Create Massive Growth : Part 4 - Grow Your AudienceJul 28, 2022
Okay so your budget is TIGHT and you need to keep marketing, without spending the big bucks, right?
This the final segment of a four part series on growing your audience and your business!
In the first three parts we talked through creating a lead magnet, setting up a landing page and creating your welcome emails, and in this post we are wrapping it up with 10 more ways to grow your audience for FREE.
Even if you have a big marketing budget, these are strategies that EVERY business should be using, because they are incredibly effective, in addition to being totally FREE.
Here are some low cost ways to build your sales:
1. Conduct a survey
The first step in developing a marketing plan is to understand who your target customers are, and what they want from your company. You can do an informal poll on your social media or a more formal emailed survey. Resources like surveymonkey.com are free and a great tool.
Before you can get better results from your marketing, you need to get better information on what to say, what they need, and what they want.
Often some of the best ideas will come from your customers, so ask them!
2. Take special care of your existing customers
It’s typically five times as expensive to make a sale to a new customer, as it is to an existing one.
Things like small gifts, handwritten cards, follow up calls, and special invitations or sneak previews are great low cost options.
Think about how you can deliver the WOW. Think about customer service moments you have experienced that have wowed you – unexpected free gifts in the box when you ordered a package, an employee remembering your name and your preferences for something – that’s the stuff that creates raving fans.
3. Maximize your online marketing
You can build relationships with prospective customers by offering them high-quality content on your site such as blogs, how-to articles, videos and a newsletter.
Creating great content has dozens of benefits, not the least of which is positioning you as the expert, optimizing your SEO, creating trust and value for your audience. There are many different kinds of content, and you can choose what works best for you, but if you want to be a leader in your space, you need to provide valuable content.
4. Use ALL of your real estate
Your building, surrounding land, vehicles or sidewalk are great places to put up signs and banners, if you have a physical location. You can also use counter mats and point of purchase signage.
If you don’t have a brick and mortar location, think about your virtual real estate. Are you using pop ups on your site, or banners at the top of the home page for your most urgent offers?
Are you linking to your offers on each page, in your bio, from your podcast to your site and vice versa?
Are your social media posts linking to your offers and your site?
Look at each piece of virtual property you own, and make sure it is being maximized to get anyone who sees it, to do the things you want them to do.
5. Work at public relations
PR is free and extremely effective. PR means public relations, but basically it is unpaid exposure in the media. We have a podcast episode with PR Queen Gloria Chou HERE with ALL the details on how to write a pitch and how to find the right people to pitch to get free coverage in the media.
Gloria explains PR this way on the podcast, which makes the power of PR so clear.
If a man took a woman out on a date, and while they were out together, he told her what a great guy he was, how he had a good job, and came from a great family etc etc etc – that’s marketing. He’s saying the right things to the right people.
But if she goes home, and her best friend tells her that she knows the guy too, he’s a coworker, and that he volunteers at the hospital, and he’s really kind and funny, and just an amazing human. That’s PR – that’s a trusted source vouching for you.
The thing is PR can feel intimidating, because it feels like you have to be some big shot to pitch to these magazines. But you don’t. They don’t care about what stage your business is at, they care about your perspective, and you can absolutely get featured.
So get PR on your ‘to do’ list, and get subscribed to the One Step Empire podcast too so you get pinged when that episode drops each week.
Partner up with another business and help to promote each other’s services. For example, if you are running a restaurant, you could offer local businesses discount coupons or free items from the menu in return for advertising space on their premises. What you offer and what you get in return will vary, so be sure to contact non competing businesses that you believe your potential customers will be frequenting.
7. Build a Referral Program
The best forms of marketing are those that you can set up, turn on, and grow — organically, automatically, and without too much effort. A referral program or affiliate program may not work for every business, but it’s worth a try.
8. Turn employees into ambassadors
Your employees are part of the community and have all sorts of contacts that could help you. How about inviting employees and their extended families to a fun event at your business? Or engage them in a referral program?
9. Run a Contest
Online and in person contests are still a great way to get low-cost marketing publicity. Giving away an iPad, cash prizes, or other merchandise is an easy way to gain some viral potential and improve your brand’s image. You can also contribute to other raffles, door prizes etc if the audience is a good match for your target market.
10. Guest Blog/Social media takeovers
When you post an article on another blog, you are instantly gaining that blog’s audience as well as hopefully, a backlink to your site, which is a boost to your searchability online. The cost of guest blogging is free, not counting the time you spend to write it. Create a killer article, appeal to the blog’s audience, and you may be invited back to contribute more.
11. Give Back
By sponsoring a sports team or participating in a charity drive, you’re not only doing your part for the community, but also generating goodwill with customers and prospects. What causes are you passionate about, what causes align with your message or your business in general? What causes or communities are important to your ideal clients?
Get aligned with a cause, support them, and also make sure you maximize the exposure opportunities that come with it. You feel good, you do good and you get more eyes on your business.
12. Apply for Business Awards
As women, we tend to shy away from asking for recognition, even when it is well earned, and possibly even overdue. Many of us think that we don't need that kind of validation, we don’t do what we do for accolades.
While you may not need that kind of personal validation and recognition, your business does, and will benefit from it immensely.
If you win an award there will be announcements from the organization running the competition and possibly even ceremonies where your company is named or discussed. Even if you don't win, but are shortlisted, you are likely to get some exposure out of the process.
There’s a blog post on our site HERE with more ideas on why you should apply for awards and where to find them.
13. Join face-to-face networking groups
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. A strong network creates a constant flow of ideas, collaboration opportunities, and support.
If you haven’t already, then you need to join face-to-face networking groups in your community like your local Chamber of Commerce. You can also use apps like Meetup to find upcoming networking events in your area.
We have 10 more ways to market for FREE (or nearly free) in our Bootstrapper's Guide to BIG Marketing on a Small Budget in a FREE download HERE
So your action item for this week – pick ONE things from this list – just one – schedule one hour in your week – block it so it’s non negotiable. And then execute that one thing to start growing your audience and your business!
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