Small Business Tips

5 low-cost marketing ideas to grow your business

Ramon Ray

Money can solve a lot of things. You can buy a pizza, a house or a car. You can even buy the attention of your customers and place advertising messages all over the Internet.

Thankfully, you don’t have to advertise to generate leads or sales for your business.

As a marketer of many years, I’ve spent money on marketing and have also done many campaigns with zero dollars and great results. This article will give you marketing tips that will cost you nothing or very little dollars.  

Here are five few things you can do to gain customers while spending very little.

1. Organize an event to bring together potential customers. Host an event in your office (no extra cost) or at the office of a great customer. Bring in 5, 10, or, 105 people and educate them on how to solve their biggest challenges or problems. During education, introduce your solution to them. If done right, some will buy. Do this over and over again.

2. Host online events like webinars or live video. Online events are great ways to generate leads for your business and generate sales. I’ve done this quite a bit for my own products and I know it works for thousands of other businesses as well. People are busy and might not be able to come to an in-person event. However, more people can use their phone or computer to “click” and attend an event. You can do this once, but it’s more effective if you do it over and over again.

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3. Offer something of value, such as a digital download. Serious business owners or regular consumers want to be educated and get smarter. If they’re looking for a new suit, they want tips for what might look nice. Or maybe they’re looking to purchase a commercial oven for their restaurant and want tips on what type to buy. Whatever you’re selling, offer a “tip sheet” or guide about the solution you provide. Leverage the power of social media and email marketing to offer this guide to everyone in your community. When they download the guide, you’ll now know who is interested in what you have to sell, and you can start educating them more and eventually selling them. You can create the concept for the download and work with a designer to “jazz it up” to make it look nice!

4. Pass out flyers. If you have a retail store, passing out flyers with free flyer templates can be a great way to generate in-store foot traffic. Don’t pass out flyers to everyone. Try to get some indication of who is a fit to be a customer by asking them an easy question that gives you some indication of who they are. Regularly passing out flyers to the right people, over time, will increase foot traffic.

5. Provide good customer service. Sometimes we don’t know how far a smile, firm handshake, and empathy go to increasing sales. For existing customers, great customer service brings them back and helps them refer new customers to you. Having your existing customers as your ambassadors is a “free” way to keep customers coming back and increasing the profitability of your business. A friend of mine owns a book store. As I was visiting her store one day, it was exciting to see how personal and caring she was with each and every customer. This is her secret to growing her business. Each customer, it seems, has such a great experience that they tell others about her book store.

While marketing doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money, you do have to invest the time and thought into your marketing to get good results. Thought and creativity are needed to understand your customer, to think about the words you’ll use, and ensure you have the right design.

If you have more money than time, you can find a marketing consultant to help you with these things. But there’s a lot you can do, especially as you’re first starting out on your own.

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