I remember those start-up days of each of our businesses fondly as the idea grew from a seed and came to life and each time we launch a new venture I am reminded what it is like to Market a Business with Little or no Budget.
Starting in business is a very exciting time, especially if it is your venture into entrepreneurship.
Along with starting your business comes costs, and while we would all love to have the marketing budget of a Fortune 500 company, sadly that is rarely the case and most of us begin to Market a Business with Little or no Budget.
So where do you start when it comes to marketing your new business and creating a brand presence especially when the budget is limited?
Define and Create your Brand
A business without a brand is like being lost in the woods without a compass. It is the guide you, your customers, competitors and the media use to make up their mind about you.
What’s in a name?
Think of a catchy, easy-to-understand name that says something about what you do.
Try and match your name with what you do; it makes it easier for people to find and remember you.
Keep it simple. Make sure your name is easy to spell so the cheques come in correctly, and the mail finds you too.
Define your niche
- Who is your target market?
- What is the value you provide?
Trying to be something to everyone is not the answer. Marketing to everyone who could possibly buy your products or services takes too much time and will water down your message.
Pick your ideal market and appeal to that!
Why should a customer buy from you?
Ideally, you offer a solution to solve a key problem faced by your target market. What makes you different from your competitors and why should they buy from you when someone is cheaper / closer / more established, etc?
Turn your brand into a logo
Once you have found your brand, you need to turn it into a logo that also says what you do. Your logo needs to be easy to see and understand, and should also be memorable.
Tailorbrands is the perfect DIY tool to help you with that as it not only helps you create a logo, it helps you visualise your brand across business cards and more.
Create a company profile
This is a key tool in your marketing as it forms the foundation for you and your business. Your profile will be used on websites and social media and needs to draw your ideal client to you. Use words from your niche, the clients you want to work with, and the solutions you offer in the profile.
Your profile can intrigue a new visitor to check out your products or services in more detail, and nudge potential customers into choosing your business over competitors. So, spend a little time on it and get others to read it too.
Own your Real Estate
Register a domain, set up emails and create a website
Your domain name is your home on the internet. Just like your regular address, this is the place your customers will be able to find you online. This is your online shop front for business; make it easy to remember and easy to find.
Set up an email address using your domain name. This gives you credibility and is a free way to market your brand with every email that you send.
Build a website
If you can do this yourself, great! There are some great tools out there like WordPress and the Divi Builder from Elegant Themes you can use if you choose to take the DIY route.
However, if in doubt use a professional.
Set up social media profiles
Customers, including businesses and consumers, are using social media. Social media is your key for low-cost marketing and engaging your customer as part of your business.
Set up an account with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest etc, making sure that you brand these pages to be consistent with your identity.
Social media is an effective form of marketing to create hype around your business launch, or a new product or service. It is also great for encouraging customer feedback, referrals, and interaction around your business.
One thing to understand about social media is that it is not conducive to direct selling. It is a medium that allows you to introduce yourself and your business to prospects, and let them get to know you in a non-threatening manner.
Social media is also great for spreading the word about you and your business around the internet. It is important to realise that you need to give, as well as get. Participate in groups, help pages, and share and grow together.
Learn one platform at a time and when you get the feel right tap into tools like Meet Edgar to help you automate your posting. We have an amazing “how-to” session on Meet Edgar here.
Use the power of email to market your brand
A topic that has come up of late with our clients is the unharnessed power of email to brand your business and market your brand. Every email you send is a marketing opportunity and another chance to make your brand stick in the prospective client's mind.
3 simple keys to have your email harness free marketing opportunities:
- Use your domain name
An email coming from your domain name is given more value and respect than those sent from a generic account like Gmail or Hotmail. You have invested in hosting your website, so make sure you market it with your email using the same domain details.
- Check your ‘from’ name
Your ‘from’ name at least needs to be your full name. At Media Connections, we also include the business name as another opportunity to build the brand.
Make sure the spelling is correct, and there are capital letters where there should be capitals. And most important of all – no nicknames.
- Use your signature on every email
Signature blocks are key to email success. A great signature block engages and connects your client. Include your contact details, social media, and logo to make your brand stick.
Emails are received and sent every day. They give you a great opportunity to promote and market your brand while doing the day-to-day of the business.
Use a tool like Wisestamp to market with your email signature.
See how we use Wisestamp in this article on Digital Marketing using your email Signature.
Use the Power of Content Marketing
Content can generate engagement and revenue while you’re asleep, just like an e-commerce site or any other digital approach to building a business.
Content can create traffic, engagement, followers, sales, repeat sales and conversations around your brand, and build your profile. So, it is a great way to start marketing your business.
Evergreen content is the type of information that pops up time and again, year after year in business. It’s often found in the information your customers seek or the things about your industry you find yourself explaining over and again.
Evergreen content is always fresh – it can be used at any time throughout the year, or is fresh at a certain time, year after year after year.
Evergreen angles are easier to find than you think. They are hidden within your knowledge, and often they are the things you take for granted as being “known” about your industry.
Evergreen content is:
- Your top five tips on a topic
- Tips for beginners
- Explaining industry terms
- How to use your products or services
- Ideas and resources
Tap into other people’s audiences
Being a guest author is a great way to reach a wider audience, establish your credibility, and build your online presence.
By tapping into the power of someone else’s audience, you get a transfer of trust.
Create a plan and be consistent
New business can be exciting, and planning is often the last thing you want to do. However, it is the key to keeping your message consistent.
Use your plan to set clear marketing goals, determine the resources you will need to get the job done and identify any problems or roadblocks that might otherwise catch you unaware.
Your marketing plan does not have to be a long, detailed, and drawn out document, it just needs to be clear.
Block time in your day and use 5 Minutes to Make Marketing Part of your Day