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No money marketing

Many SMEs have less than a shoestring to throw at their marketing budget but how can we get our name out there and keep ourselves top of mind in our customer’s mind? Cindy Norcott (Motivational speaker, business trainer, business coach and CEO of Pro Appointments and Pro Talent) spoke to Mike Anderson (NSBC Founder & CEO) recently about eight guidelines for marketing your business on a limited budget

In the discussion, Cindy highlighted that there is a lot of power in guerrilla marketing. This type of marketing looks at using what you have got in your head, hands and heart. Look at the resources you have available to market your business.

There are three areas that Cindy focused on:

AREA 1: Your market

Don’t spray and pray. Many SMEs believe if they share their message out on all the marketing platforms to all the people in the world they will get customers. Though you may get some hits. You could waste a lot of resources on unqualified leads. Therefore it is crucial to be a sniper and focus on a clearly defined target market for your business.

AREA 2: Your brand

Don’t only look at your company brand but also consider your personal brand. Your brand should be the golden thread that can be seen through all the touchpoints you have with your clients. It should be consistent and congruent. Remember that though you may have control over how your website and email looks and what you post on our social media pages, your brand is also defined by what people think and say about you and your company when you are not present. You should be intentional about building your brand.

AREA 3: Your network

This is made up of a variety of business relationships. These could be influencers, customers, suppliers, business partners and any other connection that a business has.  

With these three areas in mind, we can look at eight guidelines that were offered:

1. Keep in contact

Try to make five phone calls before 9 am. It is important to remain in contact with your customers. These calls should show care and concern for your customer. You should focus on adding value to your customer’s day without selling anything. Never let your customer think of you as a stranger but rather as a confidante who cares about them. The calls should help to build a relationship with your customers.

2. Have a multi-pronged strategy

You should consider 10 different ways in which you are connecting with your customer consistently. Some examples of connecting with customers are posting on social media, visiting customers, taking customers out for a meal or coffee to celebrate a special event, talking at trade shows or seminars, hosting a webinar, creating a video or sending out an email newsletter.

3. Do the little things

Many people think that grand gestures are what keep the customers coming and though they may initially hook a customer the little things are what count. Keeping an appointment, being on time, fulfilling your promises, remember a client’s birthday or special event. By doing these small things you will show that you are trustworthy and loyal to your customer.

4. Use email wisely

Yes, you are in a war for your customer’s attention but you should also know that if you just throw more information into the mix which is not well-thought-out and targeted they will click on delete. Think about a common theme for your email newsletters and offer a few well-written tailored articles to your customers. You could include an informative article which is written by someone else in your newsletter. You should also ensure your newsletter has the same branding as all your other media collateral. You can also create an email brochure which you send to those customers who have shown an interest in buying products from you.

5. Share your knowledge

You should write articles, host webinars or create videos that can be shared through your social media platforms. You could also ask brands which are in line with your product or service to publish a guest blog on their website. This will help to build credibility around your brand.

6. Choose your influencers carefully

You should build a core network team from 25 key influencers in your industry. These are people who you will communicate with by writing positive comments on their posts or sharing their events or promotions on your marketing platforms. When choosing these influencers you should ensure that their brand shares the same ideas and values as your brand, so that your customers don’t get confused about who you are.

7. Be on social media

Choose one or two platforms that you can dominate. Don’t talk about yourself or your business too much. You should have an 80/20 rule. 80 percent of your posts should be informative and add value to your customer. The other 20 percent of your posts can be about your business. Ensure that your posts are positive and unoffensive. Another consideration is not to over-post. If you post too often then your customers and business partners may think you don’t have enough work and this could look bad. Also, ensure that you are consistent in your posting. Lastly, ensure your post is spelt correctly and there are no grammatical errors.

8. Do the work

Remember the sales you have today is because of the work you did three months ago. You should regularly participate in marketing activities which will help you move towards your sale. You should do at least one activity every day. Remember every incremental step will bring you closer to your goal.

By following these eight guidelines you will be well on your way to being top-of-mind of your ideal client. Lastly, remember to be bold. Go out there and talk about your business confidently.

You watch the full webinar here:

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