Marketing without a budget
Marketing is not a luxury, but an essential. The best part is that this can be 100 per cent free! But you need to ask a few questions before taking advantage of the free stuff.
Know what makes you different
What makes your product or service different from that of your competition? Research your competitors. What are they doing? Where are they? Are they missing an opportunity? Does your product or service stand out in comparison? What benefits would potential customers have buying from you rather than from your competition?
Know your customer
What are your target customers expectations? What are their buying cycles? What benefits are they interested in? How do they define value? What influences their purchasing decisions? What price are they willing to pay? Why would they buy from you rather than from your competition?
Get word of mouth referrals
Word of mouth referrals are, by far, the best method of getting new customers - not least because they are free. They are also about trust. As consumers, we are bombarded daily with messages about why we should buy product X or Y to a point where it is difficult to differentiate.
I suggest building a relationship with your customers and then just simply ask them who they think may also benefit from your product or service. It is amazing how people will help out when simply asked. If you do get a referral, a thank you call can do wonders, as can an unexpected discount or freebie the next time that client deals with you.
Event organisers are always on the lookout for great giveaways that fit with their event. Consider donating your product or service to an event if the audience fits with your customer base.
Leon Honour is director of Pittwater Business Limited and joint owner of Limelite Studio in Collaroy. Limelite Studio is a national award winning portrait studio specialising in capturing your story through photographic artworks.