Too many entrepreneurs treat marketing like an expense. This is simply not true. Marketing isn’t a monthly bill with no return; it is not some sort of upfront cost like keeping the lights on or keeping the cupboard stocked with coffee.
Marketing, in it’s truest form, is an investment. Like any investment, it will require some funding to take off. Simply put: you put money in, you wait, and your business increases due to that investment.
Marketing is a crucial part of any entrepreneurial venture. But if done poorly marketing can do more harm than good. If done effectively, marketing will pay out dividends. So how can you stretch your marketing budgets further and ensure that it is working for you? Well, it’s the little things.
- Take advantage of free publicity: Look for opportunities to be active in community activities. Leverage your experience and connect with local organizations for a chance to speak at their meetings. This gives your business’s brand invaluable face time with people from a variety of industries. Additionally, you should look into writing: be it for an industry magazine or as simple as your own blog. Positioning yourself as a wealth of knowledge in your field gives your marketing credibility, stretching those efforts further.
- Share your brand: People do business with other people. Never forget that. So get out there and consistently network. Who is better equipped to tell your business’s story other than you? Networking can serve a multitude of purposes, from gaining sales leads to spreading your brand. It gives a face and a name to your brand, and allows you to ensure your story is told accurately and well.
- Maintain your relationships: Focus on your existing clients as well the prospective ones. Ensure that your customer base is taken care of. Often times this goes beyond a simple follow-up. If they are not satisfied, figure out why and do everything you can to fix it. A great client referral is the best marketing you can ask for, but a bad review is blood in the water for your marketing efforts.
Marketing is a necessity for entrepreneurs. With limited extra effort, you can stretch your marketing budget further and ensure you get a strong return on your investment.