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Marketing On A Shoestring: Top Tips For Keeping Costs Down

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Dec. 26 2020, Published 8:27 a.m. ET

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Many smaller firms have a very modest budget when it comes to marketing, which may put them at a disadvantage. In the ideal world, they would be able to utilize a top advertising firm to help them out, but a start-up budget seldom has that kind of funds available. It is not difficult to do it yourself with a smaller budget, but it takes a lot more thought about where and how you spend your money for the most coverage and profit. Before the internet, phone book or local newspaper advertisements were common ways to get the word out to prospective customers, as well as conventional approaches such as flyers and posters.

Today, even the smallest firms are aware of the value of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and the need to establish a high profile on Google, but the fact is that they still need to rely on more specific advertising methods.

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Speak out for your industry

Contact your local or national press to let them know that you are willing to provide quotes for stories related to your business line. Be active in reacting to any popular industry issues, even taking a divisive stance. Post in forums, regularly engage in LinkedIn communities, comment on news reports, and send letters to the trade press. 

By being an active spokesperson, you may have the opportunity to talk at a convention where you can develop your reputation and that of your company.

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Plan workshops and webinars

As a successful business owner, even if you do have a small budget, you have a wealth of experience and knowledge. Use this to reach out and engage with customers and partners with a webinar, workshop or other educational event. You can do it in person on your business premises or online via Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Think about the knowledge and expertise you can impart on your customers and partners and give it to them.

Set up a referral program

Word of mouth publicity is immensely valuable and is incredible for marketing a small biz. If you did a decent job of repairing someone’s truck, and that person goes on to recommend your services to his or her friends and family, you are very likely to get a new client. Give your current clientele a little more inspiration to sing your praises by providing a referral incentive? You can track traffic and find out how to make the most out of it using a cost-effective marketing platform.

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Take advantage of every opportunity to advertise

You thought about flyers and email marketing, but did you think about ads on your car? Your vehicle is a marketing gem. Your car is seen by hundreds, if not thousands, of people every day. You can transform it into a mobile billboard by printing and applying some attractive vinyl signage or removable magnetic signage. You do have to remember to make sure your car is clean, in decent condition, and that you drive carefully and courteously at all times, as your car is literally a representation of your brand.

[Editot’s note: This post is produced by one of our trusted partners.]

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