How to market your business on a budget from Top Class Signs and Printing
Hi! Welcome to the Top Class Signs and Printing Channel, this is our first video for the year. My name is Cappy…
Chris: I’m Chris.
Cappy: …and we’re here to help you market your business and give you some tips on how to get more customers and to save some money and to stay out there and market your business in great authentic ways and affordable ways. So hopefully you will find some great tips throughout these videos.
So our topic for today is How to Market Your Small Business on a Tight Budget, and we have four major categories that we want to touch up on, good idea is to first try to stay and market your business locally, before you take on the world you have to be able to take on your local area.
Chris: That’s a very good point.
Cappy: So a good way to do that would be EDDM which is ‘Every Door Direct Mail’, it’s a mailer that you send to certain zip code within your area or you can send it to another target area that you’re trying to reach, but you pick that zip code and you send out a post card. I recommend to send out stuff quarterly because you want to stay out there and involve within the community and in front of your customers or your prospects and you want to stay relevant, so if you do it too little then it’s not going to be very good.
Chris: You know one good thing about EDDM is, particularly if you’re a new business and want to introduce yourself to the community, it’s a perfect way of you know, broadcasting “Hey I’m here…” Let’s say you have a ice-cream shop and you’ve just opened up, how is anybody going to find out about you? Everybody love ice cream but there’s no way how you’re going to get your word out there, are you going to pass out fliers? No, you can go ahead and create EDDM mailer and it’s going to target every home in the area, which is perfect, what’s your target market? All the homes, which is a perfect way of…of, you know, marketing to that particular market, which is EDDM.
Cappy: And EDDM is very affordable, you pay less expensive stamps cost to the post office and the printing part of it is very inexpensive, so it’s a great great way for a small business.
Another option to a mailer would be a direct mail. The direct mail allows you to send to a list so you can use a current list that you have already, so your prospects or your current customers, or you can buy a list based on a target market that you’re trying to reach.
Cappy: Let’s say you’re an event planner and you want to reach weddings…people who’re having weddings within a certain time frame, you can buy a list for that, and that’s also another great way to advertise, but it’s a little bit more expensive than the EDDM but it’s more toget…targeted. So it all depends on what you’re trying to do and what your budget is, but either way it allows you to stay in front of your customers and stay relevant and touch base and make sure you do it quality.
Another great way to advertise locally is networking…
Chris: Networking, yes.
Cappy: … some of us are more shy….
Cappy: …than others, so find the correct person within your business that will be able to go out to these networking events and stay and be…aahm, you know…very involved, the networking is not going to work if you’re not involved. When I first started networking for our business, I didn’t know what I was doing, I was very shy and I would go to these events and leave with all these business cards and didn’t do anything with them and I would come back to the shop and I would si…tell everybody you know “Networking doesn’t work…”
Cappy: …but it’s just because I didn’t know what I was doing. So you have to be very involved within the networking group, usually those are chamber of commerces or just regular organizations, but there’s always events going on. So be involved, join the committees and stay relevant in front of people because the minute you stop going they will forget about you and the whole point is to stay relevant. So you want to go and join committees so that people even if they can’t use your services they can refer you, and people love to do business with people they know and they trust.
Chris: Just touching a couple of things – there’s two different organizations you can look for locally, one is definitely your chamber of commerce as she mentioned, aahm every area always has one, if not maybe you can create your own personal one, it’s really just a group of people who get together and help and exchange and promote their businesses. A next one is also BNI, it’s a pretty great group, almost everywhere has them, they’re typically always in the morning times, typically very early so they’re not going to work for everyone but it’s a great group that really just focuses on bring their business to each other. And the thing about networking is, as she mentioned, you really have to stay on top of the people, don’t get a business card and expect people are going to remember you, you have to go ahead and send them newsletters, follow-up phone call would be great, aahm… always about…it’s about building relationship with the people, so…
Cappy: And staying in front of them.
Chris: Yeah, definitely. Aahm, so that’s just a couple of quick tips on networking.
Cappy: So another great way to advertise your business locally would be to write for a local newspaper or a magazine that is free, just talk to the smaller ones usually, they always need great content, and what it does for them it’s a win-win situation, they get free content and you get free exposure. So let’s say you’re a doctor’s office, you can write something about the flu season, it will touch their target area and for you it will give you exposure as an expert in your field and you can use that same article and advertise it to your blog, to your social media, you can cut it out and put it on the wall in your office, it will show that you’re involved in your community locally, that you’re an expert in your field, and it will build trust with your customers and prospects. So writing articles is a great way, it may take a little bit of time but you know it will be time well spent.
Chris: And that’s one thing, it’s always about impressing your customers, people like to see degrees and you’ve done this, you’ve done that, and who wouldn’t be impressed by having an…your own personal article in the newspaper, that’s…to me that’s a big thing.
Cappy: Yes, so…and it’s free and easy to do, just look for a newspaper that touches your target area.
Two – Newsletters are a great way to market your business. G-Mail is not a newsletter account system, neither is AOL, I know you’ve…you’ve all received those emails with 800 contacts that you can’t unsubscribe from and you hate having it and it looks so unprofessional, so if you’re going to do a newsletter, do it right, get a constant contact or Mailchimp, there are so many programs out there and some of them are free if you have a small list, if you have I think less than 500 for constant contact they give you a free account, and as you grow you will pay but it’s money well invested, you want to stay in front of your customers and newsletters are a great way.
Chris: The one thing about why she mentioned do not use G-Mail is because when you do the constant contact, they have features called “Unsubscribe” at the bottom, it’s very very important because when you send out those newsletters other people get removed, do you want to receive a spam letter from somebody saying “Hey remove me, I didn’t subscribe…”? No, these features are involved at the bottom, so for one, if you do the G-Mail you can be reported as spam, whereas if you do the contact a little button at the bottom it says “Remove me” and you never heard from you again, and that’s the one thing difference between doing G-Mail and that, you can be reported as spam and you don’t want that cause what happens is now you get reported, email is not going to go out, you’re going to be put in junk folder all the time because people are going to report you “Oh this person is a spammer…” and number one reason why not to use your G-Mail for just blasting a hundred emails.
Cappy: So send newsletters constantly and just put great content in there.
Number Three – Creating online content is a great way to advertise your business in the digital era. Everybody in online these days…
Cappy: …we are a generation of taking over online, and for those who thought that online was going away, it is not going anywhere, it’s only going to start growing. So in 2016, blog and content marketing is key and it’s the best way to advertise your business online.
Chris: I know everybody is on this, walking on the streets you’ve seen people on their phone, what are they doing? They’re not making phone calls, they’re online searching, I mean they’re on Facebook, they’re on Twitter, they’re on Instagram, and you know what? Those are the places where you have to be on these days, Facebook whether you’re posting specials, promotions, maybe it’s helpful tips on…you know…maybe you’re a bakery and putting out a bakery recipe you know, that sort of stuff that people like to see, I mean it’s not always about selling products, especially with social media, it’s about educating your customers and then letting them know “Hey, we’re here to help you whether it’s selling your product or you know what, we can also help you in ways…” When people feel comfortable, they’ll remember you and they’ll think about you and they’ll use you, and that’s what it’s about, social media, it’s not about selling products it’s about staying in front of people and being you know…their guide to whatever you need.
Cappy: Anything in marketing should be the 80/20 rule, it’s not only for relationships, it works in everything in life, 80% should be tips and helpful content, and 20% only of everything you put out there should be selling your product and you know…pushing the product on your customer.
Another great way is having a website. If you’re in 2016 and do not have a website and your website doesn’t work online, you’re not relevant. The first thing I do when I… someone calls me to try to sell me their business, is while they have me on the phone for that cold call, I’m Googling them online, if they don’t have a website, it tells me that you’re not a relevant business. If it’s hard to find you or your website is horrible, I’m just going to click, close that little X button and I will never switch you again. So a website is very important.
Chris: Yes it definitely is. Aahm, couple of things, getting website is one but you should always try and make it as…as informational and as professional as possible, not everybody has a big budget but impressions count. Aahm, you know back in the day maybe things could be a lot simpler and that was fine, but today everybody goes for these fancy websites…for one it also has to be mobile, as I mentioned earlier, everybody is on their phone, there’s a researcher’s study that shows that more people are searching on their phone compared to on their computer so most people with the older websites what’s going to happen is the website’s not going to function, images are going to be missing or they have to zoom in and click and everything gets all more complicated depending on the phones you have. With the mobile versions of…of websites everything gets adjusted, re-expanded and there’s a lot less problems you’re going to have as far as your viewers seeing what they want. When it comes to online people have a very very short attention span, if your website does not load within a couple of minutes…sorry minutes…couple of seconds, they will leave your website which is a very very important thing, so loading a fast website is also very important.
Cappy: And another way to advertise online is holding contests, you can hold contests on your website, you hold contests on your social media, you hold a contest through your newsletter, so you just have a contest, build a buzz, if the person wants to win what you’re offering they will share it with their customers, they will share it with their friends and that’s kind of like referrals you know in a very inexpensive way, you’re just giving out something for free but you’re gaining you know…more views, more feedba…you’re getting a lot more back for that small expense.
Chris: That’s what they call “going viral”.
Cappy: Oh, not everybody goes viral cause it’s….
Chris: Oh that’s true.
Cappy: …one can help.
Chris: Well that’s the point, you want it to be something that’s…people will want and then they share it…
Cappy: Yeah, they share.
Chris: …it goes from person to person to person, and that’s…that’s what the whole social media thing is.
Cappy: So the fourth inexpensive way to advertise your business would be to say thank you, it may sound cliché and very simple but not many of us say thank you to our customers. What you can do is you can get a four by six card or a greeting card or something more custom, whatever fits your budget and your need, but just to say “Thank you”. All you want to do is get the point out there, say thank you for their business, thank you for their order, and you can throw in a coupon for a future order in it and ask for referral at the same time, so with that one item you’re getting three things done and that’s a very inexpensive way of advertising.
Chris: Yes it is. Aahm, you don’t always have to hand write them, I mean handwriting is always nice but not everybody has the time for that so you always go to your local print shop and maybe they could come up the graphic design and come up with a nice layout, obviously “Thank you” on the cover and inside you can create a standard message, and then you can maybe put…sign it all…sign them all at the end or maybe you can go ahead and put you know…a hand-written message for those special customers that you want to thank them for “Hey you know, you did this…” or “We liked working with you on the project…” or whatever it is, special message at the end of that. You know put…these are little things that you can add in to make it seem more personal is always there for a nice plus.
Cappy: So to recap the four ways of advertising your small business inexpensively would be:
Create local awareness;
Get active and participate within your community;
Create a newsletter, it’s a very inexpensive way to stay in front of customers…
Chris: And also your current customers cause most people already have some type of a mailing list, the QuickBooks or whatever it is, you have already have customers, don’t waste time trying to create…find new customers, it’s always easier to keep with the current customers you already have.
Cappy: Number Three – Create online content because everybody is online these days so you can’t miss out on this opportunity; and
Number Four – Say thank you to your customers for their business and obviously you really want to do say thank you because without your customers you wouldn’t be in business, you wouldn’t have a business and you need customers to stay in business.
And we’ve come to the end of our video, we hope you found some great tips, just start at implementing something today, just don’t watch it and do nothing with it, take it seriously in 2016, try something new, try something we’ve discussed if you’re not using it, get out there in your community, send out information to your customers, reach out to your local print shop or contact us if you need any help but the good point is just to do something and stay in front of your customers all the time so that they don’t forget about you and they don’t go use someone else.
Chris: This is just the first of one of our many videos, we hope you liked it, please make sure and like us or you subscribe to our channel and hope to hear from you guys again.
Cappy: And leave a comment so that we can help you with any need that you may have. Signing out. Bye.
Chris: Thank you.
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