You’ve finally gotten your small business up and running: you have staff, an office location, and a few customers. But because you’re a small start-up, the marketing budget is tight. Now what?
There are many channels available and services you can use to market your business, but you need to make sure you don’t waste money on advertising that’s too expensive and doesn’t put your business in front of the right people. One of the cheapest ways to grow your business is by using your customers. Get to know and understand them so you know who’s buying from you and what they like and dislike. Even with just a little bit of money, this can go a long way.
Inform and educate
Help your customers solve their problems before they’re even ready to buy. By generating content for social media or a weekly newsletter, you can create a loyal customer base and showcase your company’s value. When you do it right, you won’t even need to talk about yourself because the customers will be doing it for you.
Build an email list
Not only should you build an email list, but also you should keep it up to date and check in often with who your subscribers are and send out weekly email newsletters that provide valuable content. If you’re not into DIY with Excel spreadsheets and a number of email addresses, there are many low-cost tools online that can help you collect email addresses to send out newsletters to make it a little more stress free.
Influence your customers
Use your existing customers to get new customers! Ask them for referrals to spread the word about your business. It doesn’t have to be complex – just a quick email or Facebook post is sufficient. If it works you can consider expanding to create a referral program that would benefit both you and the customer. Ask for reviews on Facebook, Yelp, Google, wherever! Many people that search for a business will look at reviews prior to purchasing, so having a five-star rating is important.
Your existing customers are the most important people you have working for you. Show them that you care. Send personal thank you cards instead of emails, or maybe send them some simple company products like pens or a mug so they will always remember your name while they sip their morning coffee and take notes at their meeting.