So one of the most common questions I get asked is, 'Ben, how do I market my business when I've got no money?' In fact, one of the questions I get asked a lot is, 'How do I use social media to get customers without spending a dime?' Unfortunately, the reality is that you-- not spending money means you're competing with most people who are trying to market on social media or any of those platforms. Everyone's trying to do it for nothing. The good news is if you're willing to spend a little bit of your own cash to get some customers in the door, you can get some great results. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to share five of my tips that are low cost or no cost and are really very controllable.
You have to think that back when I first started in business, and I don't know how old you are, but my business life started before the internet was a place to be marketing a business. And Yellow Pages was really the main place we ever advertised. And it would cost maybe 10, 25 thousand dollars a year for a Yellow Pages ad. The bad thing was we had to design and develop the ad way before the Yellow Pages came out. We were then stuck with it for a whole year, whether it worked or not. So if an offer didn't work or a headline didn't work, we were stuck with it.
The good news is today, you can test and measure different things. You can try something, do it on a small scale, spend a little bit of money, and if you don't get a results, you can switch it up. Change things. You can even split test different headlines, different offers. So what's available to you these days is much better than what I had in business in the old days.
So like I said, I've got five low cost, some no cost ways to help you get leads into your business. Let's get started. I've got them written down here.
So the first thing on my list is Google AdWords. Now the reason I think Google AdWords is a good place for you to market your business is you can be so targeted. The other thing is you can set your budget. So you can say, 'I only want to spend $10 a day-- $200 a day.' Whatever it is. You can set your budget. You can tell Google how much you are willing to pay per lead.
The other thing is Google is extremely targeted. So you can actually target people who are actually looking for your product or service. So instead of just putting an ad out there and hoping someone who's looking for what you have will see it, this way you're actually marketing directly to that person. So when someone types into Google looking for your product or service, you'll pop up in the ads, and they'll click on a landing page that's relevant to them.
Now it's really important that if you use Google AdWords, your website is optimized so that people coming off Google go to a page that's relevant, that will really interest them in whatever it is they're searching for. Don't just send them to a homepage.
Now Google AdWords probably isn't going to be great if you don't have any money. But if you have a low budget, you can certainly utilize Google AdWords to get some leads into your business.
The second one I've got here is referrals. Referrals is a great lead source for your business. In fact, if I asked you, 'Would you like to get more referrals?' I'm sure the answer would be yes. In fact, most people love getting referrals because they usually turn into sales. They're a really good lead source.
Now if I also asked you, 'Do you have an active referral strategy?' That means are you asking you current, happy customers and clients for referrals, I bet you say no. Now this is 95% of business, that's how they answer this question. It's shocking. The good thing about referrals is it's a very, very cheap way to market your business. And you can make it so it's a cost-of-sale and only paying when a referrals turns into a sale.
In my business I have a referrals partner program. It's a structured program where people sign up and they receive an on-going commission if their partner signs up and pays me by the month. Then they get rewarded for that. It's only a small percentage, but we've got some people earning around $1000 per month by being part of our referral partner program. Now they feel like they're getting rewarded for being a partner. We get referrals out of it. And the clients are getting a great service. So it’s a win-win-win.
It costs very little to ask for a referral. So I challenge you this-- write down your top 10 clients. In the next week contact them and ask them to give you one or two names of people they know that they think would benefit by dealing with you. That's the second one.
Now the third one I've got is Facebook ads. People are really frustrated with the fact that if you've got a Facebook page, you’ve got to pay for people to see your posts. I actually think it's a great thing. And the reason why is that people's feeds are starting to get freed up again. What was happening when everyone would see everything is that your Facebook feed would just be full of stuff. And Facebook really quickly realized and said, 'This is not a good user experience.' So they wanted to improve the user experience. So now you have to pay to advertise.
Now that may sound silly to say that I love the fact that you have to pay to advertise, but I love it because 90% of people on Facebook aren't willing to invest in the advertising. Yet if you are willing to advertise on Facebook, it's some of the lowest cost acquisition marketing that you'll ever do. So I'd suggest that you look into how you do that for you, what sort of posts should you promote, and how do you dark posts, which is basically advertising on someone's feed.
Just like on Google AdWords, on Facebook you can be really targeted, and that's what makes it such a magical place to advertise your business. The other thing is it can be very low cost if you get it right. Very expensive if you get it wrong, I agree. But very low cost if you get it right. If you test and measure everything and you use a digital marketing agency that's reputable and got good referrals, then you're likely to get some good results. That was number three.
Number four is get yourself published. Now I don't mean write a book, what I mean is try and get some PR. Get a press release out there. And there's a few different ways you can do this, I'm going to give you a few tips. My first tip is that you can get on something like Source Bottle. Source Bottle is an organization that looks for experts in their field when they've got something that need to be discussed on the news or in the paper or a magazine. They send out an email to their database and say, 'Hey, we're looking for an expert in termites, and we would like this person to appear on television for an interview.' And you submit your name and say, 'Yep, I'd love to be that person.' And if you get picked, well then of course you get all this free exposure, which is really cool.
A couple of things happen. First of all, you get recognized as the expert, which is kind of cool. It's free advertising. Second thing is you can use that footage-- 'I appeared on Sky News.' It's something you can use in your marketing. So that's one way to get some free exposure, something like Source Bottle. You can look that up.
Another great way to do this is to contact your radio stations or papers or industry magazines. These sort of places are always looking for new content. It's hard to come up with new stories all the time. So if you've got something that's newsworthy-- a client success story, maybe a new product, a charity you're helping, you're likely to get some free publicity by doing that.
And my third tip with getting published is to write a guest blog post for someone. So just have a look and see if there are any blogs relevant to your industry that have a lot of readers and regular content coming out. These blogs are always looking for new content; it's difficult for them to find it. And so they always are welcoming of great articles or stories they can publish on their blogs. They have a lot of readers, and it'll get shared on social media. It'll get you a lot of traffic to your website. So look for a blog where you're target market are readers, and you can write an article that is going to be relevant to that readership, and you can get yourself published that way.
My fifth and final marketing tip for you for a small business that is low or no cost is to use flyers or direct mail. Now you might be going 'Oh' in shock that I'm suggesting to do some offline marketing. But direct mail is making a comeback, you've heard it here first. I've actually been testing flyers, and we're starting to see a better result than we used to get. And I think the reason for that is that not many people are using them as a marketing medium.
The good thing, just like all the other stuff I've run through, is you can do it as a test. Just send out 500 direct mail letters or 5000 flyers into letterboxes and see how it goes. But I think because there's less and less of them now, they're making a bigger impact. There's less noise. And people are starting to respond to those again.
So there you go. Those are five tips you can use in your business, some a little bit of cost, some no cost. Certainly if you're not using those five different things, I would encourage you to implement those into your business ASAP. Now if you've got any other ideas that are low cost or no cost that are working really well for you, put them down there in the comments, let the other watchers see your ideas. Let's share and see what we can come up with. Make that below this video a list of ideas we can use for marketing.
Now if you enjoyed the video, hit the subscribe button of course, and leave your comments down below. I'd love to hear from you. Until next time, have a very profitable day.
About the Author
Ben Fewtrell is a sought-after Business Coach, Keynote Speaker and trainer who has featured in Virgin’s Inflight Magazine and Entertainment Portal, SKY Business and “Secrets of Top Business Builders Exposed”. He is also the host of the popular Business Brain Food Podcast where he interviews leading experts on anything and everything business.