Many businesses have to squeeze out expenses to break-even and start making a profit. Unfortunately, some important processes, such as marketing, go underfunded.
However, that doesn’t have to be the case. There are several ingenious low-cost strategies to promote your business while you’re on a tight budget. You just need to start small and you’ll be able to scale up as you go.
Here are seven cost effective business strategies that will attract customers to your business. Your main goal should be to scale up the process so that you get more revenue by applying all these techniques consistently. The cycle will spiral upwards, later on, bringing you more clients each time.
1. Create engaging online content
Time; that’s the only thing you’ll need to start producing excellent content. Running a blog is quite easy nowadays. There are many templates available and you don’t have to worry about hosting. Many blog hosts offer free hosting without premium features. Zero capital for starters, that only requires effort. If you decide to improve things down the line, you can hire remote employees.
You need one or two outstanding writers. Plus, an editor and a graphic designer would also be useful additions. The good news is that most of them work as freelancers, meaning, you get to pay for services only when you need them.
Always make sure the content aligns with your product or service. Research extensively and give customers what you’d consider reading yourself. Some ways to keep content engaging is through:
- Sharing useful tips across articles
- Adding an FAQ section with detailed answers
- Incorporating lists, graphic assets, and multimedia
- Listing best practices in your industry
- Highlighting key points and crucial ideas
Now, regarding your potential earnings, the following chart shows the average revenue possible for ~60% of the population who is willing to publish 3 pieces of valuable content a week, as you can see the profits are considerable:
Image Source: Financial Samurai
2. Do cold calling
There are many agencies and marketplaces that offer professional cold calling services. You brief them on what you are offering, pay a fee, and they’ll do the magic. If you cannot afford such services, you can do this in-house.
All you need is to research the best cold calling practices. Then, prepare scripts to ensure consistency in your message. Stay courteous on the phone, explain things patiently, and you will start seeing your first leads. Just keep in mind that cold-calling is a number’s game.
You can also consider incorporating cold emailing. It works the same way as cold calling only that you do not get instant feedback. Send out emails to prospects, then wait a few days to send follow-ups when there’s no reply. There are many options to automate this process, which will save you a good amount of time.
3. Leverage referrals
One of the oldest ways of promotion is through word of mouth. Encourage your satisfied customers to spread the word. After all, any product is best understood by those that use it.
Referral programs are quite flexible so you can be very creative with them. Giving rewards is the best way to do it. Here are some ways of using rewards in your customer referral programs:
- Have giveaways for customers with the most number of referrals.
- Give customers and those whom they refer, a percentage discount.
- Give some free products/services to customers with a certain number of referrals.
- Make a scoring system with hierarchies to make customers gain points and upgrade their status, unlocking additional benefits.
4. Apply for awards
There are many companies that offer online awards to businesses of different niches. Find one related to your industry. Showing that you have awards boosts trust ratings among your potential customers.
Some awards are easier to get, whereas some have very rigorous criteria. Getting those harder awards will definitely grant you trustworthiness, and customers recognize that. This increases your business reputation.
If awarded, the organizations share your business information on their site and social media platforms. That drives more traffic to your business. Thus, bringing prospects your way.
If you are granted an award, here are some things worth doing to take full advantage:
- Share the announcement on your website and social media
- Prepare a well-written press release
- Write a blog post expressing your gratitude for the award by outlining what it means to your business
- If the award comes with a badge, place it strategically on your site
5. Strengthen your business through partnerships
When people come together costs are easier to bear. Team up with other local businesses and do joint campaigns. It applies to businesses relevant to your industry.
Don’t go about it blindly though, you need businesses that complement yours. For example a wedding photographer can team up with a wedding planner and a wedding dress designer.
Such partnerships will widen your customer database. Your partners’ customers trust them, so your information shared on their platforms gets easily trusted too.
6. Stay active on social media
Let’s take a look at some amazing stats shared by Oberlo to give you an idea of how massively important social media (SM) is for businesses:
As you can see, social media is probably the biggest marketplace in the world right now, and it is no longer just about replying to messages and posting content. People want to establish meaningful relationships. Therefore, you need to take the time to know your customers, get them to know your business and cultivate a loyal customer base. This requires you to stay constantly active.
Understand your followers and people who interact with your content. Engage with them often and listen to the feedback given. Act on such feedback and show that you care about your customers and value their opinions.
In order to improve engagement consider introducing fun activities. Social media contests are an outstanding example. They keep your customers engaged, they’re fun, and some customers get to take cool prizes back home.
This is an easy low-cost strategy that will help you build your online reputation, which is more important. With time, word will spread, and soon you’ll have your website visits exploding. The conversion rate also skyrockets as long as you take the time to cultivate relationships.
7. Get involved in your local community
While staying active online brings customers from all corners of the globe, your local community is equally important. They probably formed your initial customer base and might be your most loyal customers.
It’s important that you keep them engaged as well. Take part in local fairs and events. It keeps your business fresh in their memory and provides you a platform to introduce fresh developments.
Carry some business cards and posters when you attend local events. Also, don’t simply dish them out. Make meaningful conversations with prospects as you would with online followers. Only this time you are doing it in person, so facial expressions and other non-verbal cues matter.
Most of what is listed above requires exclusively effort or very low investment. Experiment with each strategy and you will soon realize that you don’t need a super large budget to promote your business.
It’s often through simple interactions that you create long-lasting impressions. Add a little creativity into the process and you will never run short of a constant customer flow. By the time you decide to scale up, you will have gained not only some stability but also a great deal of experience.