Marketing on a shoe string budget

Marketing your business

This support module discusses how to build a network of potential customers and referrers without breaking the bank.

Key learning outcomes:

  • Working with a low budget
  • Understanding how to market your business
  • Finding potential customers
  • Looking for ways to be referred

Video Presentation: Marketing on a shoe string budget

Marketing on a shoe string budget

Hi everyone. It's Andrea Anderson here, Chief Ideas Specialist from Your Marketing Machines. And thank you so much to MBRIT for the opportunity to come and have this conversation with you about marketing on a shoestring budget.

But firstly, just to introduce Your Marketing Machines. We are a marketing strategy and communications company. We work in the area of helping small to medium sized businesses to identify where their marketing should best fit inside their business, so that they can create not only marketing success, but also create financial success. Because why? That's the reason why we're in business. So I welcome you for being here with me today, and I look forward to sharing with you some marketing on a shoe string budget, how to build a network of potential customers and referrers without breaking the bank.

Firstly, what I'd like to do is to acknowledge welcome to country and that as we would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land and pay our respects to the elders past, present and future for they hold the memories, traditions, culture, and hope of indigenous Australians. Thank you for allowing me to do that.

Marketing 101 - Why are you here?

But more importantly, why are you here? This is all about you guys. And I gather the reason why you're with me today is that you're looking at low budget and limited to what you can do to market yourself and your business. Maybe your wanting to understand how this marketing thing works in business, because there's just so much information out there. You don't know where to start. Perhaps you're looking at a way to find potential customers and you're just getting started, or you're looking for ways that people can start referring you, your expertise and your solutions. Or if you're like most people that I have the pleasure of talking to you're all of the above. So if you all of the above, raise your hand, acknowledge it and know that you're in the right place to learn what you need to get cracking.

So, first thing I always like to talk about is the marketing blueprint. Believe it or not, yes, there is one, there is a blueprint for marketing. It is not just a bunch of ifs, buts and maybes, but what you also receive is an example. You'll receive a copy of the marketing blueprint, which comprises of four key components. And that is Lead generation; Nurture journey; Prospect experience; and Sales conversion. And for us today, where we're going to be sitting in is the top part of the marketing blueprint, which is lead generation. So sit back, strap yourself in and let's go for the ride.

Market penetration strategy

So marketing 101. What you need to have in place to succeed in marketing. For most of you, you're probably in what I call market penetration strategy. In other words, you’re more likely new to the market space, which means that you've got existing competitors that you're going to be going head to head with. All right. And then go here is that you're wanting to attract their customers to come across over to you.

I want you to keep that in the back of your mind, that marketing penetration strategy. So, important points to remember in marketing and that is, number one, always have a plan. Believe it or not. Marketing is actually about planning. I know it doesn't seem that way. It seems all over the place, but the more that you plan, the better you plan, the more likely you are to succeed in that plan.

Number two, ensure that you align with any upcoming events relevant to your industry. So Andrea, what do you mean by that? That is a great question. What I mean by that is that if your, for example, let's say you've got a service that supports the tourism sector. Now we know that there are certain events throughout the year that the tourism sector gets involved in. So when you're looking at planning out what you're going to be marketing, you want to align it with existing events that are going to be happening.

For example, let's say business expos. Let’s say that, you know, you've got some business expos coming up and you want to align with those dates. Here's the reason why that is so important, because that gives you that opportunity, and this is a word I want you to remember, right? This is your number one word, leverage. I want you to learn to leverage the more that you can leverage off what other people are doing, the more cost effective your strategy is going to be. Okay.

And the third key aspect important to marketing, and that is decide what you want to tell others about you, your business, your products, or your services. Got to remember being a business, one of the exciting things about being a business is that guess what? You're in control. It's all on you. You now have the ability to inform people about you, your products, your service, your business, your solutions in a manner that actually aligns them with you.

Okay. But Andrea, why do we need to lead Generate? Great question, Tim. Thanks for asking. And that is because you want to generate interest about your business. You want to create curiosity in your services, your products, your business, in you. Maybe your lead generating to let people know “I'm open for business”. I'm over here. Come see me. And that you're ready to serve now.

Perhaps you're wanting, like I said before, to find potential customers, so that market penetration strategy is going to be essential for you. Why? Because remember competing that head-to-head with existing competitors in the market space, so it's real important that you do need to lead generate.

Lead Generation Strategies

So here's what we're going to do. We're going to break down lead generation into a series of different areas for you. And the first one, which is probably the most talked about one is social media strategies. I know. I do it all the time. Like seriously, more social media. How about this? Take a big step back and let's actually get some clarity around the different social media strategies and platforms that could work for your business.

Social Media Strategies

1. Facebook

So the first thing I want to talk about. Who here knows Facebook? Raise your hands. If you don't know Facebook, then you're probably part of the 12% in the world that don't use it don't know it, don't want it. Okay. But Facebook team is a great potential platform for your business, approximately 79% of adults use it. 15 million users here in Australia. It's in the top three search engines for business. And it is a social networking platform that actually has business options as well. And if you think about these unprecedented times, that we've been a part of, it was probably the saving grace for most people who now found themselves trapped at home with their families. I did say that cause I was one of those people. Okay. So perhaps Facebook. Could be one of those platforms for you. Great thing about it. It's free to join. It's free to communicate with other people. And the only time that you actually ever pay for Facebook is when you decide to go do Facebook advertising.

So if you're looking for an opportunity there, and you think that your audience could be on Facebook, then consider it, don't go do it. I'm not telling you to go out and do it, but I am going to suggest to go research it.

2. Instagram

Number two, Instagram. Guess what? Owned by Facebook? No. Yeah, really? Wow. Okay. So what you'll find here in Instagram for Australia is that it has 11 million users so far. It's primarily great for photography, for images. If you're a foodie. Great for taking fabulous photos for food, real estate, beauty products. But I want you to understand that it's a platform that's not for every business. Okay. So first thing you've got to ask yourself is, is this where my potential audience can be found.

3. LinkedIn

Third possible platform for you, LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great platform, if you are what we classify as a B2B - Business to business, or your connections are business professionals. Here it's designed for one on one professional interaction. There's approximately 10 million people in Australia on LinkedIn, and it is becoming a very strong communication-based platform that now allows things like video to also be on there as well. So if you're looking to want to establish B2B relationships, or you're wanting to connect with key decision makers inside business. Guess what? Think about the opportunity of using the LinkedIn platform. Okay.

4. Pinterest

I'm going to throw a doozy at you from a social media perspective, and that is Pinterest. What? Pinterest? I know. Crazy. This is really interesting because originally it was used for homemakers interested in crafts, but it's actually become a great platform to build relationships, establish strong networks for branders, graphic designers, business owners. If you're looking for ideas for your business, Pinterest, believe it or not I know, I don't hold it against me, but the numbers are increasing steadily inside Pinterest.

Why use social media?

So why social media? Well, it's free to join. It's simple. We'll just set up, provides an opportunity to share information through imagery and wording. Can add individuals to join your page or group. You can join others pages and other groups, which is equally just as fantastic. And you're able to see, actually, you're able to see how successful your content is and also how successful your competitors are.

So it's a great space for you to be looking at researching what your competitors are doing, understanding what works for them. And then looking at attempting to create something similar for yourself. An example of a low cost social media strategy would be to take a video of your business, explain what you do, how you solve your client's problems. You may want to keep that video lighthearted and relatable, real important. Okay. Once again, it's all about relationship. It's all about being you.

Potentially, you may want to interview one of your clients, even if you've got one client. Great. That's better than none. So maybe you want to interview that client, find out why they use your business, find out how they're using your solution.

You can post it into the YouTube channels or you can post it straight into your social media platforms and you can also tag in other people, which is really exciting.

Other examples of low cost social media strategies is to set up a regular free event. With relevant information, you could be a webinar, it could be an interview with two or three people. This event can and be promoted through all your social media strategies. You can have registrations occur through Eventbrite, which is free to register as well. You can provide a free giveaway to everyone who registers, and it's a great way to build a list of registrations, which you can then add into your database. Also you can create content which can be repurposed for other platforms at other times.

So it's now your turn. Determine the social media strategies you will use for your business. Go and research. Go and find out what are my competitors doing and how well are they doing it. Decide on what type of content you want to deliver and what format you will use, because that's really important. Is it going to be video like this? Is it going to be in the written format? Are you just going to use straight imagery? And work out your content creation plan in advance. Remember, it's all about leverage. I'll see you soon.

Perfect. How'd you go? Did you go into the research? Did you go and check out what your competitors were doing? Did you go and check things that were free? I do hope so, because now we're going to talk about the second kind of lead generation strategy and that's what we call offline media strategy. Offline? Yes. Offline. Not everything is happening in the digital space, folks. So I want you to consider the offline. The importance of offline media is the physical face to face and yes, we can still have face to face. Just make sure you're 1.5 meters apart. That's all I'm asking.

You need to be memorable. You may not remember my name, but I'm hoping that you'll remember my face and you'll remember the message that I'm sharing for you. And you also have the opportunity and offline media to leave something of you behind. Something that is tangible, that they can take away, and that they can resonate on at a later date.

Offline media fundamentals

So fundamentals of offline media is in some cases it's printed. What? Yeah. Printed, right? Like who would have thought? So for example, a business card and you still hear people say, Oh, I don't carry a business card. Guess what? A business card is a great way for you to be remembered after they have connected with you. Okay. So on your business card, please make sure you've got correct contact information. Make sure it's the right email. It's the right telephone number so people can reach out to you. Don't make it hard for them to find you. Put your website on there. If you don't have a website, we need to have a conversation. Cause you need to have a website. Your social media handles and your branding. Okay.

If you're looking at brochures and yes, I do recommend brochures to you. These can be given as a free handout or as a downloadable. You are receiving (fundamentally) a brochure from me, which is my marketing blueprint. Why am I giving that to you?

You will remember me. That's why. It's a downloadable, but I also have it in a printed format. It provides additional information about you, so make sure you use good quality paper to print on. Don't do the flimsy stuff. It doesn't look good for you. And you must be professional and align with how you want to be perceived in the market space. So important.

So examples of low cost offline media strategies. Meet someone through a networking event, face to face, or virtual, and you send through a follow up email. A what? I know an email, but here's what you do. You attach your downloadable PDF of your brochure and business card. No. Yeah. Give them something to read about you. The development of the brochure is one as a one-off fee. Right, which can be used in so many, multiple ways. So team do look at the feasibility of doing that for you.

So here's your turn. Have your professional business card ready to be given out. So important. Prices of business cards have reduced significantly. So guys better to have a business card than not have one at all. Prepare your brochures, which you can either give physically, you know to someone face to face, or you can email a downloadable. It's that simple. So I'm just gonna give you a few seconds to resonate on that, and to see is how you could use offline at a low cost, no cost opportunity for you.

Brilliant. How'd you go? I'm hoping that you squirreling away there and you're writing all this valuable information down, cause we're about to move into the third kind of lead generation strategy and that's Public media strategies. This is what I love. I've gotta be honest. I love doing the public media strategies because this is your face to face opportunity, such as networking events, breakfast meetings. I love food by the way. So every chance I get to speak at a food one, I'm in. Speaking opportunities. If you know that you've got something valid to say, then, get the courage, and go identify areas and opportunities for you to speak your wisdom. So important.

Benefits of public media

So why public media? Well, it's the instant connection. Imagine being in a room with 20 other people, just 20, not 200, not 2000. And being able to communicate with likeminded people on something that you're equally passionate about as they are. It's a great way for you to build credibility and reputation. You can share your knowledge, expertise with an audience. You can get feedback. Fabulous. You can create connection and collaboration.

And the third option is convenience. Communicate efficiently and effectively about your product and service. But here's, what's really cool. You're not doing it one at a time. You're doing it in group. So you've got them there. They're not going to escape. They're not going to leave you, so give them something, make it compelling. It's all about you.

5 Opportunities for Public Media

Five things I want you to be aware of five opportunities for you to find space, to communicate and to speak.

Number one, go find a local chamber of commerce as a fee paying member and Oh, I can't afford it. It's $20 a month team. It's like, don't drink one paid coffee a week and it will pay for your chamber of commerce membership. Or the other option you can do is volunteer to assist the chamber of commerce. And guess what happens, you get to go for free just means that you're volunteering of your time to support the chamber, but it's free.

Number three, find guest speaking opportunity at no charge, practice sharing your expertise. So valuable.

Number four, attend business groups as a guest, where you can introduce your business and exchange business cards. And there are so many different business groups out there that you can do it with.

Or the fifth one is that you can register to exhibit at an expo and they can be very, very cheap to register. Small business expos that are held throughout Queensland, for example. Fantastic. Low cost. Thousands of people come in through. So if you're looking for that, no cost. Public media strategy. That's one for you to seriously consider.

Pubic Media Strategy Examples

So examples of public media strategy that I've also used in the past, and that is go to Eventbrite. Eventbrite. Guess what? It's free. And look for events in your geographic location. Okay. Ensure you filter to areas of interest where you wish to meet people. Seek free. I know. I love that word. It's my favorite four-letter F word. Free. Actually food is, but free is pretty close to it. Or low cost fee-based events. Register and attend. It's that simple. And it's a great way for you to build connection, great way for you to build confidence in sharing your business and to sharing what you're passionate about.

So, now, back on you, how many networking or public media events have you scheduled for the next month? And if you're starting out and you've got no database and you've got no marketing, cause you can't afford it, you should be looking at at least one networking event every week. Don't argue with me. Don't complain. One free networking event every week. I can guarantee you, you will build a large database in a very, very short time. And guess what? You'll get to hang out with other likeminded people.

Maybe you can identify any speaking opportunities in the next month in your local area, amongst the business networks that you already belong to. Whatever it is, I'm going to encourage you. If you have no money or you're looking for ways to get started, these are the perfect opportunities for you to get out there and give it a go. This is how you build confidence in your business. So I'm going to give you a few moments to resonate on that and I'll see you back for the last piece.

Perfect. Oh, I got a sense. I got a little bit of you rattled in there. That's okay. I understand completely these things take time and confidence to build.

Referral media strategies

So we're going to move into the fourth element of lead generation and that is your referral media strategies. So who do you know, who can recommend you? Who can, who do you know that has the ability to talk about you?

So let's say for example, you do have a small database, right? Fantastic. This could include maybe past customers you've had from way back when. It could be your connections inside LinkedIn. It could be your friends and family, and I know I've maybe some of you are thinking, Oh, I don't know, Andrea, you don't know my friends and family. If they’re anything like mine. Yeah. I do sympathize with you.

Okay. Your current networks, maybe this includes some of your business groups and connections that you've got. Your peers and associates, your others you work with on projects and deals with similar clients, but offer different projects.

So there are two kinds, two. Two kinds of referral media strategies you should be considering. The first one is what we call strategic partnerships. So these are service providers who target the same audiences as you. There is mutual benefit for both parties and a possible referral fee. Okay. So this is who you connect side-by-side with and I have a number of strategic partnerships that I've established over the years of experts who are way better than I am. And I love it because they bring a better quality clients.

Or on the flip side, you've got customer referrals. Oh, customers. I know. Great to have. These are the people who refer their colleagues, their friends, their families, they’re what I call your raving fans. These are the people who loved what you did and how you did it. And now they're encouraging or they're recommending your services to other people.

The benefits of referral media strategy to your business is phenomenal. And like I said, we're talking no cost, low cost strategies here, team. So third person support recommendation is brilliant. They’re talking about you, not you talking about you. Okay. Real important. If they don't trust you guess what? They ain't gonna say diddly squat about you. So you're more likely to convert to a customer from a referral, especially if the other person has said how amazing and phenomenal that you are more than likely the person's going to go. Yep. I'm in because Tim said you were amazing. So don't let Tim down.

Number four, there's no upfront investment to obtain the lead. That's what's so important about referral media strategies. And I know people get scared asking for a referral or recommendation or testimonial, but if it was worth thousands of dollars to you and it could save you thousands of dollars in advertising, why wouldn't you do it?

So, raving fan referrers. They love you. They have absolute confidence in your ability. They tell everyone about you and they become your best sales rep. You know, what's really cool. You don't pay for them. You don't have a BD person on your pay roll. It's fabulous. But more importantly, they're mainly a cost-effective customer acquisition solution for you. Okay. So don't underestimate the power of referrals here, team.

So important points for you to remember it. Cause this is real key. Who is your client? The referrer is your main client as they gave you the lead. So the person you're looking after is the referrer. You always put your best foot forward. You represent yourself and the referrer. So in this case, you're representing you and Tim. So don't let Tim down.

Be prepared. Have all your documentation ready to go and keep informed. And this is real important. Something I always do whenever someone's referred to me is I always go back to the refer and I let them know, Hey, just wanted to give you a heads up.

Just wanted to keep you in the loop. This is what we're doing with John. And this is the process we're at the moment. And I just want to say once again, thanks. And I love to reward my referrers actually. Yeah. It's really cool. I give them a little gift baskets to say thank you for thinking of me and thank you for considering the quality of my service. So food for thought there for you.

So, back on you. Who do you have in your contact list, who are willing to talk about you? Now, if you've got no one? Hmm, couple of things you might need to consider there. Could be that you might need a change your customer base. Could be that you might need to change you. You might need it prove the quality of your customer service, perhaps.

Okay. And also, I want you to ask the question, how can you increase the number referrers you have? All right. So this is all back on you. A few moments for you to reconsider where you're actually sitting, the quality of your service, the quality of your solution. And we'll be back in a moment.

Great team. Well, that was a bit of a slap around the ears I hope. Yeah. But team, it's all about low cost, no cost strategies. It's all about finding the best way for you to put your best feet forward so that people can start to build trust and confidence in the way that you deliver.

Lead generation - a quick summary

So lead generation. Here are a few key points for you to remember. Content and communication. Being prepared and being organised with your communication is the most important element of lead generation. If you hear it wing it, I'm going to highly encourage you. Take a big ginormous step back, and take your business seriously and the solutions that you have to provide. Get organised. Plan it properly so that, you know when you are going in to speak to somebody that at least you can talk about the passion that you have in your own business. Because if you don't have the passion, guess what? No one else is going to either.

Your lead generation strategies, there are some really important places that you could be investing your time right now. And yes, I know time has a cost, but here's the key. The more that you can work on low cost, no-cost strategies, the better you're going to find the nature of the relationships you build. For me, I love public media strategies. I love being given the opportunity to sit down and to talk to people like you. Have an opportunity to share my knowledge, my wisdom, my mistakes, my successes.

Why? Because. You come in and see how passionate and truly genuine I am about my business. So if you were going to say, Andrea out of the four, which would be the most important that you would recommend, here's what I'd recommend.

Public media strategies. Get your butt out the door, go meet people face to face and take a business card. That's it take a business card. And be genuine and your communication. So important. You'll find that the database growth will be phenomenal because why? You didn't have to pay for it. You genuinely created relationship to achieve it.

So let's recap. Why are you here? I'm hoping that you're here because you genuinely want to build strong business relationships and you're looking for low cost, no cost strategies to do so.

Maybe you're here because as I said, you want to understand how to market your business better. Maybe you want to find potential customers and you're not too sure how. You're looking for ways to be referred, or perhaps you're all of the above. I'm hoping that what you have received today will give you the encouragement and confidence to know that you don't need to have a big marketing budget to get started. Right. You don't need it. All you got to have is belief and faith in your business. Be prepared to go out and to be the number one sales rep for your business, and be prepared to go and speak to people, take a business card, because remember in the marketing blueprint, we're talking lead generation, the top part of the marketing blueprint, where it's all about you taking your brand to the market.

So my name's Andrea Anderson. I'm Chief Ideas Specialists for Your Marketing Machines. Once again, I wish to say thank you to MBRIT for the opportunity to spend some time with you. And I wish you all the very best and your business success.

Podcast

Resources

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Marketing Blueprint
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Marketing on a shoe string budget (slide presentation)
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