I’ve noticed that when the economy slows down, many of my clients stop marketing their businesses because they’re afraid to spend the money. I think this is a big mistake!
When business slows down, it’s a great time to increase your marketing. Why? Two reasons.
First, you’re looking to get more business and one of the most effective ways to achieve this is through marketing.
Second, since so many other businesses are slowing down their marketing, any that you do for your business will stand out that much more and be even more effective than usual.
If your cash flow is lower than usual now, here are some inexpensive ways to market your business:
- Create and send an ezine regularly to your subscribers. If you don’t have an opt-in form on your website, get one, even if you need to pay a web professional to help you. Then send your subscribers valuable content on a regular basis to build a relationship with them. Nothing will help you economy-proof your business better than a loyal group of subscribers who will buy from you.
- Submit articles to article directories and ezine publishers. The easiest way to create these articles is to repurpose them from your ezine. I use my blog articles with a few modifications. You can submit articles manually – that certainly takes the least cash – but there are services and software to help you accomplish the submissions.
- Start attending more networking meetings. These groups are usually not expensive to join and can be very helpful. I’d focus on the ones that emphasize giving and receiving referrals rather than just generic meet-and-greet types of groups if your goal is to increase cash flow now.
- List your web site in the numerous web site directories. Start with http://www.dmoz.com which only accepts manual submissions. After that, you have the option of submitting your site manually or using a service. Once again, I suggest using a service. This is a one-time job for each site you have and should cost less than $150 for hundreds of submissions.
- Find blogs and forums to add comments. This is entirely free, but can be time consuming. You want to find blogs and forums who attract your target market, and then find posts within them where you have something useful to add to the conversation.
- Develop a presence on some of the social networking sites. I like Facebook and Twitter.Â These types of sites can provide another way to build a following of people interested in you and what you have to offer.
- Maximize the effectiveness of your affiliate program. If you don’t have an affiliate program, set one up. If you already have one, create some additional resources – buttons, articles, email messages – to help your affiliates sell your products and send them a message telling them about the new tools. You can have a sales force out there advertising your products and you only need to pay them after they’ve help make sales.
- Similarly, think about joint venture partnerships. Reinvigorate any you already have, suggesting a new mailing to their lists. And look for additional partners with lists that would be willing to work with you.
- Seek out opportunities to speak before groups. These events could be trade show seminars, local business associations, or corporate luncheons – anywhere you can get in front of your target market. Speaking can be one of the best ways to get more business quickly.
Many inexpensive marketing activites are available for small businesses. Pick several that appeal to you and allow you to become visible to your potential customers and get busy!
If you have other low-cost marketing techniques you use, please leave a comment and share them with everyone.