This article first appeared on June 27th, 2012.
As a busy mumpreneur, finding the time and sometimes the budget to market your business can be a struggle.
But the good news is there are a number of strategies that can help you generate a lot of business without spending a lot of time, money or effort.
So here are five low cost, high leverage marketing ideas to help you generate more business:
1. Form strategic alliances
Forming a strategic alliance involves building a mutually beneficial working relationship with another business you have synergy with.
The goal is to generate business for each other by reciprocal referrals or joint promotional opportunities (joint workshops, advertising on each other’s newsletter or website, etc).
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When choosing business allies, look for businesses that have your clients before and after you do (for example, a dry cleaner might partner with a suit store), as this will increase the chances of both of you generating referrals for each other.
A successful alliance must be a win/win, so if you are just starting out, or don’t have a large database for your potential alliance to leverage, offer them something else of value like a referral commission, or a product or service for free.
Personally, this is the most successful marketing strategy I have ever used.
2. Offer referral rewards
Offering referral rewards and incentives can be a great way to increase the amount of client referrals you receive in your business.
Ideally, you want your rewards scaled so the more referrals they give you, the better their “prize”.
Happy customers give the best sales pitches, they talk to people who trust them and they are passionate and excited, resulting in a higher conversion rate of referrals for you.
3. Use social media
If you aren’t on social media yet, get on there. It is a great way to engage with your customers and potential customers, build relationships, access customer feedback to develop more relevant products and services, make sales and upsell existing clients, generate more traffic for your website and increase your business’ trustworthiness, expertise and goodwill.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest (to name a few) can all provide great exposure for your business.
4. Send media releases
Generating media coverage can be a great way to attract more clients and raise your profile and credibility.
If you have a newsworthy story relating to your business, write a media release and distribute it to the media.
So what is newsworthy? Here are some examples:
- Have you launched a new product or service?
- Do you have a significant success story (yours or your clients)?
- Did you have any interesting results from a survey or research?
- Have you achieved an important business milestone or an award?
Another way to generate media coverage is to “piggyback” off an existing story. When an area that is within your expertise appears on the news, issue a media release that includes a brief comment on the story (as an expert), and state that you are available for interviews if they would like additional comment.
5. Give your knowledge away
Your expertise is valuable to others, so package it up in a way that lets people see how much of an expert you are.
Do speaking engagements, run workshops, write articles or an e-book, do an instructional video or audio or have a blog, report or checklist available to download on your website.
This will help your potential customers see firsthand how you could help them. So reveal a few “tricks of the trade”, not everything of course, but enough to showcase your expertise and value to potential clients.
The real key to minimising the time and money you spend in marketing (or any area of your business for that matter) is leverage.
You want to find ways to leverage your own knowledge, influence and contacts or find ways to leverage off others by giving them an incentive.
So what about you, what low cost, high leverage marketing methods have worked for your business?