Maybe you started a new company and need to get the word out. Maybe you have a new product you would like to promote. Whatever it is you want to market, you want to do it on the cheap. Marketing is not about selling, it's about getting your message out there. Use these tips to market your product, your company or yourself at little or no cost:
1. Word of mouth: Tell everyone you know. This doesn't mean that you have to call everyone to talk about what you are promoting, but mention it casually in conversations. Send an email to anyone you think would be interested. When possible, give advice to show your knowledge or expertise and to showcase your product or services.
2. Social media: Social media is here to stay, so you better hop on the train! If you find social media a bit overwhelming, try using one medium at a time until you get the hang of it. Twitter is an easy one to start with- you even book your tweets for later using socialoomph.com. Once you are a Twitter pro, move on to Facebook, Digg and other venues.
3. Blog: It's free to use and takes little time to do. Sign up on blogger.com. You don't need to write a long blog every day, just once or twice a week. Post relevant links if you don't have the time to blog. The way to expand the number of people that follow your blog is to follow other blogs and comment on them.
4. Newsletters: These can be weekly, monthly, quarterly - whatever makes sense to you. They can be used to promote new products, give tips and ideas or less formal and just say what is going on with your company. You can use websites like icontact.com to schedule your newsletters to go out on certain dates.
5. Networking: Breakfast talks, lunch and learns, Friday afternoon drinks. There are hundreds of networking events that you can attend each month. Some are open to everyone, while others are aimed at specific groups like women's groups or small business owners. Go aimed with a stack of business cards, but see if you can collect more than you give out. Try to stay in contact with at least two people you meet from each event.
6. Referrals: This is not just the referrals you get, but the referrals you give. If a client has a problem or needs something you don't have, refer them to someone you know. This builds a trusting relationship with both the client and the person you referred them to.
7. Collateral: This doesn't mean that you have to spend hundreds of dollars getting business cards and brochures made. If you have the money, that's fine. If not, create your own letterhead and print your own envelopes as you need them.
8. Join associations: Join associations that are relevant to you. You can't just belong though, you need to be engaged. Go to events that the association organizes, volunteer when the opportunity arises and speak as often as possible.
Marketing yourself can be very beneficial, but the amount of response you receive relates to the amount of effort you put in. Use these tips to appeal to your target audiences and gain success.
Colette Robicheau, President of Organize Anything, is a consultant, coach, and speaker who helps people set priorities, stay focused, manage time, and transitions so they can achieve their goals, grow their business and be more successful.
Contact her at
www.coletterobicheau.com and sign up for her newsletter of useful tips at www.organizeanything.com.