On July 13 at 2:00pm Eastern time, join me for a free one-hour webinar presented by the Verizon Small Business Center. The topic is marketing on a shoestring budget.
When I first started my business some years ago, like many of you, I started from scratch, with no clients and no revenue. During the time it took me to develop a clientele and start bringing money in the door (almost 6 months to see significant revenue), I had to market my business, of course. At first I used my savings. It can be discouraging, even frightening, to see your bank balance dwindling every month, with little coming in.
Out of necessity, I had to get good at marketing by spending very little or nothing. It’s times like those that tax you to be creative. You realize that elbow grease, knowledge and creative ideas can go a long way to fill in the gaps in your marketing budget.
Luckily the business grew. But for years afterward – even up to the present time – we have continued with our frugal marketing. Deeply ingrained habits die hard. Besides, I get a real charge out of seeing how much we can do and the new things we can try, that don’t involve spending a lot of money. Marketing on a shoestring has become a challenge my team and I enjoy – and a way of doing business. Later I started teaching a class at the local university on marketing on a shoestring, to share my knowledge.
The techniques we learned out of necessity to grow Small Business Trendsare the same kinds of techniques I will be sharing with you in tomorrow’s webinar.
Marketing is a wide topic. To narrow it down, we’re going to focus 80% on three key areas: online marketing; referrals; and public relations. Why these three specific areas? Because they are the lowest-cost forms of marketing, with the highest return on the dollar, for the majority of small businesses.
We will also spend a bit of time on how to hire and manage outside marketing agencies and service providers to help you with your marketing – and still stick within a budget. We will also touch on other areas briefly, such as tradeshows, direct marketing, offline advertising and other forms of marketing.
At the end, I am going to allow 15 minutes for your questions. So if you want to know the return on investment (ROI) for a certain marketing technique, or have detailed questions about the cheapest way to do something, bring them on! My brain will be there to be picked. It is my hope that you will leave the session with at least a couple of ideas and resources to market frugally.
As some of you know, I’ve done about ten webinars for the Verizon Small Business Center (and loved every one of them!). This time we’re using a new (to Verizon) webinar platform, BrightTALK. Be sure to allow a few extra minutes to register ahead of time if you’ve never used BrightTALK before. And of course, the session will be archived if you can’t make it live. With BrightTALK, my webinar will be available for replay in a matter of minutes!
Feel free to post your questions here too (below). And for those who are Tweeting, please use #vzsmb if you’ll “tweet” during my webinar .