effective way to generate new businesses. The problem is that entrepreneurs often feel awkward when asking for referrals. Even worse, they don’t want to seem desperate.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to ask for a referral without having to feel awkward or desperate. Here are just a couple of ideas to get you started:
- Just be direct and ask for referrals through an email, online, in-person or at the bottom of your invoices.
- Focus on asking your best client or customers, instead of all of them.
- Offer incentives “like a gift card, percentage off of future work, a small gift or charitable donation in their name.”
- Make it easy for them to refer others, like an email script or recommend function on your site.
- Give referrals.
- Ask your customers to like your Facebook page.
- Join a referral or professional networking group.
Networking | Face-To-Face Interactions
Networking is key. After all, it’s one of the fastest, easiest and most effective ways to build meaningful relationships that can help grow your business.
If you haven’t already, then you need to join face-to-face networking groups in your community like your Chamber of Commerce in Islamabad.
You can also use apps or forums like these:
You should also become a member of business organizations like Business Networking International, the Young Entrepreneur’s Council, the Entrepreneur’s Organization, or SCORE. Also search for industry specific organizations that you can join. There are hundreds but the ones above are the best we’ve personally heard people exalt.
Trade Fairs | Local Business Mixers
In Pakistan, private-owned organizations frequently hold local business mixers. This is true for almost all businesses, since the country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is usually housed in co-working spaces.
Now that you’ve perfected your pitch, go ahead and add these events to your calendar.
Also don’t rule out attending any industry trade shows. This interesting site put together some helpful tips for creating an effective trade show display. Give it a read!
Apply For Business Awards
It’s common for industries and organizations to have business awards. We urge you to apply for such occasions, because a little business networking at such places can run a mile for you.
This not only generates some free buzz for your business; if you win, you can place a badge on your site or storefront to boost your credibility.
Target Influencers | How To Advertise Your Business If You Don’t Have Any Money
People buy what they know and from people they trust. This is why influencer marketing is becoming one of the most popular marketing strategies in the modern world. With so many digital channels at our disposal influencers can easily promote products and services to millions of followers with the click of a button.
When looking for influencers, you need to focus on quality over quantity. Look for high engagement over a large following. In addition to this, make sure you pick an influencer specific to your industry.
After identifying your target influencer, offer them free products or services in exchange for a posh product review. If you haven’t noticed this, such a strategy is very popular among YouTube influencers.
Check out Unbox Therapy. The guy in this video reviews smart products and provides interesting insights regarding companies he’s talking about.
Cold Calling | Retro Emailing
Believe it or not, cold calling or emailing are still effective ways to obtain new business — it also doesn’t cost you anything but time. After all, if you want someone’s business, then you’re going to have to go after it.
Of course, there’s more to it than just picking up the phone and calling someone or sending them an email. There’s an art to cold calling. Here’s some pointers on how to make your experience more successful.
- Don’t focus on the sale. The idea is to create an opportunity for you to make your pitch.
- Before contacting anyone, conduct some market research so that you’re only reaching out to your target audience.
- Prepare an effective opening statement that includes greeting, introduction, reference point (this is something about your prospect), the benefits of your product/service, and a transition to a question or conversation.
- Prepare a script so that you can answer any questions or concerns regarding your product or service.
- Set up an appointment — you can share your calendar with them so that they can see your availability and then select a time that works for them.
- Always be pleasant to whoever picks up the phone or responds to your email.
- Send them a small, unique promotional item.
- It’s suggested that you contact them on Thursdays either early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
- Be persistent. It may take three or four contacts to set up an appointment.
Advertising is a fascinating thing. If you follow the above given instructions, your business might have a chance at making a brand for itself.
This was all about how to advertise your business if you don’t have any money. If you have any questions, just leave a comment in the comment section below.