Marketing Without Money: How to grow your business on less than $300 a month

Marketing Without Money

Is your business marketing without money?

 

The most common question I get asked from small business owners is…

“How do I market my business when I don’t have any money?”

 

To which my first question is usually, “Why don’t you have any money?”

It’s tragic to me when someone starts a new business without first putting consideration into marketing.

 

In fact…

the very first thing you should think about when starting a business is:

“How am I going to attract customers?”

followed by

“How much is that going to cost?”

Once you’ve raised that money, THEN you can start your business.

 

This might mean that you can’t dive headlong into your business at first.

 

To this day I still host some karaoke shows around Calgary.

The money I earn from THAT business can fuel the marketing of THIS business until such time as it’s not needed anymore.

 

Because while marketing without money is possible, it becomes a lot more fun and effective when you can throw some dollars at it.

 

That being said though, there are some things you can do to market your business on a limited budget.

Below I’ve put together a relatively simple 5 step strategy that would help pretty much any business regardless of their budget:

1) Start building your e-mail list

Without money, building your e-mail list can be a slow, painstaking process, so start now!

Seriously! Don’t wait!

E-mail marketing is the cheapest marketing on the planet. You can get started with a mail system like MailChimp or Constant Contact for FREE (although I would always recommend at least moving to one of their paid plans which usually start around $20 a month).

HINT – If you’d like a more robust system that can handle your e-mail list plus allow you to automate many of your marketing needs, I always recommend Infusionsoft. It’s a CRM, e-mail manager, shopping cart and campaign manager all in one. You can learn more about it here.

If you’re starting from scratch, then reach out to your personal network first.

My mom still gets my e-mails every month!

I didn’t discriminate when I started.

Once you’ve got everyone in your network on your list, you can create something valuable that relates to your core product and give it away for free on your website.

This could be some kind of free report or e-book, but…

if you want the best response, try to create something that someone will USE and get value from quickly!

For example, one of the core offerings I use with the Marketing Mentorship Academy is this ESSENTIAL Step By Step Guide to Facebook Re-Targeting that walks you through how set up remarketing campaigns on Facebook.

It only takes a few minutes to go through and the information can quickly be applied to your business.

Maybe you’ve had an e-mail opt-in form on your website for a while and no one is filling it out. Well, you might need a better offer!

Remember, the more valuable the offering, the more likely people are to take advantage of it.

HINT – When someone opts into your list, take that opportunity to IMMEDIATELY offer something for sale.

Not your core product, but some kind of low cost, “impulse buy” type of item.

The proceeds from this initial “tripwire” offer can go a long way towards offsetting any marketing investment spent driving traffic to your page.

Check out an example from The Marketing Mentorship Academy here.

2) Start putting content on your blog

I always say that…

Having a website is like owning a retail store on a road no one ever drives down. Unless you have a sign on the main drag telling you to “Turn Here”, you’re not going to get much traffic.

A blog is like a sign…

It gives you something to post on social media that will actually drive traffic.

It keeps your website fresh so that you rank in search engines.

You want traffic to your website? Start a blog!

Fill it up with articles, videos, podcasts, infographics. The works!

Over time this will help you rank better on search engines, but more than this, it gives you something to post on social media.

It’s all well and good to post other people’s content on social media (and you should do some of that), but that only helps THEM build THEIR e-mail list at the end of the day.

But by posting your own blog content, you can drive traffic back to your website through those social channels and with luck they’ll see your valuable offering to join your e-mail list and take advantage of it.

Once they’ve done this you can market to them forever (or at least until they opt-out which, if you’re smart with your e-mail list, won’t happen).

HINT – The trick here is consistency. Don’t post one blog article every 8 months. Create a content schedule and start posting regularly.

3) USE your e-mail list

I’m always shocked when I hear that a business owner has 100 or more e-mail subscribers and they’re not sending e-mails to them!

You should be sending an e-mail to your list at least twice a month (twice a week would be better).

I know this stresses you out. You worry about two things:

1. What are you going to send them every week!

2. What if you annoy them with all those e-mails!

 

Well let me help you with that…

 

You’re going to send them:

– What you promised to send them when they signed up

– Invitations to read / view the great content your putting on your blog every week

– Information about your products/service (not too much, but do be sure to remind them what you do) along with case studies, testimonials, etc.

– Invitations to events

– Specials, promotions, free trials, etc.

 

It won’t annoy them if:

– The information is relevant and valuable to them

– You’re treating them like people and making it clear that you’re a person too

 

As I already mentioned above, e-mail marketing is cheap, but you need to use it if it’s going to work for you.

 

Can you imagine if you heard a radio ad, or saw a television commercial, but never heard from that company again?

What’s the likelihood that you would remember that company when it came time to make a buying decision?

 

Well with your e-mails you can not only maintain that brand awareness that’s so critical for long term success…

but you can also use your content to help potential buyers self-identify themselves! (more on that below)

HINT – Create a series of separate opt-in pages with special offers or “request more information” opt-ins that allows you to identify and follow up with the serious prospects and send these to your e-mail list once a month.
For example. The Marketing Mentorship Academy offers a FREE, No-Obligation Consultation and will direct our subscribers to content that invites them to visit a page like this.

4) Promote the content that works

Pay attention to how people are responding to the content on your blog, and when you discover a particular article/video that:

– Converts well

– People are sharing

– Is attracting more traffic

Then go ahead and drop some ad dollars into promoting it so it can reach even more people.

This will help accelerate that e-mail list growth.

If done strategically and coupled with a good “tripwire” offer, you could potentially break even on this ad investment resulting in you practically building your e-mail list for free!

The amount of money used here matters, but it’s also under your control. A big budget gives you a greater reach, but even a meager investment of $100 or $200 into Facebook Ads can drive some traffic for you.

5) Use Re-Marketing

Use remarketing tools to promote your special offers to your website visitors who don’t take advantage of your special offer to opt-in to your mailing list.

Get CustomersHINT – Remarketing is the simple act of placing a tracking pixel on your website that enables you essentially follow your website visitors around the internet with your advertising. For a detailed description of how you can do this with Facebook, download The ESSENTIAL Step-By-Step Guide to Facebook Retargeting.

You can offer them the same offer you already had in case they were interested but needed an extra push…

or you can show them different offers in an attempt to get them to change their mind and opt-in after all.

Using tracking pixels and setting up re-targeting ad campaigns in Facebook or Google is not terribly complicated, and you can set your budget to any amount you choose.

Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all marketing solution, but I would say that this simple 5-Step strategy would be a bare minimum for most small businesses – especially those who are marketing without money and want the best bang for their buck.

 

It is a relatively labour intensive strategy but their are only two currencies in life…

Time and Money.

If you don’t have any money, it becomes necessary to invest some time.

 

Now if you do have the budget, then there are company’s out there (including The Marketing Mentorship Academy) that can help you put this all together.

The Marketing Mentorship Academy also offers affordable hands on coaching to help you figure out how to do this yourself if you can’t hire someone to do it for you.

If you’d like to discuss this with us, simple click here and set up a FREE, no obligation meeting with myself.

 

However you choose to get this done, let me give you one last hint…

 

START!

 

Don’t wait for all the pieces of the puzzle to fall into place.

Get that e-mail list started.

Start that blog.

Put out great content.

Share it with your list and everyone else.

And when something is working, accelerate it with dollars!

 

It’s so simple, but simply knowing the plan won’t get you the results you need.

I know you can do this.

If you don’t yet know how to do it – you can learn.

In fact, I’d love to be a part of that learning journey.

Visit www.marketingmentorshipacademy.com to get FREE access my Marketing ESSENTIALS Crash Course for Small Business.

 

Tyler Zeck is the author of Is Radio Still Relevant?, Founder of the Marketing Mentorship Academy and the creator of The ESSENTIAL Marketing System for Small Business. As an inspiring leader and in-demand speaker, trainer and coach, Tyler has worked closely with business owners from a broad spectrum of industries to help educate, equip and inpsire them to achieve greater success in their organizations. Through one-on-one mentoring, online courses, and his monthly video training, Tyler is on track to help thousands of business owners to create lasting success and realize their dreams.