Marketing On A Budget For Small Businesses – Part 2

In our previous published article, Marketing on a Budget for Small Businesses, we introduced small business owners to basic, but effective marketing strategies such as leaving an internet footprint, handing out business cards on a daily basis, utilizing social media to target a wider range of clients, and sending brochures to prospective clients.

In this article, we will provide new basic, but effective marketing strategies, as well as elaboration on a few previously mentioned strategies.

1) In utilizing Facebook as a means of marketing, it is important to obtain as many Likes as possible. Remember, when a person Likes business XYZ on Facebook, for example, it is displayed on that person’s page. In essence, this is the case for your business. The more Likes a business page receives, the more your business name will be on others’ Facebook page.

But how does one obtain more Likes? Although it is easy to obtain more Likes, it is also time-consuming. One strategy is to ask friends and family to Like your page. After having them Like your page, ask them to refer 1 or 2 people to your business page and have them Like it. Let’s say you have 50 friends on your personal Facebook page. That will equal 50 new Likes. Having friends and family refer 2 new people to your Facebook page will render an additional 100 new Likes. In total, you will have 150 new likes. Not bad! But that’s still not enough, right?

Another method in which to obtain new Likes on Facebook is to utilize ladders. This method is more time-consuming, but can render thousands of new Likes within a 1-month time frame. A ladder on Facebook is conducted on various Facebook pages. Our favorite page to conduct a ladder is on Silent Tagging Fan Page (community page through Facebook).

Here’s how the ladder works: you must Like Silent Tagging Fan Page. (Note: you must be logged in to Facebook as the admin, not through your business page). Silent Tagging Fan Page will hold several ladders throughout the day. They will post a ladder notice roughly about 30-minutes before the ladder starts. Within the 30-minute time frame you must post Silent Tagging Fan Page as your Facebook status to let others know there will be a ladder on Silent Tagging Fan Page. Note, the more businesses involved in tagging, the more Likes one can obtain. Once Silent Tagging Fan Page places their status as “Tagging Now In Session” or a status of that nature, you must comment under that specific status with (example) @businessnameXYZ and click on the link to your business page. For example, for Eminent Security Force, LLC we will comment @Eminent Security Force, LLC.

At this point, a Facebook link to our business page will appear automatically. We then click on our highlighted Facebook business page and place that as our comment. This comment/link will be utilized by other businesses to visit your page. Rapidly, other businesses will also place their Facebook business page above and below you hence, the term ladder. You must then click on however many other business Facebook pages are posted under the comment section and Like their page. (Note: this will happen very quickly). Once on their page leave a link to your Facebook business page so they can use it to refer back to it and Like. You will notice that your Facebook business page will gain more Likes within a matter of minutes.

On a single session of a 30-minute ladder, we gained 44 new Likes. Imagine how many new Likes you can obtain if you make use of this method every time there was a ladder? Or a few times every day?

There are usually over 100 business owners at any given time liking other pages. The number of other ladder users can vary depending on the time of day and day of the week. These ladders normally run for about 30-minutes, but can range in time. There are some sessions that last 10-15 minutes, and others that last a matter of seconds. If you employ this strategy, please read the rules posted on Silent Tagging Fan Page’s page so you can avoid being banned.

(Hint: ask close friends and family to help you maximize your Likes by tagging more pages as you work together on the same ladder; different computers; same Facebook business page link. In addition, open multiple Facebook tabs on your internet browser to Like even more pages.)

2) Publishing articles through publishing companies is also useful in referring prospective clients back to your website. We are currently utilizing Ezine Articles to publish articles for FREE. You will have to create a free account in order to publish articles. Many people, especially home-based business owners, dislike writing because they are unsure what to write about. Keep in mind that you’re considered an expert in your field, whatever your field may be. With that in mind, write about your field. For example, we recently wrote an article on Emergency Survival Kits, in which we provided readers and prospective clients an itemized list of what should be included in an emergency survival kit. So be creative in what you write about. (Note: EzineArticles will make necessary corrections to your paper for you, so take advantage.)

3) Attend mixers (FREE) and bring marketing material to the mixer. If you bring 20 brochures to the mixer, DO NOT leave the mixer until you’ve distributed all your material. Meet Up is a great resource for finding free mixers near your area. If there are no mixers in your area, create one.

You will have to create a free account with www.meetup.com. These mixers usually vary in time. The last mixer we attended lasted about 2 hours, but you are free to leave whenever you desire. During the two hours, there was time to practice pitching businesses in front of other business owners. The business owners then provided feedback on the pitches. There are other mixers in which they provide a Power Point presentation to benefit your business. This is also a great way to reach out to prospective clients.

4) Aside from attending mixers, attend tradeshows, exhibits, conferences, etc. In attending these, make sure to bring marketing material and DO NOT leave until you’ve exhausted all your marketing material.

5) Ask for referrals from previous clients. Do not be afraid to ask. What is the worst that can happen? Once people have done business with you and are satisfied customers they will be glad to refer other clients to you. Think about how many times you’ve asked a friend for a good restaurant? Or a reputable mechanic? You are more likely to follow a friend’s recommendation, right?

6) Vista Print is one of our favorite places to obtain FREE marketing products as well as discounted products. Use Vista Print to obtain various marketing material. We recommend you try varying your business cards or marketing material to determine which one is more effective. For example, if you use black, red and blue on business cards, make another set of business cards with different colors. Vista Print offers a limited number of FREE business cards. Use them to your advantage!

7) Ask a local newspaper to write an article about your business. Although newspapers are becoming obsolete, as it appears, thanks to the internet, they also have internet articles and blogs in which they can place your information. Remember, you need to reach as many potential clients as you can. Every bit helps.

As stated in our last article, STAY COMMITTED. You’re not going to gain clients and recognition over night. It is going to take time so use your time wisely and capitalize on it.

There is no single marketing strategy that guarantees clients. There are multiple factors you need to take into account. You need to vary your marketing strategies and evaluate them every so often to ensure optimization. We wish you the best of luck.