5 Ways to market you or your business without breaking your bank
Written by: Tim Ulidan | Co-founder of Vidi Studios
First, let me get some definitions out of the way. What do I mean when I say market?
Marketing: the methods used by a business or entrepreneur to attract more customers.
Before you roll your eyes and say: “another click bait content”. I say this to you: the ways covered here are easily usable and implementable. I will not write about email marketing, telemarketing, television marketing, video marketing… you get the point.
What I hope you will get from this is some new insight or perspective once you get back to building your business.
As a side note, you can choose to use one, two or all of them for your business. The ways discussed here are independent of one another, although some are closely related.
Without further ado, the five ways to market your business are:
“Why bother about the winter?” said the Grasshopper, “we have got plenty of food at present.”
-Taken from The Ant and the Grasshopper, by Aesop
If you haven’t read the fable above, let me spoil it for you; The grasshopper died.
I hear this a lot.
“Why invest?” | “Why bother having a plan?” | “Why bother preparing?”
Preparation can mean success or failure for your business.
From my experience, it is difficult to prepare for something that is not specific enough or clear enough. It is your job to find out the best course of action for your business. If I remember correctly, it was Peter Drucker who mentioned the three major challenges for businesses: Change, Complexity, Competition
Find out which of these three challenges is most relevant to you and craft a strategic plan based on that knowledge.
Preparation can help mitigate the threats that strike at your business, even when you least expect them. All it takes is pen and paper.
- Look at the current technological trends and adapt accordingly
- Build a brand versus being a follower
- Think like a military commander
“Physical Exercise Prevents Stress-Induced Activation of Granule Neurons and Enhances Local Inhibitory Mechanisms in the Dentate Gyrus”
-Title of a study in Journal of Neuroscience
I don’t know about you, but my brain pressed the snooze button after “Granule”. A simpler title, my version, sounds like this: Exercise helps brain against stress.
How simplifying is useful for your business:
No sleeping person has ever bought anything from me.
Ask yourself one question: “Does my audience get what I am saying?” If not, then there is much work to be done. In the book, Made to Stick, a formula for simplification was:
Simple= Core(idea) + Compact(message)
The bracketed words were added by me. I do know that not all messages need to be simplified, and certain standards met. It is your choice on which messages you want to be simplified.
In my opinion, simplifying is key in communication especially if you know your target audience. Once again, this only takes pen and paper at first.
- Simplify does not mean water down
- Take your time when trying to shorten a message
- Take walks to clear your mind
One day I felt a vibration in my pocket, I accepted the call and hear:
For privacy, I’ve taken the liberty of changing the caller’s name.
Caller: Hello sir, how are you doing today?
Me: I’m good
Caller: My name is Nems and I am calling on behalf of TD insurance
Me: …(I know where this is going)…. OK .. (Find an excuse HURRY!)
**Hangs up because excuses take too much effort**
Long story short, Nems attempts to use a scripted sales spiel on me while saying I absolutely needed insurance.
Have you ever had telemarketers call you before? What did you feel? I know not all telemarketers are like that, but I usually just get irritated whenever one calls. I have to be honest with you, I sometimes want to take all of my money away from TD and dump it at a competitor’s place just because of that one phone call.
Connecting with your customer appropriately can make or break a sale.
I’m sure that telemarketer who called me wanted to connect. The problem is the connecting part, sometimes the whole well gets poisoned because of very few incidents.
Try to use pull tactics, when it comes to your communication, instead of push. Connecting the right way can help you attract recurring customers. The connecting part starts with you first, and then your team later.
- Listen in an active way
- Try to rephrase and clarify with your interlocutor eg. “If I get it correctly, what you meant was ….”
- Always provide an exit strategy eg. “Did I catch you at a bad time?” or “Hi, my name is so and so. I’d like to talk to you about stuff do you have a minute?”
- Empathize, imagine if you were the one on the other side of the conversation
4.) Be genuine
Here’s another story of mine that happened at the end of 2016. Again I’ve changed the name of the person to protect their privacy.
Me: Hey Zelk, have you tried the shoulder press exercise?
Me: That combined with a good dumbbell weight is helpful to gain strength.
Zelk: I might come over sometime and workout at your basement.
Me: Bang on! I look forward to that.
It is now May of 2017 and Zelk has never come to exercise with me. I am sure you know someone like Zelk. Someone who just says something for the sake of saying something.
What did it make you feel when someone didn’t follow through? For me, I feel salty when I remember AND it sticks to my memory like glue.
Being genuine helps you build something as priceless as reputation.
Genuineness encompasses the full length and breadth of your company. It means all of your staff members must also be genuine. It also means being truly genuine because integrity is a very popular word nowadays.
People buy more from those they know, like and trust. Being genuine helps build that trust. Start with an ideal and then work from there.
- Mean what you say and say what you mean
- Keep a daily planner and be very rigorous with it
- Do not promise what you can not deliver
Fill in the blank. “I will start a business if I __________.”
– Common excuses 2017
If you have read this far, I congratulate you. This section will be the shortest of the five. The excuse I gave way back in the day was: ” I will start a business if I knew how.” Fast forward that to now (May 2017) and I am still struggling with the “how” part.
How can action be useful for your business?
Nothing happens when you don’t move.
If you own a business, you probably know that it is very difficult. What I can tell you with certainty; however, is that moving and making mistakes changes you in a fundamental way. Thus far, I have gotten better at speaking, organizing and task managing since starting business and it is likely that I will gain new skills in the near future.
Doing something will let people know of you and your business, it’s scary at first but you will get used to it with time. Big actions can be divided into smaller moves, and those small moves are what matters.
- Start small
- Write down what happens everyday with relation to business
- Evaluate what happens in your business consistently
I hope you have learned something from this, and if I do meet you in person I would be glad to help your business. I think there is something you can use here, whether you are a solopreneur, or a team of one hundred.