You’ve probably heard of or even seen the show, Design on a Dime from HGTV. Well, I’ve put my own twist on the name and created “Marketing on a Dime”. Through the years in my past positions, I was always forced to think outside the box for the newest, greatest, and most clever marketing methods. The reason was that many times the companies and businesses I was working for didn’t have the funds for a full blown marketing and advertising budget, we were essentially, marketing on a dime. I have always believed in investing time and money in what works, for the least amount of money, and for the highest return. This makes many of my methods unique and sometimes free.
Some will argue that cold calling is in effective. I tend to disagree- heavily. Cold calling for me, whether on the phone or in person, has always been highly effective. Why and how? Your method, your voice, your attitude, and knowledge all play a huge role in your success. I have perfected that method throughout my professional career and I never act like a sales person on the call. I don’t push a sale at all, and believe it or not about 50% of the time, even if I leave a voicemail for a prospect with whom I’ve never talked with before, I usually get a phone call back. Here’s how it works. I take the time to research and know my target market before I ever pick of the phone. I want to ensure that I am targeting the right clients and that my chance for success is high right out of the gate. I make that list, find the right person, and then make the call. I say something like this although I never work from a script, as it sounds fake. “Hi ______, this is Tina from ___________ and I just wanted to take the time today and introduce myself and to see if we might be a good match in working together. My company provides ___________, and I’d appreciate the opportunity to discuss how we can help you with _______. If you’d be so kind to give me a ring back, I would greatly appreciate it. My number is ______________. I look forward to hearing from you and have a great day.” Play with different tactics and get comfortable, you’ll know once you get it right, as they’ll start listening and calling back. Be prepared for that moment, and know how to roll with it beyond that.
My overall favorite method of marketing on a dime is social media. There is no better return on investment or better marketing on a dime opportunity than this. I find that many small to mid-size businesses are afraid to get involved, and let me tell you, you’re missing out. Social media works no matter who you are or what you do. It’s for everyone. Some clients tell me that they don’t think social media is for them, yes it is! Why wouldn’t you want to engage and connect with your target market for FREE?? Social media is huge and it’s huge because it works, it’s effective, and as the old saying goes, the proof is in the pudding.
Perhaps you’re a restaurant and you offer a daily or weekly special, you could tweet this on Twitter, post it on Facebook, and take a photo and post to Pinterest or Instrgram. Maybe you’re a Carwash, keep your customers happy by tweeting when the car wash is down for service so they don’t waste their time driving across town and find out it’s out of order, update them with new services, information, etc. Maybe you’re a clothing boutique or consignment store, then post new product lines or totally hip furniture that just came in. Maybe you’re a car dealer, you can post service deals, or the new Chevy Camaro that just arrived this morning so that people are lining up to be the first one to test drive it. Good promotions are also amazing for use in social media, and I urge you to try it. I’ll have another blog post on promotions later with tips on how to create an effective promotion.
The most important thing with any email marketing campaign is to give your customer or prospect the information they want. They get hundreds of emails a day and you don’t want to be the one that ends up in the trash, so make your message clear, precise, and to the point. Here’s a few tips:
1.) Never send an email addressed To Whom it May Concern. Always address the person by first name or Mr./Mrs. and their last name.
2.) Have an attractive subject line that is relevant to the prospect.
3.) Start your first sentence off with why you are contacting them with a possible benefit to the prospect.
4.) What can you do or what can you offer the prospect. Such as, I help businesses just like yours by__________, make that leading to the possible benefit.
5.) Tell the prospect that you’d appreciate the opportunity of working together, and by replying to the email or contacting you, you can quickly evaluate if you’re a good match in working together.
6.) Always have your name, title, and contact information at the end of the email.
7.) You may also try telling prospects in the email that you don’t believe in spamming or sending emails to people who don’t want them and that you value their time. If they would take the time to respond with or without interest it would be greatly appreciated. I find that this is effective, becuase they appreciate the honesty.
8.) If you don’t get a response within one-two weeks then follow up and ensure that your follow up email is also set up correctly.
Let’s not forget that newsletters are an excellent way of marketing and sometimes this is where many business fail. Your newsletter shouldn’t be all about you, nor should social media marketing. There are times where you want to showcase new products and information about your business, but focus on what your customers and prospects need or want to know. What issues do they face on a regular basis, what would be helpful to them? Can you solve a problem? I use my newsletters to provide educational information. I’ll include things and information that aren’t even related to the services I provide, why? Because I care about my customers and I care about helping them in everything related to running their business. I don’t sell phone services or customer relation management software, but I discuss and review them in my newsletter because I know my customers need solutions when it comes to these issues. Be seen as a leader in your industry or your niche.
Whitepapers, case studies, and professionally crafted slideshows and presentations should not be overlooked. I find that writing whitepapers that focus directly on your customers or prospects problems and explaining a solution is extremely effective. You can provide links to these on your website, in newsletters, blogs, emails, etc. Slideshare is a terrific program to use for promoting your business online. Again, you can link these to your website, etc. Case studies are extremely effective becuase they explain to a prospect specifically what you’ve already done for a customer and how or why it worked.
There will be an entirely separate blog post in the near future on inbound marketing and why I am such a firm believer in it, but for now we’ll just touch on the subject. In the past I thought that pay per click advertising was highly effective, and don’t get me wrong at times it can be, however I believe much more firmly in inbound marketing.
Here’s why: I was spending about $300-$600 per week in PPC advertising, but I wasn’t getting any click throughs, leads or conversions. I was excited that I was getting about 36,000 impressions per month which I thought was absolutely terrific. That meant 36,000 people per month were seeing our ad but no one was taking action. I had no return on investment and I was just literally throwing money in the trash. The object with any advertising or marketing campaign is to achieve conversion. What is conversion? It’s successfully getting visitors to convert to a lead or customer once they visit or read your information. With ppc or any other form of marketing and advertising, for the most part you’re trying to find and farm new prospects. With inbound marketing it allows your clients to find or farm you when they want you, thus making a stronger lead for you, and the chance at higher conversion rates. Your catching your prospects at the exact point in time they are seeking you. And it works! I would rather spend my money on inbound marketing any day of the week versus anything else. If you aren’t familiar with inbound marketing, I suggest that you visit www.hubspot.com for more information.
Video is proof of who you are and what you do, and it shows professionalism. Make a video of your factory operating, of your crew building a home. This can show prospects your dedication to safety first hand, something they can’t see in a brochure or in text. Maybe showcase a video of the inside of your store allowing prospects to see the quality of products you offer and how much product you actually have on the shelves. Create a video of that new Chevy Camaro, the prospect can see the actual glitter in the sun of the metallic paint, or maybe the sweet 20” aftermarket rims. I would also recommend having video testimonials from satisfied clients, interviews with staff members, and more.
As you can see the list get’s extensive and I could keep going but the blog article is getting long here and I don’t want to give you too much information that will make your head hurt. If you have ideas that have worked for you, I would love to hear them. Send me a message in the contact form and perhaps I’ll write a feature blog mentioning you and what your success was.
Here’s to your success!
Miss Executive, Tina Holtz