Being a small size business is by no means a disadvantage, in fact it has been somewhat of a trend in the last few years and it offers many opportunities, one of which is your very own freedom; „Freedom with time and freedom with creativity.“ It can however be daunting to think of how you are going to grow your business, mainly because of the lack of time and budget.
DON’T WORRY, WE KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH AND WE HAVE CREATED A LIST OF 10 CREATIVE WAYS THAT HAVE HELPED US AND WE KNOW WILL HELP YOU MARKET YOUR BUSINESS!
Before we get into detail, remember that no practise will help your business grow, if you don’t get the basics right. First of all, research your target audience. You need to know your customer. Think through exactly who your potential customers are. „Where are they? What do they look like? Why should they be interested in buying your product or service? „
Second of all, analyse your competition and define what makes you different from the rest. You might be another fitness studio or another yoga instructor, but what makes you special? Think about your best qualities, whether those are skills, knowledge, personality, network etc.
Finally work out how you are going to get your message and your products to the consumer.
„They won’t buy what you sell if they don’t know about it. So what’s your marketing strategy? Local or national? Word of mouth? Window displays? The internet? There is no right answer, but there is one that is best for your customers and your business.“
01. Personal Networking
Nothing will ever replace that feeling of excitement you get when meeting a new person, wondering what he is all about and whether there is something new and useful to learn from him.
People think that emails, texts and social media are all the networking you need, but there is so much you can take from them. Sure, online communication is a great tool for making connections and growing your contacts list, but picking up the phone and arranging a coffee with a potential client, shows real initiative and confidence in what you do.
A simple way to keep up with your personal networking is to start your day by following up on any previous meet-ups, any leads, calls to current and prospective clients and making sure you are keeping regular updates with your ‘good connections’; people who know people who know people.
Being friends with influential bloggers is also a huge plus when it comes to growing your business. There are plenty of bloggers out there sharing valuable and original content on a daily basis. This content can include anything, from articles, to video tutorials, to podcasts, reviews etc. Your brand needs to be featured in their blog content, ideally with a link that takes them back to your website or social media.
Don’t be too hasty though! Make sure you do your research before you decide which bloggers to approach. Define your target audience, wether that is fitness freaks or mind & body lovers. Be niche but remember that your potential clients could be hiding in other types of content related to fitness. Organic, eco-friendly, nutritious, outdoorsy; these are some of the topics your clients will be looking for, and you want to be there when they discover them.
Don’t forget to follow up when you meet new people. This is really important, you don’t always know if they will be your clients but referrals and word of mouth is still an actual thing and making a good impression will stay with your forever. Try to contact them every once in a while, share an advice or a recommendation, show them that you care and slowly start to grow your relationship with them.
Creative Bloom – 100 inspiring ideas to market your business
02. Social Media
We know you heard this over and over again, but social media is a hundred percent your friend. They are great tools for creating engaging content and showcasing your company’s vision, character and services.
Facebook’s advertising tool is great, especially if you are targeting specific demographics. You can select the region, gender, age and even relationship status of people you’d like to target and create a bespoke campaign just for them. What’s more, you can measure and evaluate your investment, so you know what does and doesn’t work for next time.
Creative Bloom – 100 inspiring ideas to market your business
In addition, you can also target specific Facebook groups, based on your target audience, and promote your services by giving away free classes and other incentives. You can also promote your products through Facebook groups where members agree to try your product for free or a discounted price in exchange for an honest review. Entrepreneur – 8 Powerful Ways to Market Your Business on a Limited Budget
Having a website is one thing, but keeping it up to date, content wise and design wise is another thing. Don’t just create a website and leave it at the mercy of time. Try updating its content once a week, with any news or events you attended, any workshops you organised or any useful articles and videos you posted. This will increase your chances of being found on Search Engine Consoles (Google search) and will let your potential clients know that you are alive and you are active.
Design is another element that you need to make sure you keep an eye for. Your website doesn’t need to look like a work of art, but make it easy for your clients to navigate around it. Clearly indicate where each section is and what it contains. Avoid the clutter, keep it simple, clean and to the point.
If content is king then video is definitely its trusted royal poodle! People love watching entertaining and useful videos so try making a start into the classic ’how to’ tutorials. Provide useful information that will both educate your audience on matters they actually care and also entertain them and keep them wanting more.
Another type of videos is the ‘backstage type’. Give them a taste of your daily routine, workspace and team. We are curious beings and we love learning things that relate to our lives.
Videos are essential for creating a more engaging experience and building trust between you and your clients. It’s also a way to reach out to your clients and show them what you are all about. Don’t be afraid to create your own videos using your smartphone or camera, they do not need to be in HD quality, but make sure you are creating honest and original content.
Blogs are very much a thing and you will be surprised by how many benefits they can provide to your business. First and foremost, blogs are a free way to create regular content that can increase your website traffic, by using the right keywords for maximising your SEO (check out our latest article ‘Find those golden keywords that will get you to the top of your SEO game’)
Blogs are also a great way to show off your knowledge and expertise thus getting you one step closer to building ‘trust’ with your clients.
It’s important to keep you blogs regularly updated. This will increase your credibility as a brand. Decide early on how often you can post an article and stick to it. People will eventually know that you post for example every Thursday, and they will be looking for your content.
Another important factor is the content of your blog. Make sure you identify your clients needs and write article that they can relate to.
Finally always and always include a Call to Action (CTA). This means that at the end of an article you need to encourage your clients to perform a specific action. For example encourage them to share it on their social media, subscribe to your mailing list, or simply comment below with their thoughts.
Make the most of your blog by publishing it on other fitness blogs or fitness magazines. It’s a great way to get additional exposure and make sure you include information about yourself and the brand. People should be able to get an idea of who you are and what services you provide before they decide to visit your website. Creative Bloom – 100 inspiring ideas to market your business
06. Feedbacks & Reviews
Your existing customers are your no.1 referral system so don’t be afraid to ask them for their feedback and why the hired you in the first place. They have chosen you from a number of other competitors in the same field so you are already their favourite choice. Be brave and ask them how you can improve your services or if you should be offering something more. You will get a great insight into what your target customer is looking for and trust me this is going to prove more valuable with time.
Competition is fierce out there and you need to keep up so listen to their feedback and make sure you create a system where you can process feedback and implement it where possible.
Don’t be afraid to chat to existing customers to ask them why they hired you. And take the opportunity to ask them if you could be doing anything more to improve your services to them.
There are several online survey softwares, like SurveyMonkey, that can help you create quick and easy questionnaires. Don’t forget to offer an incentive to your customers though, a discount or a free class will get you much more results especially If you are asking for extensive feedback that will take much of their time. And it goes without saying that you need to translate that feedback into actionable points for your marketing strategy. Creative Bloom – 100 inspiring ideas to market your business
Use something like SurveyMonkey to create a survey for your customers and encourage participation by giving something away. Once you’ve collected the results, you can turn your research into a newsworthy press release or you can put the data to good old marketing use and improve your business offering overall. Creative Bloom – 100 inspiring ideas to market your business
A great way to attract more clients is to collaborate with other businesses. It makes total sense! If you are a yoga instructor, why not approach a fitness fashion brand and exchange services? You can promote their brand on your website, social media or by wearing their products in your classes and vice versa. This way you save money and you get free exposure.
Another example is to exchange customer lists and offer to pay the business a commission for every sale you make. Entrepreneur – 8 Powerful Ways to Market Your Business on a Limited Budget
This is a great way to get some exposure, especially for smaller businesses who have limited marketing budget and that are still trying to built their clientele. So reach out and find brands that are directly or indirectly related to yours. Examples of such businesses are fitness retailers, nutritionists, organic food brands, dance, sports studios and wellness centres.
08. Free Workshops, Webinars and Seminars
People love free stuff. This is one rule that is probably never going to change, so give them an initiative to get to know you.
One way you can do this is by publishing ‘short’ tutorials and workshops at a discount rate. Give your potential clients a ‘taste’ of what are the benefits of choosing you.
You can also take advantage of yearly occasions and celebrations to give away discounts and coupons. ‘New Years Resolution Offer’ or ‘Pre Summer Promo’. This really shows that you understand your clients needs, so be creative and try things out to see what works best for your business.
Consider creating a ‚mini‘ version of your product or service at a discounted rate. This will entice new or existing customers to part with their cash and might even lead to long-term business relationships. Creative Bloom – 100 inspiring ideas to market your business
The whole „pay it forward‘ ethos means you should be willing to give away some of your expertise for free as it could lead to paid work in future.“ It might feel weird in the beginning, but think of it as an investment. It will help you gain more clients on the long run and it will also portray you as a confident brand that really cares about its clients and is happy to help them cost free!
09. Go local
Your community really is your family and it will try to promote you. So try to build relationships with local businesses that are related to your field or your clients.
Universities usually have great links with businesses and are always pro-educating students, especially when it comes to fitness. Entrepreneur – 8 Powerful Ways to Market Your Business on a Limited Budget
Try to keep an open mind as you never know who you can meet and what opportunities can arise.
Sports are very much related to your industry so try sponsoring a local team. Give away some merchandising or simply advertise your website.
Charities are also a great way to show your support for your community and get involved with more sensitive subjects, like poverty, illness etc. This really shows a more human aspect of your brand that will most definitely create a positive image for your brand.
10. Family & Friends
Finally your family and friends are great ambassadors for your brand. Give them your business cards and any merchandise you might have created; Water bottles, t-shirts, yoga matts, anything that has your name and logo on there and ask them to wear them and share them. Chances are they will promote you in the best way they can because they believe in you and that means they believe in your brand
Marketing your business on a low budget is completely possible in this day and age. You just have to utilise all your resources and remember to be creative. Don’t try to invent something new, instead find what works for your business and execute them at the best of your abilities.
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