We all know that starting a small business can be extremely challenging.
It seems like every little detail is a major struggle, and each one demands your full attention.
Although, one of the most important parts of starting a small business is marketing.
The reasons for this are simple.
The biggest problem you’ll face as a small business owner is finding customers.
Without customers, you won’t make a single cent.
Pretty simple, right?
Well, the solution to that problem is marketing.
But this is where it gets a little tricky.
Because you’re starting a small business, you’re probably not going to have the budget to start massive marketing campaigns that cost six figures or more.
So what are your options?
The truth is that there are plenty of ways to market your business on a budget.
Some of these methods are actually pretty genius, and they can even be more effective than big budget marketing campaigns.
When it comes to generating financial profits online, one of the best things that you can do is obtain some guidance – usually in the form of mentorship and/or coaching – to get you started right.
For me, that guidance came through what is currently our coaching program in local lead generation.
See, in 2014, I wasn’t in the best of circumstances due to a laughable salary of $35k coming out of the dead-end corporate job that I was laboring through.
It wasn’t helping that I was barely scraping by to pay for a lame apartment that might as well be condemned since the landlord refused to turn the heat on or repair anything on work orders.
I don’t know if any readers of this blog can relate to any of this, but I was seriously behaving like an internet scavenger – hungry for anything that could provide just a little extra income online.
You see, this coaching program had taught me what I could do in my after work, spare time in order to start building a passive income that can build into a monthly salary…
What I didn’t seem to realize in the beginning was how successful I could become.
For example, I was able to…
• Build and rank lead gen sites immediately to position myself for massive profits
• Establish a passive $10,000.00 per month in income (within a year’s time)
• Quit my 9 to 5 (who wasn’t going to give me a raise anyway)
• Stop walking one way in freezing temperatures, and thick snow on work commutes in downtown Detroit’s winter seasons
• Eventually, establish multiple lead gen sites that now deliver over $45,000 per month
That’s right; since 2015, I have been successful in my ability to dodge ever having an employer to answer to.
This didn’t happen overnight, but I can assure it’s because of lead generation for local businesses.
That first year in business taught me a lot of things about operating at a profitable margin online.
To illustrate, here’s a sample of one of my lead gen sites which consistently, and predictably, rakes in a couple grand — $2k per month, to be exact – and it’s been doing that for over half of a decade now:
What you’ve just seen is a lead gen site that gets noticed in its local market – being Grand Rapids, MI, USA – above all other competitors in the marketplace, thereby funneling the vast majority of customers to one service provider.
If you learned how to do that, do you think you could also stand to take a portion of a local company’s marketing budget each month, especially when you’re continuing to make them more money thru bringing them more buyers?
That’s the ultimate power of lead generation, leveraging FREE TRAFFIC online.
Since it operates on AutoPilot, such a concept also delivers on time freedom as well as the financial side of operating an internet-based business.
CLICK HERE if you think this is something exciting, and you’d like to get a step-by-step walk-through on what I personally did to build this business and how you can do the same.
When it comes to overall content marketing, it’s all about using your imagination.
But hey, we get it.
Sometimes you need a little inspiration.
That’s why we’ve come up with 20 Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses.
At least one of these ideas is sure to be effective for your unique needs.
And who knows, they might spark your imagination, and give you an idea of something even better!
- First: Go Crazy With Those Hashtags
- Second: Start A Blog
- Third: Social Media Contests
- Fourth: Boost Your Social Media Presence
- Fifth: Get Your Email Game Up
- Sixth: Video Marketing
- Seventh: Industry Events
- Eighth: Visual Marketing
- Ninth: Content Marketing
- Tenth: Cross Promote On Social Media
- Eleventh: Start-Up Some Industry Partnerships
- Twelfth: Explore Social Media Engagements
- Thirteenth: Tag Your Social Media Posts
- Fourteenth: Host A Class or Special Event
- Fifteenth: Start Up a Webinar
- Sixteenth: Connect with The Best Influencers
- Seventeenth: Collect Business Cards and Do a Giveaway
- Eighteenth: Create an Awesome Customer Referral Program
- Nineteenth: Guerilla Marketing
- Twentieth: Word of Mouth
- Local Lead Generation Credited as Most Reliable Digital Marketing in 2019
Every teenager these days know this as basic knowledge.
When it comes to social media, it’s all about those hashtags.
If you don’t have the luxury of hiring a social media specialist, then it’s up to you to maximize your use of hashtags.
Simply put, you need to use as many hashtags as possible when posting to your business social media.
Now, we’re not saying that you should simply put as many random hashtags as possible on your posts.
Instead, you should load up your posts with as many relevant hashtags as possible.
For example, if you’re selling kitchen utensils, you could use #vegan, #kitchen, #gadgets, #chef… the list goes on.
The more you can think of, the better.
Again, this is seriously basic stuff.
But some people might not be social media savvy.
You can even use hashtags which aren’t product specific, but more relevant to your business situation.
For example, #entrepreneur, #startup, #smallbusiness.
You’ll never know what kinds of connections you’ll make through the simple use of hashtags.
You might meet tons of new customers, but you could also network with other people who can help you with your business.
Second: Start A Blog
It’s always a decent start to establish a blog.
But when you’re running a small business, starting a blog becomes pretty much mandatory.
The thing about blogs is that they’re very good at getting lots of traffic.
When you succeed in getting lots of traffic, you can then redirect that traffic to your online store, or your actual business website.
And once you’ve started to get lots of traffic, you can start looking at all of that traffic as potential customers…
Because that’s exactly what it is.
Blogging is a real art, and it’s easy to make mistakes.
But do it right, and you could boost your marketing to levels which are on par with major brands.
And the best part?
Starting a blog costs barely anything.
But what should you actually blog about?
Well, that’s easy – your business!
Hopefully, you’re pretty passionate about your small business, so writing about it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.
Give your audience insight into what it’s like to run a small business.
Let them know each and every challenge you face, along with every hurdle.
It might seem like you’re talking to literally no one at times, and it might not feel like it’s worth the effort.
But stick with it, and you’ll realize just how useful a blog can be – especially to a small business.
Third: Social Media Contests
Hashtags are one thing, but if you really want to kill it in the social media game, you’ll run some contests on your page.
It goes without saying that people love contests.
It’s fun even if you don’t win, and you can get the attention of many new customers through a simple contest.
You might think that it makes no sense to simply give away your products for free.
But trust us, it’s more than worth it to lose a little bit of money.
Because you’re gaining potentially thousands of customers.
All you might really do is post a prize on Instagram or another form of social media.
To enter, have your followers tag their friend (and follow the page if they’re not already).
It’s even better if you allow people to enter more than once, depending on how many friends they tag.
The benefits of this are obvious.
As more and more people are tagged, more people learn about your product and your business.
And when someone wins, they’re likely to become a lifelong customer.
There are no real limit to how often you can do this.
Many small businesses do social media giveaways every week.
The prize can be relatively cheap as well, like a hat or a t-shirt.
People love this form of marketing!
Fourth: Boost Your Social Media Presence
This one is pretty vague, but it might just be the most important part of your marketing campaign in 2019.
So how do you “boost” your social media presence?
One of the biggest steps you can take is to simply choose the right networks.
Pinterest is a great choice if your products look amazing, and are visually pleasing.
But LinkedIn is a way better choice if your product is more business-oriented, such as a consulting business.
Finer choices like these make a big difference.
And remember, you should always have a clear direction for your social media presence.
Don’t just wing it.
It’s a key aspect to this game to have a clear idea in your mind about what you want your social media presence to look and feel like.
You might want to use certain colors or a particular art style, for example.
You also need to develop a strategic, tactical mindset when it comes to developing your social media presence.
Think about your target audience, what kind of content you want to create, and so on.
Another way to boost your social media presence is to use automation.
This is cheaper than you might expect.
Here’s one tactic that TONS of people use: interact with your audience!
Comment on relevant posts, answer questions your audience might have.
Don’t be afraid to simply step up and speak up with a simple thank you for the praise you might be getting!
On that note, it’s better to use social media to interact with your audience, rather than to promote your products.
In the end, this tactic will have a better effect.
Obviously, you want to post as often as possible.
Going several weeks without posting content isn’t acceptable.
It also doesn’t cost any money to keep an eye on the metrics and data related to your social media page.
This can give you incredible insight, and you can adapt accordingly.
Those are just a few ways you can boost your social media presence.
Fifth: Get Your Email Game Up
Anybody who knows anything about digital marketing can identify with the belief that an email list is one of the more valuable tools at your disposal.
And luckily for you, it’s also one of the easiest marketing strategies to set up.
Starting your own email newsletter helps keep you connected to your customers, and it it’s one of the best ways to make sales.
But it’s not a total walk in the park.
In order to get the most out of your email list, you need to keep a few things in mind.
First of all, your emails should be heavily customized and targeted to your specific audience.
Customers don’t like it when they feel like they’re getting a mass email.
It feels like spam.
Instead, you should strive to make your email newsletters personal and intimate – as if you’re talking to your friends.
We could write an entire article about email lists and newsletters.
But the most important thing to focus on is the subject line.
The subject of your emails should always be catchy, imaginative, and compelling.
The tricky thing about emails – for me – is that spam filters and the struggle to come across as important to target audiences requires a long-term game to get past the noise and into the hearts — and minds — of your ideal customers.
That means that you’ll have to see things through for several months, or years, to spin a result.
How do I know? I’ve done it!
In order to afford to test such a concept, however, I was operating a successful local lead generation business online; the same one that I had launched back in 2014.
I had help, of course, as I was able to acquire attention thru a coaching program to learn exactly what it took to get this business model generating profits on the closest thing to AutoPilot that can be found online in our technological era…
What is essentially taught are the procedures and methods required to…
• Build and launch a local lead gen site on the search engines
• Leverage the free traffic that derives from the methods that we recommend (meaning you’ll never have to utilize paid ads if you really don’t want to)
• Let the internet operate on your behalf, performing the heavy lifting for you while you collect your monthly check
I hate to be the bearer of an oversimplified truth, but that’s about all there is to the process of lead gen for local businesses.
When something is this simple, and the profit margins are nearly 100 percent, something just has to be mentioned here.
If this intrigues you – and I knew it might because the passive income certain caught my attention less than a handful of years ago – CLICK HERE for more information.
Sixth: Video Marketing
These days, a huge percentage of marketing is done through videos.
You can see this on social media, YouTube, and many other places.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why these methods are so effective.
Videos are more interesting, more revealing, and more immersive than pictures or texts.
We know what you’re thinking:
“I don’t have that much time, or the money, to get a professional video done for my products!”
Well, you’d be surprised what you can achieve on a limited budget.
Low budget videos can still go viral, as long as they have the right features.
Think of a funny way to market your product.
Film something that gives your viewers a look behind the scenes.
The possibilities are truly endless with video marketing, and you don’t need a huge budget.
The most important thing with this form of marketing is a great imagination.
Remember, always remind the viewer of your website, online store or products.
You can slide this in during the last few seconds of the video.
Seventh: Industry Events
If you’re attempting to market your business, then you should definitely consider trade shows and other industry events.
In fact, these events are pretty much tailor-made for people just like you.
It’s all about getting your name out there, networking, and getting people excited about your product.
Trade shows allow you to do this better than most other tactics.
At trade shows and other industry events, you might not succeed in gaining thousands of new customers.
But you will succeed in meeting other businesses, connecting with like-minded individuals, and forming valuable business partnerships that will help you market your product down the line.
And to top it all off, you can even attend seminars and talks that can educate you on how to boost your small business in all areas – not just in marketing.
Eighth: Visual Marketing
They say a picture can be worth at least one thousand words.
Well, play your cards right, and it could be worth thousands of new customers.
You’d be surprised how effective an interesting image can be once you post it on Instagram or Pinterest.
Visually pleasing images can easily become part of your marketing campaign, and they don’t require a lot of money to create.
In fact, it’s mostly free.
You might even consider creating a visual instructional image, explaining how to use your product, or how your business works.
Make sure to create an interesting image with great color and design elements.
And if you’re terrible at graphic design and art in general, you can use all kinds of easy online tools to create awesome visual marketing images.
Ninth: Content Marketing
You’ve probably heard this casual phrase spoken before: “Content is king.”
And when it comes to promoting a small business, that phrase has never been more valid.
Creating the right content drives traffic and attention to your business.
This is the ideal mindset you should have with your marketing plan.
Don’t try to ram your product down people’s throats.
Instead, concentrate on creating interesting content that people will actually enjoy.
When people like your content, they’ll share it, and your traffic will grow.
Once you’ve got tons of traffic, it’ll be easier than ever to sell your products.
Thinking up, creating, and developing good content can be as simple as writing a really awesome “About Us” page, or an interesting story detailing how your business got started.
Tenth: Cross Promote On Social Media
Cross-Promotion on social media is a seriously easy concept, although it might sound a little complicated.
This goes back to getting the most out of social media.
All that “cross-promoting” means is marketing your products on multiple social media accounts.
But you can get pretty deep with this tactic.
One thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that you need to tailor and customize social media posts to the specific platform you’re posting on.
Don’t just copy and paste your messages to different social media platforms.
You can also cross-promote by adding social tabs to your Facebook page.
Try adding links to social media on your email newsletters as well.
You might even link up with a big brand or figure, and promote your products on their social media.
There are tons of possibilities with cross-promoting.
Eleventh: Start-Up Some Industry Partnerships
Speaking of linking up with other brands, why not form an industry partnership?
The benefits of this tactic should be pretty obvious.
When you form an industry partnership with another brand or company, a lot of your problems disappear immediately.
Although, just what kind of problems are we talking about?
How about your low budget?
Or access to expensive marketing tools?
Or maybe access to a way bigger audience?
There’s really no downside to this approach.
You might even learn new things about marketing from a much bigger company.
Their experience is sure to rub off, and it can result in some awesome lessons.
Obviously, one of the hardest parts about forming industry partnerships is actually meeting people, networking, and getting the deal done.
This can definitely take a lot of effort on your part.
But it still won’t actually cost you anything.
Twelfth: Explore Social Media Engagements
Previously, we mentioned the benefits of actually engaging with your audience on social media.
But this crucial factor really deserves its own entry.
And it’s not just about commenting and replying to posts, either.
There are plenty of optional ways to interact with your audience on social media.
The sky really is the limit, and your imagination can lead you in some interesting directions.
How about putting out a poll?
Or offering coupons to people who follow your social media accounts?
Those are only a few ideas, but the general idea is to engage directly with your audience as much as possible.
Make friends with your customers!
Thirteenth: Tag Your Social Media Posts
Just like hashtags, tagging your social media posts is hugely important.
Tags bring your products to the attention of specific brands, audiences, and individuals.
Because of this, they function in almost the same way as hashtags… it’s just another tool at your disposal.
And you definitely need to be using every tool possible on social media.
You don’t need to be a social media expert to become a pro at tagging your posts in the best ways.
Fourteenth: Host A Class or Special Event
One of the best forms of marketing might surprise you.
Educating your customers is one of the most effective ways to get people interested.
Tons of people are using the internet to learn how to do simple tasks.
Let’s say you’re selling women’s nail gloss.
Why not create a few videos detailing the best way to apply nail gloss?
Of course, you’ll be using your product in the video, and you can slip in a few words about why you think your specific nail gloss is the best option out there.
You can also host an in-person event or class.
You might show slideshows, hand out prizes, or simply have fun with your audience!
People are always looking for cool events to go to.
You could attract tons of new customers in this way.
Just remember that it’s more about educating and entertaining your customers, rather than trying too hard to sell people your products.
Fifteenth: Start Up a Webinar
If you want to get super professional with your online lessons, then you could definitely try a webinar.
These are online lessons meant to give the audience some pretty deep education.
The most professional webinars out there are hosted on sophisticated conferencing platforms.
• GoToMeeting, and…
• many more.
These platforms seem to make it easy for you to set up a webinar, and get broadcasting in just seconds.
You can also promote your webinars on social media, or through your email newsletter, for example.
It’s just another solid way to promote your business with no real costs.
Sixteenth: Connect with The Best Influencers
Influencer marketing is huge right now, and for good reason.
It’s actually one of the best ways to market your products.
This holds true whether you’re a big brand or a small business.
There are always influencers out there who are open to promoting your products, and most of the time it’s a great decision.
But how does it actually work?
Well, first of all, you’ll need to realize that some bloggers and social media influencers have a bigger reach than a lot of advertising agencies.
Because of this, you might find that it’s a match made in heaven.
Influencers are always looking for ways to cash in on their reach.
And small businesses need exposure.
At the end of the day, both parties win.
Obviously, you won’t be able to afford huge YouTube celebrities.
But there might be some influencer out there who has a pretty respectable reach.
If you form a relationship early on, it could be very profitable as this YouTuber grows in popularity.
The same logic goes for bloggers.
You can even make this work without spending a single dollar.
Simply attend blogging and YouTube meetups and events, form connections, and get people to try your products for free.
It’s that simple.
Seventeenth: Collect Business Cards and Do a Giveaway
Here’s another way you can easily set up a cool giveaway:
Instead of doing an online contest on social media, take a different approach.
Collect people’s business cards, and draw a lucky winner.
When you collect business cards, you get a lot of insight into your customers. Where do they work?
What industries are they involved in?
All of this valuable information and more is usually right on a business card.
If you have a physical store, it’s easy to set up bowls where customers can drop their cards, in order to enter the draw.
Eighteenth: Create an Awesome Customer Referral Program
When it comes to marketing, there’s nothing like a good referral program.
With this form of marketing, you’re essentially getting your customers to do the work for you.
And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Your customers will work extra hard to spread the word if there’s something in it for them.
Giving them a free product, a discount, or a coupon is a great way to reward those who are bringing new customers to your business.
You might even offer a reward to both the old customer and the new customer.
This is essentially word-of-mouth marketing…
Except for the fact that you’re paying to make it happen.
You’d be surprised at how effective a simple referral program can be.
Pretty soon, you might be up to your knees in new customers.
Nineteenth: Guerilla Marketing
Guerilla Marketing is a very interesting concept, and it’s a completely different approach.
It’s a great option for small businesses because the budget isn’t the main concern here.
Guerilla Marketing is all about spreading the word with methods that people might overlook.
In short, it’s all about getting creative.
Most of Guerilla Marketing happens in the real world, and it doesn’t involve anything on the web.
Examples would be using chalk to write a huge company logo on the ground.
Or, you could hire a graffiti artist to paint something amazing that links to your company (in a legal spot of course).
Slap stickers all over town.
The list goes on.
Get creative, and make sure that people actually like whatever you’re putting out there.
Guerilla Marketing has the potential to be even more effective than many other “mainstream” methods of marketing.
It’s a truly interesting area that you can do tons of research into.
Twentieth: Word of Mouth
Last but not least, we have word of mouth.
This is arguably the most effective form of marketing out there.
And it’s also a type of marketing that doesn’t cost a single dollar.
People are more likely to listen to their close friends and family when they recommend a product, rather than some random commercial or image.
But how do you actually control word of mouth advertising?
That’s where it gets a little complicated.
The first people you need to talk to is those that you trust – your employees.
Encourage your employees to talk to their friends and family about the product, and you might just find that word of mouth spreads a little faster.
You might even host family events that include your employees and their entire families. It definitely won’t hurt to become a brand that your employees love.
At the end of a day, word of mouth advertising isn’t really something you can control very easily.
But you can nudge it in the proper direction, and it can definitely be one of the best forms of marketing, period.
As you can see, there are just tons of options available to you as a small business owner.
So get out there, be creative, and start marketing!
Local Lead Generation Credited as Most Reliable Digital Marketing in 2019
I get it; my mentor gets it, and my digital marketing employees get it – the internet is never a 100 percent sure thing…
Content marketing comes in a variety of forms simply because there are different strokes required to get the job done.
Whether you’re swimming a certain stroke in a lane-marked pool race or trying to produce an income online, there are different things that could be a better fit for your product or service than other suggestions for generating attention thru the internet.
It can be a difficult game, often trying the patience and metal of business owners and newly committed entrepreneurs – daily, there seem to be more and more solo entrepreneurs – and they are interested in a return on their investments (ROI) quickly!
If you’re looking for an overnight success opportunity, I won’t tell you to keep looking like I’ve seen most articles do, because I’m going to save you the trouble and tell you the honest truth…
There simply are no “get rich quick” opportunities online.
That said, students in our lead gen coaching program seem to be having massive success in a matter of weeks and months from starting to learn this Free Traffic-capitalizing, high-income skill set.
What we’re able to do is get in front of buyers online – especially in local markets, where the competition is laughable to conquer – and earn our way into the opportunity of a lifetime…
When you know how to funnel buyers into the local service provider of your choosing – meaning, those who value and get excited about wanting more customers – you become the most powerful and most important person in the room.
Even if a company doesn’t know it yet, what you do know is that every business that has ever existed has a marketing budget set aside for the purpose of generating leads.
Each business needs more customers with each passing day; wouldn’t it make sense to hire someone like you if they knew you could help them to expand their bottom line?
Now, what’s not being said here is that you need to pitch the sale and close the deals; unless you’re in an official capacity of sales for a local company, that’s not your job.
What our coaching program teaches is how you can get your own virtual real estate in front of Free Traffic on the internet that you can then leverage to power up your lead gen sites and get passive, positive cash flow coming into your bank account!
One of the top ways to do that is to position your lead gen site at the top of search results; here’s a lead gen site that you can see as my example for what I’m talking about…
It’s a limo rental site – lead gen-based – that is certain to generate multiple referrals per month for a local service provider; they, in turn, cut me a check each month for helping them to not only stay in business but to increase their bottom line on an ongoing basis.
Check it out right here:
What’s great about getting your digital assets positioned like this includes…
• Being able to conquer the competition relatively quickly, using our mentorship and methods.
• Generate results for local companies to get attention with – and assist – fairly quickly.
• Select a business or service company that’s local to the area and is credible, reputable, and can perform consistently as they close sales and fulfill orders.
• Rake in the mailbox money like the passive income you’ve always wanted it to be.
Now, that’s a great start to illustrating the process of what you’ll find in our lead gen coaching program.
The best is yet to come, however…
In addition to the money, profit margins, and time freedom, there are other things that those in our coaching program get to enjoy once they’ve reached their desired measure of success:
• Making a living while making a lasting, positive difference in local markets – local businesses definitely want more customers, but they don’t always know who to trust in this world of digital marketing; by being their go-to asset for all things lead generation, you stand to profit massively by being the person they can refer their friends in business to so, collectively, all can help the community to grow and improve.
• More time to do what you want – I’m building this blog because I’ve always wanted to create a source of information that can be useful to both successful entrepreneurs looking for additional streams of revenue “and” new up-and-coming entrepreneurs that are ready to make a change in their life but simply aren’t sure of where to go.
• More financial freedom – instead of always checking your bank account before making a large purchase, you can pay each one of your bills and have some left over to live in a little more comfort; I’m not saying go out and spend all of your profits immediately, but it would be nice to eat a little better or fix a car up to make it more reliable.
• Low competition – not many are actually attempting to do what you are trying to do; in fact, local businesses are experts at their tradecraft, but not many have the time to venture into the world of local lead generation, so this is your opportunity to step up and do this for any marketplace (selecting both a city and an industry that can benefit from more local customers).
• Enjoy the flexibility of entrepreneurship – you’ll get to give yourself time off, travel with your work-in-hand as your laptop can be a carry-on with flights, and you can even sip champagne on an exotic beach so long as you’ve got electricity in your laptop and access to the internet.
These ideas all sound grand and wonderful, but are people really doing this?
What about the students in our coaching program?
This limo lead gen site is exactly what you could be doing in other markets and industries in order to generate profits online for yourself.
That $750 is very real, and that amount has been delivered to my bank account regularly for over 5 years!
If you’re ready for results such as these for yourself, then take a closer look at our lead gen coaching program so you can generate profits on AutoPilot thru Free Traffic.
Seriously, stop thinking and start taking action: CLICK HERE NOW!