Running a small business out of your home or personal office can be both an exciting and stressful venture. For many, the joys of being your own boss far outweigh any fear associated with managing the ins and outs of a business. For others, however, starting a business from scratch, especially on a limited budget, can seem like a difficult feat.
Regardless of any stress or uncertainty you may feel about running a business, keep in mind that you’ve already gotten further in the process than many people do by taking the first step. The good news is that there are many ways you can begin marketing your business on a strict budget.
Here are some old-school marketing methods that don’t break the bank and are still an effective way of getting your name out there.
Direct Mail Marketing Campaigns
Navigating all the options available to advertise your business online can be intimidating. Unfortunately, the increasingly competitive digital landscape has also made it very expensive to launch online advertising campaigns. However, direct mail marketing is still an effective way to share your message with prospective customers, and it’s a much more affordable solution.
While some may reason that direct mail is too old school to be effective, it’s important to know that direct mail campaigns are almost 200% more likely to receive a response than email campaigns. Direct mail also gives you the ability to be much more creative and colorful in your campaigns, helping you to differentiate yourself from your competition.
Colorful Branding Collateral
Consider the psychological effects of the use of color in logo creation, imagery, and branding collateral. Most of us are visually responsive — and science backs up this claim. In fact, studies show that we can process visuals up to 60,000 times faster than the written word. When marketing a business, this is a statistic you should always have in mind.
Associating your brand with colorful imagery, fonts, and logos is a great way to get the immediate attention you want for your startup business. When it comes to branding your message, there are many ways you can do this, such as including promotional gel pens with your business information and logos attached to them. This helps to add a personality to your brand and is a great way to spread the word about your products and services.
Adding to the importance of visual recognition in marketing, infographics are a powerful marketing tool that not only attract a wider audience but also make it easier to digest important information. Infographics are colorful, condensed versions of potentially lengthy topics that outline the key message and are fun to engage with.
New brands can use infographics to describe their products and services, how the company was started, its core values, and pricing. The great thing about infographics is that they’re easily shared through social media platforms, emails, and direct mail campaigns. When posted online, they can also be a great tool to help increase website traffic through referral links and keyword tagging.
Establishing Your Personal Brand
Of course, a critical step to marketing your business is creating an online presence — the 1-Page Marketing Plan is a good place to start. The process of creating a meaningful presence as a brand involves much more than creating a company website and listing your products and services. Establishing yourself will add credibility to your business. It has become an essential aspect of marketing that often gets forgotten about.
There’s a saying: “People buy from people.” In many cases, buyers often remember the experience they have when purchasing products rather than the product itself. This means that as important as it is to offer quality products, you also need to portray that same quality in your customer service. This is done by establishing yourself as an authority in your niche and connecting with your audience well before they’re on your website trying to purchase a product.
Blogging is a great way to do this. Creating authoritative content on your company’s blog will help you build strong relationships with your audience. There is a certain vulnerability about company blogs that draws readers to them.
Blogging gives organizations the ability to establish a personal “voice” with their customers, building authenticity and creating branding statements that differentiate themselves from their competitors. Taking the time to engage with your current prospective clients will help to establish your credibility and pay dividends down the road as you make larger investments in your marketing campaigns.
Having a smaller budget and being frugal with your spending shouldn’t hold you back from developing a solid business foundation that produces results. By following some of these old-school but effective marketing techniques, you’ll be able to establish a thriving brand that you’re proud of and produces great results.
Dan Matthews is a freelance writer with a penchant for financial wisdom and solid research. You can find him on Twitter @danielmatthews0 and LinkedIn.
Michael launched Wealth of Geeks to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.