How do I market my business with no budget?
‘I am lost with all the different avenues to promote yourself, and I’m never sure which are best for gaining new clients. I don’t have the budget for trial and error, or the budget to pay an expert along with the marketing costs. I do the odd boosted post on Instagram and Facebook, but mostly just get some new likes or followers from this. I am happy to spend some money on marketing (though, a relatively small amount currently), but I’m not sure where to start – whether paying for Google ads, Facebook ads, local magazines, or something else. Do you have any advice for those like me, who would like to reach more audience but don’t have thousands to spend on expert advice and marketing budgets?’
5 tips for promoting yourself and your business
1. Define your audience
Before diving into marketing tactics, clearly understand your target audience. Who are your ideal clients? Knowing your audience will help you tailor your marketing efforts effectively. Consider: the demographic you’re targeting, where they live, what they might do for work, what hobbies they may have, how they communicate, and where they spend their time online (including specific platforms and social media channels).
2. Leverage social media
If you determine that your ideal audience uses Instagram and Facebook frequently to communicate, then continue with your boosted posts but be strategic about it. Instead of promoting posts randomly, create a content calendar and plan your boosted posts at the right time of day when you know your audience is most active. Marketing is a slow and strategic plan – no quick wins. Be patient.
If you notice that your ideal audience appears to be spending time elsewhere, such as TikTok or LinkedIn, start exploring those platforms and think about how you may be able to target your audience there.
3. Content marketing
Create valuable content that addresses the needs and interests of your target audience. Talk about how your business will solve people’s problems. Talk about their pain points, and then talk about how you can solve this.
Personal touches, such as introducing yourself or sharing your experiences, can help to build the relationship between you and your audience, too.
4. Email marketing
Collect email addresses and send out regular newsletters with updates on your latest work projects.
Many marketing experts consider email marketing to be more effective than social media marketing – and it generally offers a higher conversion rate. This is due to a number of reasons. Namely: your marketing lands straight in somebody’s inbox (whereas you have little say over how social media algorithms distrubute your content) – which they likely check multiple times a day. It’s an excellent way to stay connected with your audience, keep them updated on your business and direct them to your website and services.
5. Google My Business
Ensure that your business is listed and optimised on Google My Business. This will help you appear in local search results and on Google Maps, making it easier for potential clients to find you.
If you enjoyed reading this blog post, read how to negotiate a higher fee as a self-employed creative and check out my 5 tips for using social media to grow your creative business.
Image: Jemma Watts