Business Marketing Social Media Marketing

8 Ways to Market Your Small Business on a Shoestring Budget

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When you have a small business, you need to stand out from the rest of the crowd.   Not everyone has a budget that allows them to compete with larger players in the space, so it’s necessary to roll up your sleeves and start getting creative with your marketing efforts.  There are many types of advertisements that you can run in today’s ever-expanding digital universe, so it’s important to find the ones that bring back the best return on investment and continue to plug away at them.  Having an online presence all starts with getting your website hosted with one of the various hosting companies that will ensure your domain name has solid uptime, allowing people to visit the site and browse the pages in a rapid manner.  After that, there are many social media endeavors that can be carried out to drive targeted traffic to the site and hopefully create revenues for your small business.  

In addition to having a solid online presence and social media, there are many other things you can do as a small business owner to help catapult yourself ahead of your competition.  

1. Perfect Your Elevator Pitch 

An elevator pitch is something that needs to be perfected because like they say, you only get one chance to make a first impression. You need to clearly communicate all unique aspects of your business and have this memorized, just like you would your social security number. You will then be able to use it in any situation where someone asks you to share details about your company. It should be professional-enough so that you might use it for investment opportunities but easy to understand as well, as you might be using it with potential customers that you meet in social settings.

A well-planned pitch is crucial in the day and age when people want to hear a feel good story. If you are not able to find a unique perspective on your business, you can even consider hiring a consultant to write the pitch for you. In most cases, it should be based on a few key components of your core business model.

2. Create a Network

Creating a network takes dedication. Some businesses fail to achieve this and their chances of getting off the ground are considerably reduced. It is also worth noting that you can see improved results when it comes to potential customers by having a network of people who believe in you enough to recommend your services to others.  

Instead of marketing to a massive number of people, target people who are really interested in your products. At the same time, they are much more likely to be repeat customers, which is really what can be the deciding factor that will either make, or break, a business. When you have long time, loyal customers, they start to do marketing and public relations for you when they leave reviews online, share their experience with others, and mention your company in passing.

3. Find Partnerships

Partnerships have exploded in the days of social media. But not all partnerships are the same. This is where it is important to find the right products to use in the partnership and even the right people for the process. If your business is selling financial packages, you would need collaborations with people who have a background in finance and who already have a following or a network in this category. This can be beneficial for both parties and it is one of the few solutions you can apply with immediate success.

4. Event Marketing 

Events are one of the best ways to promote your business. People remember faces much more than company names and this is where you can represent your own business. You can leverage this to your advantage by making a good impression. But remember, it is not all about your business at these events and you will need to learn to listen to other businesses as well. Making this connection is crucial as you can learn and share your own experience at the same time. 

5. Buzz Marketing

Buzz marketing is one of the most important techniques applied by large companies. At the same time, you will also need to create your own type of buzz. This can mean creating a product that is either unique or even downright zany. One such case is with products which have multiple uses. Creating a buzz is not that complicated with the help of social media. This is where you have the ability to even pay for advertising and start the buzz early.   Finding influencers is a rather new way people are getting their brand out there to the masses.  

6. Ask for Referrals

Referrals can come in different forms. If you run an online store, you can ask for reviews. If you sell a book, you can also solicit reviews. If you offer certain services, you can ask your clients if they can recommend other clients as well. Reward them if they do so! There are many ways to do this and you can use emails, text messages and even cold calls. 

7. Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs can be difficult to offer when you are a small business working with small margins. But the truth is that your loyal customers are always welcome and they are the most valuable type of customer. It is often worth offering a loyalty program to these customers to keep them as long as possible. 

Loyalty programs can be applied to all businesses. Most online businesses offer discounts; apps can offer lower subscription fees etc. When you incentivize people to return to do business with you, you’ll find that there is a much larger rate of stickiness with your overall customer base.

8. Giveaways and Contests

One of the best ways to engage your customers is to offer a contest.   Something as simple as guessing the score in the big sporting event on your Facebook page can go a long way towards getting someone to return to your page. 

About the author


Dirk Kirsch

Growing up I was big into sports. Everything and anything was my philosophy back then. I am convinced the team sports experiences were the main reason for my success in business today. Today I run a large marketing agency focused on helping small businesses excel in their local markets.