7 Effective Ways to Market Your Business without Breaking the Bank

7 Effective Ways to Market Your Business without Breaking the Bank

When a business is pinching pennies, the marketing budget is often the first thing to go. For many business owners, it’s more important to continue paying employees and to pay utilities than it is to try to attract new customers. However, eliminating your marketing altogether is a mistake that can cost you in the long run – and there’s no need to do it. Here are 7 ways that you can continue to market even if your budget is tiny.   #1: Make Cold Calls There’s no way to attract new customers or clients without having a “first touch” that introduces them to your brand and lets them know what you can do for them. That’s where cold calling comes in. Some companies pay for cold calling services but it’s something you can do in house if you’re willing. For the best results, do as much preliminary screening as you can and prepare a cold calling script for callers to use. It’s also a good idea to think about what time of day people will be most receptive to hearing from you. #2: Start (or Optimize) Your Referral Program  Referral marketing is one of the least expensive and most effective ways to get new clients for your business. A referral can come from an existing customer or from another referral source such as a professional colleague or local business owner. You’ll have the best luck with referrals if you incentivize people to refer their friends, family, or customers to you. One idea might be to offer rewards where people get a free product or service if they refer a...
Use Storytelling for a Better Blog

Use Storytelling for a Better Blog

In ancient times, a powerful king oppressed his people. The citizens of the land feared the king and begged the gods for help. So the gods created a wild man that could equal the king and stop his misdeeds.   The wild man and the king fought a great battle, but the king showed superior strength. After all was over, the two men became friends and began a grand journey together that would see triumph, heartbreak, and the search for eternal life.   This is the Epic of Gilgamesh, the earliest surviving work of literature, written around 1800 BC.   Human beings are natural storytellers. We’ve been sharing tales around the campfire since the invention of the campfire! Even ancient cave paintings from 30,000 years ago tell stories of the hunt.   So what does the Epic of Gilgamesh have to do with blogging?   Turns out, a lot! How Do Stories Draw in Readers? Stories help your writing to stand out. In the unending ocean of blogs (over 500 million of them!), interesting stories share personality and entertain the readers. While they may be searching for answers to their problems, they also want to have a little fun!   Clever storytelling also helps the writer to connect to the reader. It shares your unique voice and displays your personality. Telling stories is how you can get people to look forward to your content eagerly, instead of reading a blog once and never coming back to your site.   One study showed that a blog post that opened with a story saw nearly 300% more readers scroll all the...
What is Clubhouse, and Do You Need It for Business?

What is Clubhouse, and Do You Need It for Business?

The newest social media app on the scene is an invite-only platform called Clubhouse. With its exclusivity and limitation to iPhones (for now), there are a lot of questions about this new app and what it brings to the table.   Get a quick overview of Clubhouse and learn if it’s worth your time and attention! What is Clubhouse? Where most social media has gone highly visual with photos, videos, stories, and reels, Clubhouse has gone in a different direction. Perhaps inspired by the popularity of podcasts, Clubhouse is all audio, with no visuals at all except for users’ profile photos.   Users can join virtual rooms to listen in on panel discussions happening in real time.   How do you find conversations? When you create your account, you’ll be prompted to select some topics of interest. Then, the app will notify you when there are conversations in progress that you might be interested in. The more users and clubs you follow, the more suggestions you’ll receive.   Anyone has the opportunity to start a conversation on Clubhouse, but the most popular rooms host celebrities and influencers. The app leverages FOMO to encourage people to stay tuned. When the chat ends, that’s that — there are no recordings of conversations, so there’s no way to revisit them. (Although some users record the conversations outside the app, posting juicy bits to YouTube or Instagram…the internet is forever!)   But it’s not strictly passive. If you’d like to chime in, you can “raise your hand” by touching an icon, and the moderator has the option to invite you to the virtual...
Where Are YOUR Customers : How to Identify Your Audience and Find Them Online

Where Are YOUR Customers : How to Identify Your Audience and Find Them Online

We’ve all had the experience of looking for something and not being able to find it. It’s frustrating and time consuming and can feel like a pointless exercise if we’re forced to keep at it for long. For a business owner, there’s nothing more frustrating than knowing there’s an audience for your product or service and not knowing who they are – or where to find them. In this article, I’ll break down the process to help you first identify and then locate your audience, so you can fine-tune your marketing and get the leads you need. Identifying Your Audience We can look to social media for some guidance in how to identify an audience. If you have an existing customer base, you can begin by analyzing it using two categories of information: demographics and psychographics. From there, you can use information about the problems your product or service solves to narrow your search. Demographics Demographics are easy, so let’s start there. Demographics are facts about your customers (and your target audience) that can help you identify them. They include: Age Gender Geographical location Education level Income level Marital status Employment/industry Having basic information about who your customers are can help you identify the right target audience for your services or products. Psychographics Psychographics illustrate your target audience’s interests and preferences. For example, if you run a gym, some interests to consider might include the following. Health Fitness Weight loss Running You could also consider pop culture interests. If you own a clothing boutique, you might target people who watch fashion shows such as Project Runway or Say Yes...