12 Steps to Improve Your Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

January 15, 2009 at 10:10 am 1 comment

During a recession, many businesses make a fatal mistake by cutting back on marketing to save money.  Big mistake!  Without proper marketing, you don’t stand a chance of surviving.  Sound harsh?  It is.  But there are many ways you can market on a shoestring budget.

To make sure we’re on the same page, let’s define marketing.  You’ve read the text book descriptions.  But marketing covers a wide scope and there are a lot of misconceptions.  It’s often stereotyped as some of its smaller components including advertising, sales materials, branding or promotions.  Now we throw online and offline into the mix.

In my 14 years in marketing, the best definition I’ve found is from Duct Tape Marketing, by John Jantsch.  John says marketing is “Getting people who have a specific need or problem to know, like and trust you.”  Simple.  Powerful.  True.  How do you get your target market to know who you are, like you and trust you enough to buy from you?  Do they know why you are different?  Do your customers feel great about dealing with you and send you referrals?

No matter what industry you’re in, or the products or services you sell, you market yourself every day.  Some ways you consciously think about, plan and execute, others you do without even realizing. 


1.  Step back and look at your business.  What are you doing to get your target market to know, like and trust you?  What messages are you sending?  Consider surveying your clients or having a third party analyze your business.

 2. Fix your service.  No matter how good you are, you can tweak things and make your customers feel better about choosing to do business with you.  Happy customers send referrals!

 3. Let them know why you’re different.  Create your 7 second elevator pitch.

 4. Critique your website:  Have someone else do this, they’ll see what you don’t.  How does it look, is the information useful, how easy it is to navigate? 

 5. Google yourself.  Are you on the first page?  If not, you don’t exist.  People don’t use the phone book, they Google.  Contact a good marketing professional to get “Googlicious.”

6. Join the social networking craze.  LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are changing the business world.  They’re free tools to help you build relationships. 

7. Send an Email newsletter:  Consider a good email marketing program like Constant Contact.  For about $20 a month you can send out professional newsletter, promotions and surveys to your list.  

8. Dial for Dollars.  Make 5 phone calls each day. 

9. Polish your email signature and voicemail message.  They’re free, frequent marketing messages.

10. Do you look good in print?  Make sure your sales materials represent you well.  They speak for you when you’re not around.

11. Wear a name tag.  Scott Ginsberg has proven how effective being more approachable is.

12. Don’t be a cave dweller.  Get out and network.  It’s cost-effective and opens new doors.


Entry filed under: Marketing Plan. Tags: , , , , , .

Fix your service for higher profits Social Media Breakfast in Toledo, OH

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Rachael  |  January 15, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Thanks for the information…I bookmarked your site, and I appreciate your time and effort to make your blog a success!


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