With the economy slowing it’s a great time to rev up your marketing. But you need to get the most bang for your marketing buck.
Here are three super-effective and low-cost marketing weapons to help you attract new clients in tough times:
1. A written marketing plan
Far too many businesses don’t have even a basic marketing plan written down. It only costs you time and is the most important marketing asset you’ll ever have.
A marketing plan is like a roadmap to your success. It shows you where you want to go and how you’ll get there.
The mere act of writing your plan down increases your chances of succeeding substantially. Research varies, but many experts believe writing down a goal increases the chances of achieving it by 15 to 30 per cent.
Don’t worry, a marketing plan shouldn’t be long and complex. In his book, Guerrilla Marketing, marketing guru Jay Conrad Levinson explains how to write an effective seven-sentence marketing plan on a single sheet of paper.
2. A “mini brochure” business card
If someone from your target market found your business card on a table somewhere would they instantly know what you do and why they should give you a call? They would if you turned your business card into a mini brochure.
Print your standard contact details on one side of the card. On the other side you can put your elevator pitch, a list of your services, the top three benefits of working with you, one or two juicy testimonials or a special offer.
Printing on the reverse only costs a few cents per card. How many new customers do you need to justify this expense?
3. A customer-focussed website
If you met someone at a party and then talked only about yourself and how wonderful you are, how long would that relationship last? Probably as long as it takes for your new “friend” to excuse themselves and make their escape.
Yet most websites are the online equivalent of a self-centred party bore. Many business websites focus on their label (I’m a graphic designer, tax accountant, landscape architect…), their process, or their credentials.
The hard truth is no one really cares about what you do, how you do it, or even how well you do it.
What your prospective customers want to know is what you can do for them. They want to know that you feel their pain and can help alleviate it.
A customer-focussed website speaks directly to your prospective customers’ goals, problems, needs, hopes, fears and dreams… and how you can make their life better, easier and/or more prosperous.
You can check your website’s customer focus with this nifty online calculator:http://www.futurenowinc.com/wewe.htm
Overhauling your website content won’t cost you money, only time.
Businesses should always look for ways to over-deliver. Like this article for example: three low-cost marketing assets promised, four delivered.
Over-delivering doesn’t cost you a cent, but it’s one of the best ways to build customer loyalty and stimulate word of mouth. Start with finishing jobs before the deadline, returning phone calls and email more promptly, and sharing more of your expertise via articles, e-books and/or free consultations.