BONUS for your MARKETING WITHOUT BUDGET: Grab the ultimate checklist for your $0 budget marketing plan!
Entrepreneur, freelancer, bootstrapping, rockstar, hacker – whatever you identify as, as long as it is without marketing budget, you stay right here. So, here’s a list of actions you can take right NOW.
I was thinking about a sustainable way of marketing your business as an entrepreneur or freelancer. By sustainable, I mean viable, really low, close to nada; as in ZERO.
And I made a list: 23+1 ideas of pure Marketing low-budgetism, Marketing thrift stores, and Marketing all-you-can-eat buffets.
How do I know these work? I’ve tried all of them. So here’s the nitty-gritty of zero marketing budget if you are just starting out of if you just want to take it slow as a new start-up, exploring your options.
- Look for the freebies
- Hit conferences
- Start a blog
- Shoot marketing videos
- Post on Quora
- Take to Reddit
- How do you actually get sales out of this?
- Go social
- Exchange content
- Run a contest giving away free membership
- Leave comments below articles
- Ask your friends to talk about you on social media
- Write to journalists about free cover
- Target influencers
- Create a widget
- Link building
- Guest post
- Set up G2 Crowd and Capterra
- Retargeting links
- Do monthly webinars
- Create a subscriber list and launch your Email Marketing
- Start your own Affiliate program
- Find commission-only salespeople
- Run a viral page
1. Look for the freebies
Rule no 1: Always look for free stuff. Look for free trials. Can’t find free trials? Schedule free demos.
Can’t get your hands on free demos? Highly unlikely (and highly suspicious, if I may add)?
Then ask one of your friends in the industry to tell you the pros and cons of using that software, and why they choose that over the competition. If that does not work, there’s more:
Look online, look in fori, now be really careful there: don’t just look for reviews; check out all negative reviews almost exclusively. See if you can reach out to those users to ensure reliability and provide more insights.
It is no secret that companies charging highly for their services hire people to leave (fake) positive reviews. Now, you can always trust smaller companies because ain’t nobody got budget for that! But lack of free trial and limited access to features can get tricky. A way around this is to schedule a live demo once you’ve done your homework about the competition. This way, you’ll be able to ask more targeted questions.
Look for everything you can get your hands on, even hang out at a co-working space for a few days and ask around, see if you can get some real honest feedback on the services people are using.
And while you’re at it, here’s one more thing you must keep in mind: cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation wherein people who have just purchased a product or service tend to be more reluctant to admit or accept to themselves (let alone others) that their decision was not the most appropriate or beneficial they could get.
As a result, they will argue in favor of the product/service purchased to save face. To overcome that, ask them to share their professional recommendation, to use in your research. Your doing so addresses them as experts. The thought of their recommendation being compared and contrasted to those of other experts in the field will bring out the best of everyone!
Last but not least, you can get a bunch of exciting deals with insane flash sales, such as AppSumo, etc. Now, here’s a tip: be prepared to be presented with A LOT of exciting deals. Always ask yourself whether you really need all that because I always get too hyped up about these bargains to think before I shop!
Bonus tip: Sign up for the newsletters of all your favorite software programs; in case they run a flash sale, you’ll be the first to know!
2. Hit conferences without budget
I hate gyms so for a period this used to be my cardio.
I would attend every free event or seminar. As for those with an entrance fee, I asked my journalist friends to get me a Press Pass (😅)- this worked like a charm! You might be asked to write an article for the paper/magazine/event later, but that’s no biggie!
Meet people, network, make sure your business card is in every influencer’s cardholder, be on every specialist’s Linkedin, get your name on top of the list. That does involve clicking “Attend” on every single event that interests you, on Facebook, Facebook groups, Linkedin groups, Eventbrite, everywhere.
Before you reach out for your keys and that new batch of business cards, here’s the two types of etiquettes you must keep in mind:
Learning etiquette for conferences:
- Do your homework. Read the bios of the speakers you’re going to attend.
- A quick savoir-faire: before asking the presenters questions, thank them for their presentation. Presenters have taken the time to be there at the conference, to put together a presentation, map its content, cover topics, and so on. A little kindness will go a long way.
- Don’t be afraid to be wrong: ask the presenters whether and why the tip they presented is better than [another/your current] trusted technique. Present your arguments politely, don’t put the speaker under the spotlight, if their answer doesn’t resonate with you simply thank them and take your seat because this is not a battling ground nor a chance for you to prove that you are better than someone else. I’ve seen this happen so many times and it makes me feel awkward every time. It never, never damages the reputation of the speaker, it reveals a lot for the person initiating any such confrontation, though.
- Read the speakers’ bios – you might have common backgrounds or studied at the same schools. That’s a cool conversation starter!
Networking etiquette for conferences:
- If you are an introvert (and the analogue type, like me), to break the ice, ask someone next to you for a pen or a question regarding the schedule. During coffee breaks, try to mingle with groups of people. If you are shy and awkward, you can borrow my style: “Hi, I’m ***! I like bread. I’m very bad at striking up conversations. What about you?”. If they are impolite, don’t be offended; laugh it out. And don’t share your notes – mwahahahaha.
- Follow hashtags of your favorite brands attending the same event as you. Be confident to mention/tag them on Twitter or LinkedIn, Instagram, etc and then drop by their booth!
- Wear something that puts you on the map without going over the top.
- Say something memorable but if it doesn’t come naturally, don’t say something for the sake of talking. Especially if you don’t know what everyone in the group stands for, it’s best to listen in silence. You’ll have plenty of opportunities later. Make them count.
In case those high fees are preventing you from attending certain events contact the organizers directly. They might be offering special rates for freelancers and startups in the low key. At the same time, provided you have a successful, regularly updated blog, it could serve as your VIP Pass to every event.
3. Start a blog
Blogging is a great way to a) hold on to all this information and tips that you pick up along the way, while you b) gain authority in your industry as an expert, and c) invest in a source of income with insane potential.
If you consider yourself lazy, starting a blog will require of you two major qualities:
ii) continuous self-growth and professional growth.
If I haven’t already lost you (looking at those of you who identified as lazy above), consistency is a grown-up quality that we need in our everyday lives. If we are to ever amount to something, we need to be consistent and make the painstaking effort for it. The reason why we don’t do it is that we are more prone to the “quick fix” type of solutions.
1. Blogging about a subject involves a certain level of mastery of the field. Alternatively, it requires a wealth of experience or a distinctive exploratory approach coupled with personal thoughts and estimations.
Which of the above styles of blogging is closer to you?
Answering this should help you set the objective for you, the mission and vision for the blog, as well as help you map your goals.
2. Before you start a blog, find your blue ocean and don’t think twice about investing in a consistent branding. Branding will increase your reliability, especially as you are starting out.
In the meantime, by featuring other bloggers or co-hosting webinars you get to grow your list further, real fast.
It’s amazing what keeping records of your thoughts and lessons learned can do for you! Users might even turn to you for advice. Before you know it, your blog could be a hub of [enter your field here] buffs!
And don’t forget to set up everything right from the start. Use all our list building strategies and set up popups, content upgrades, etc. in order to build your own mailing lists.
A solid mailing list of highly engaged subscribers will attract major companies to your blog. And getting sponsored just by writing about what you love is pretty major, right?
So, make sure that you only post top quality content that adds to what is already out there in the world wide web. One thing is certain; you won’t regret it!
4. Shoot marketing videos
Is it time for your 15 minutes of fame? Yes, even 15 minutes of lame will do. I’ll tell you where I’m going with this.
This idea builds on the previous recommendation, namely that of starting a blog.
Vlogging is the visual way to go about marketing your brand. Plus, you get to show some of your personality in there, too. This way, you are putting out truly unique content.
Besides all the hard work you will have to do, you might get cold feet just because you are putting yourself out there, getting exposed, what you know or don’t know stays out there forever, videos are no Google doc that you can change instantly online, nor a blog post you can update-give credits-redeploy. See? I know. The only option you get with videos in case you wish to make an update is either updating the description of the video or re-doing the whole video from scratch.
But despite all that, it’s still an exciting path to take. You see, it’s nice to come out of our comfort zones every once in a while.
So, since you’re never going to be 100% ready, when you feel even 55% ready, GET STARTED. You’ll refine things along the way, don’t sweat it too much. Because, once your business is all grown, there won’t be much space for learning, mistakes or testing grounds.
So, “Let’s now”.
Again, you can choose your scope from the scope of mastery -experience- exploration- commentary that I mentioned earlier.
At the same time, you should look for a concept. What will your setting look like? What will reflect your branding on your marketing video?
While you’re at it, make a map of the major “competitors” already out there in the same category as you.
Channel your Google search skills, your YouTube skills, your forum-searching skills.
Try to find what it is that none of your competitors is doing. We call this USP, your unique selling proposition, your differentiation factor. Every business or freelancer in a competitive environment needs a differentiation factor. The only scenario you don’t need that in is in cases where the business has significant market power (monopoly).
Now, shooting marketing videos involves both planning and production matters.
- Decide on the frequency of new video releases so that you can maintain your consistency in releasing them afterwards.
- Map out the content you’ll be covering over the first 10 weeks.
- You need to stay ahead but not too much; you see if there is breaking news at some point, you will need to redo some of the work in order to update it. So you just want to keep a safe distance really, and then
- You’ll need the best camera you can get your hands on and a tripod. To keep the zero marketing budget going, borrow them from those fancy friends of yours! We all have them!
- You’ll need a friend to help you with filming.
- Depending on the camera, if there is no microphone jack on your camera, you’ll need to record sound in a different device. You’ll be able to join the two files (audio + visual) on your video editing software.
- Sign up for the free trial of the video editing software once you have the final content. This way, you can work intensively and save money.
- Some services or types of software might ask for your corporate email. So set up your own email at your own URL. You see, everybody will take you more seriously when you send from “email@example.com” rather than “firstname.lastname@example.org” – this makes sense, right?
5. Post on Quora
Quora is a site where users can post questions and get answers about almost any topic . Once you sign up you get to select a number of topics you are interested in, much like on Pinterest.
Then, your news feed appears with a long list of the most upvoted answers to the questions from all the fields of interest you selected earlier (Top Stories).
Wondering how Quora is going to help your achieve your marketing goals with zero marketing budget?
Here’s an example:
To raise awareness about what you do or what you specialize in, you can start adding comments to threads on relevant topics in your field of expertise.
Since the community of Quora does not stand for self-promotion, it is important to add a disclaimer about who you are and what you do, in that you represent a company or brand (ie. your own), suggesting that your answer might be a biased one.
You can choose different bios/descriptions to match the specific topic you are touching upon. For instance, you could be a digital marketer and reply to threads both on Email Marketing and Facebook Ads; your accompanying bio could be customized to fit these.
You can pick up from here!
Now, many of you reading this article (not you, Mum) are not going to love this idea. The reason is that this particular outreaching task is quite demanding to squeeze in your schedule along with everything else on your daily agenda. This unattractiveness factor is the perfect reason why by trying it out for a little while you can see whether it works for your business or not and outperform those who are too lazy to do that (such as myself).
If you would like to give Quora a try, here are some of my favorite resources with more information about Quora and promoting your brand there:
- 10 tips for using Quora to build your business
- How to use Quora to increase your business exposure
- Beginner’s guide to Quora: The most helpful uses for Marketers
- How to market your store on Quora
6. Take to Reddit
This listicle would be incomplete without even a brief mention of the potential that Reddit had for your business. This would have to be a stand-alone article in its own right, but…SPACE.
But I really want to make this worth your while so I compiled the top articles (see end of section). In the meantime, long story short:
Reddit is an online community with its own rules among which is that self-promotion is a huge no-no. So, before you go Reddit, to avoid getting banned before you get a chance to make friends, read everything you can get your hands on.
Using Reddit for marketing and promotional purposes means that, prior to it you should contribute content to support the community and its mission.
Doing so regularly should reward you (:karma). Don’t get discouraged by other users’ karma, a karma of 50 is good enough.
To make sure that your hard work of many weeks does not go to waste and you don’t get banned on self-promotion grounds, you should ask for permission from moderators of the subreddit(s) you will be posting to. (It goes without saying that the content will be different for every post you make to a different subreddit).
- Reddit for beginners
- Use Reddit to promote your business
- How can I promote my business on Reddit?
- 3 tips for promoting your business on Reddit
- How to use Reddit for beginners and business owners
- 6 ways to use Reddit to grow your business
7. Go to meet-ups
This is another way of saying “networking is key”, really.
Let me elaborate on why networking is so central, even if you are a raging introvert.
I love this quote by Americal designer Charles Eames: “Eventually everything connects – people, ideas, objects.”
My point exactly! Go outside, meet people, talk to them, talk with them, have a good time, go home, get back to working.
Read your work with new eyes. Edit it. Something you heard earlier sticks with you on some other level. You are a changed wo/man.
And I should know.
Here’s a quick, soul-baring disclosure: Writing does not always come effortlessly. On certain days I might not like any of the articles I’ve written. No hard fact, no Google analytics can convince me otherwise.
But I know me well enough, so when this happens I go out and share a cuppa with friends. As some of you already know, I spend most of my time in Athens (Greece) so going out on any day of the week is perfectly acceptable here, encouraged, either, COMPULSORY, really. And people here are so easy to talk to, and so open, you’ll often find yourself at a bar with complete strangers clinking your glasses.
And because people are so easy to talk to, if you listen carefully and are genuinely interested in what their lives are like, you are refreshed.
Even though I can’t explain how or why and I don’t think that it matters, but when I go home afterwards, I’m always unblocked. Maybe it’s because I relaxed or it could be because I consider this part of my writing process and place this much significance on talking to people and drawing inspiration from them for my articles.
It’s always worked, in the most unexpected ways. Or, who knows, maybe I’ve made it work.
You cannot afford not meeting new people.
It really is that simple.
8. Go social
Regardless of whether you have personal accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and social media in general, when it comes to your business, you must safeguard a solid online presence.
It goes without saying that each social network has a distinct posting style that is considered “appropriate”, so to speak.
For instance, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Tumblr score high on the visual scale, while Twitter is on the other end of the continuum, heavily geared towards text-only.
Facebook, on the other hand, is the middle ground: it combines visual and written expression in a well-balanced way.
Now, if you cannot afford to craft content for each social network, at least make sure that you play by the rules of the social network you selected.
Once you get the hang of it, I highly recommend picking up a second social network as well, to expand your availability across your audiences.
9. Exchange content
Once you enter the blogging community, you need to build pathways to and from your blog or business.
This is a bit of a chain reaction, but to get your content on a really good blog, you need to create really good content yourself.
To do that you must read a lot, stay ahead, talk about things, follow various news sources… you need to do your part of the job.
Having said that, exchanging content has a small outreach to success ratio but it’s worth the trouble.
To have one of your articles appear on other blog posts as a guest post increases your authority and reliability as an author and an expert, establishes you in the perception of your audience as a distinguished professional who is acknowledged by other experts in the field, and urges you to be the higher version of yourself.
Meanwhile, you get an excellent opportunity to link to your blog or website- these make your blog look good and a trustworthy source.
10. Run a contest giving away free membership
Looking for ways to grow your following?
Here’s one that doesn’t cost you a dime!
If you are developing a service, or a SaaS product or anything else that can be shared online and claimed instantly by users from all over the world, then start thinking immediately what your contest could look like.
Giving away one free membership is great. If you notice that the contest is blowing up then you can add more free memberships so that more people join in, as some are discouraged by the odds before entering a contest.
Another benefit of this recommended strategy is that getting a satisfied customer with crazy after-sales service is the best for you as it generates positive word of mouth for your brand in the industry.
Making a good impression on the winners of your contest will earn you positive reviews.
Remember, a positive review goes a long way- and it can also go on your website along with the rest of the testimonials from your users!
11. Leave comments below articles
I cannot say that this is a scalable and sustainable way to grow your business, but it is a good way to keep your business top of mind.
Find relevant blogs, bloggers, and influencers and leave comments below their most successful articles.
Remember to go for an original piece of feedback every time, don’t write one-word comments, these look spammy and forced.
Instead, taking your time to craft a comment that is spot-on and gathers approval and upvotes by other users too is ideal.
Your goal is to raise awareness about what you do.
So set up an account and switch your profile picture for your business logo or a very characteristic photo of yours (don’t worry, you can always change that later).
Read a few articles, use Ahrefs to see which ranks higher and leave some positive feedback or share some of your thoughts.
In my opinion, original thoughts and comments are the greatest form of flattery. For all the right publishers, at least.
Remember to leave comments below one article per blog at a time, with different content, otherwise, you might be marked as spam.
12. Ask your friends to talk about you on social media
Before or after you get your proof of concept you can call in your biggest fans. Your unconditional followers. The people who will stand up for you and what you do, the ones who would bet in your favour, who would support you on your way to owning the game; your friends.
If they are in the same industry as you or know many people who are potentially interested in your offering, then they can help you out.
Don’t ask them to spam their friends on their social media accounts. Instead, ask your friends what their favorite social media network is, and ask them to share the content that is appropriate for the medium.
For example, if you know a vlogger with a decent following, record a video with them.
Ideally, your friends can then share your video with their friends.
Make sure you have your blog or website in place so that when users start flocking your URL you are all set up with your popups and subscription forms in place.
Ready to woo your new subscribers?
BONUS TIP: I wouldn’t ask my friends to publish my content at the same time; I would prefer a slow roll-out phase to make improvements along the way.
13. Write to journalists about free cover
I won’t lie: it’s not like journalists are waiting over their phones and inboxes for your outreach to publish an article.
So, it’s not going to be easy to get featured on digital newspapers, blogs, magazines, etc.
But present them with an original piece of content, a catchy headline, a cool layout, and visual storytelling- how will they say no?
After all, journalists are always looking for new things to cover.
14. Target influencers
Who are your heroes? Cape or no cape.
Ok, what about [your industry] heroes?
Write about your favorite influencers– you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to create something, tag your inspiration, and get noticed or even regrammed or featured!
For instance, in the past few months, I’ve taken up watercoloring. So, every once in a while I post my version of watercolor compositions inspired from the artists I follow and tag them.
The feeling is amazing when my work gets noticed, featured on their accounts, and when we have a few moments of connecting over Instagram comments!
At the same time, the algorithm of Instagram suggests my profile to their followers and I get more exposure!
How cool is that? All for nothing that my own work, no Marketing budget, no publicist actions, nada!
15. Create a widget
Who doesn’t love freebies? If you know of anyone, keep them close, because … FREEBIES times two.
Ok, creating a kick-ass widget will take more time. If by the time you finish, you find yourself thinking “Hmm..Maybe I should be selling this after all”, HOLD THAT THOUGHT. For two reasons:
i) if it’s THAT good, it’s worth luring people in when it’s free
ii) if it’s THAT good, you’ll just have to set the bar higher and higher for every product or service that can be purchased on your website. So, you’ll need to get better. What an incredible motivation the thought of heckling can be, huh?
It’s amazing how much more you start caring about what you deliver when your name goes on there.
Sometimes, when I’ve written about 90-95% of an article, I’ll wonder whether I’d post the article on my social media accounts or not.
If I have second thoughts, I revise the entire article until I’m happy to sign it.
16. Link building
It’s embarrassing for me to admit that for a considerable amount of time I was not aware of the centrality of link building to my team’s marketing efforts. But link building is important and I’ll tell you why:
You write about all this stuff to gain authority and establish yourself as an expert in the field.
So, when looking for a reference, don’t go linking to any article, but pick one that appears on your blog.
Produce content. Content should be at the heart of your business, if you are looking to grow organically, that is, with limited resources spent on advertising and promotion.
If you have no relevant content about what you want to write more extensively about update a previous blog post and add the link to the new one.
Now, here’s my $100 tip this time: the anchor you use has a great impact on the performance of your link building and SEO ranking. Try to link to your previous blog post through an anchor that is identical to the focus keyword for that article.
These are the main things about internal link building, which will work miracles for you.
17. Guest post
You need to make some good friends in the industry. Meet-ups, conferences, and some essential Linkedin connections will certainly help you towards that direction.
Having said that, you can then ask your good friends in the industry to host one of your articles on their blog.
In exchange, they can write a guest post for your blog and earn a backlink.
Backlinks help increase the authority of a source because they show that it is trusted by external writers and contributors, as well.
It goes without saying that, besides being really good at networking, you must be really good at content creation.
If you want to scale this up, you can do so through Pitchbox or other similar software programs.
Such programs help digital marketers with influencer outreach and link building.
If you haven’t already, you should jump-start guest posting today.
For every blog post that you publish, try to find 2, 5 or 10 people who will backlink to your blog.
Once that’s said and done, you can set higher goals!
18. Set up G2 Crowd and Capterra
This is 100% free, it takes minutes to set up, and you have the opportunity to be seen by millions of users.
G2 Crowd‘s platform offers almost half a million validated user reviews on business services and software.
Capterra “features validated user reviews” and carries out independent research across various types of software.
Both services are internationally renowned agents, trusted by 3 million users worldwide.
Ask your users to add their review on G2 Crowd/Capterra.
Take into consideration that users, however enthusiastic they might be with your brand- can procrastinate over adding a review.
Remember to thank them for every action they take!
19. Retargeting links
Are you familiar with link retargeting? It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to scale your Marketing game.
It helps you re-track back to your website all those users who didn’t complete their journey and bailed at one point or another, before checkout.
Retargeting links are insanely accurate in presenting users with the exact product they viewed or added to their cart when they visited a site.
Here’s an example:
A user clicks a link on your e-shop and they view, say, a pair of shoes.
As an advertiser, you can retarget the user who clicked that link. With link retargeting, you can choose to show them the same visual as it appeared on your website, or customize it.
For instance, you can retarget the user by showing them a visual with a special discount.
Or, my personal favorite, you can craft a more personalized visual, such as “Hey, I noticed you around… Still want this?”.
It would be like having a bot speak in name of your business!
Try this today!
20. Do monthly webinars
Ok, maybe monthly is a lot, but it’s up to you. How fast do you want to grow? How involved can you get? Can you work intensively?
In case you don’t know already, webinars are a lot of work.
To my mind, it’s about setting a goal about the webinar or the series of webinars.
You start by quickly drafting your content first, off the top of your head. This helps you capture some originality in what you think must be covered.
Then, do rigorous research on everything that is out there, all the available content, webinars, videos, everything.
Following this, revisit your original work, ideas, upgrading and enriching them.
Try to predict audience questions; consider your target audience. And about adding value to someone watching when there are so many webinars at the same time going on in the world.
It’s about calling in questions to be submitted beforehand by the audience so that you can integrate them to your webinar. This will help provide a seamless experience.
21. Create a subscriber list and launch your Email Marketing
Hands down, there is no better, or cheaper way to grow your brand than email marketing. Ok, after word of mouth, that is. But you can’t control word of mouth, and Email Marketing is the most high-performing, high-converting, highly-targeted means of addressing your followers.
You see, your Facebook page is a list of people following and reacting to your content. The data they choose to share on Facebook is little or not at all accessible by you. The precision of your Marketing campaigns relies heavily on the current Facebook Ad guidelines. As a case in point, you can never craft a Facebook ad which is targeting a very small number of users, as a means to safeguard the security of their users’ personal data due to the immense number of advertising companies they share it with.
But Email Marketing is a different place. Every single user on your mailing list has entered their contact details and shared them with you knowingly, consciously, and intentionally.
Essentially, your mailing list is a list of people choosing to share their data with you in order to receive your content and special offers, and so on. This data is for you to store, monitor, manage, handle until your subscribers decide it’s not.
A mailing list gives your business great insights regarding your users and it’s all data that your users have agreed to share with you.
Once you set up your Email Marketing, you will be able to keep track of updates in their details, automatically and most importantly, anonymously (that is, in a way that is GDPR-compliant).
Another fact that is great news about Email Marketing is that it does not change through an algorithm. Also, if rules change in one company, then there are always email marketing alternatives in the market, and by switching to another user experience is not affected. This is not the case with Facebook with is in a sort of monopoly in its industry and all the fluidity in ways to advertise, and guidelines, and all that.
There is no right answer: instead, we highly recommend you use both as they are not mutually exclusive.
Use your mailing list in two ways, in a complementary fashion.
1. Use your mailing list to send newsletters
Newsletters are your newspaper across your audience. Everything about your brand and business goes there. You can communicate your new product launches, your latest releases, send out teasers, run contests, give away gifts, and so on.
2. Set up drip campaigns
With drip campaigns, you can increase your open rates, your click-through rates, your conversions, and brand loyalty. See for yourself. Once you get the idea of what analytics (for newsletters) and website tracking (for automation) can do for your business, you will no longer need proof. Merely understanding how these work is enough even for a beginner to see the potential.
For more advanced users, drip campaigns could be triggered by user actions on Facebook, via website tracking and CRM integrations. This way, you get the best of both worlds.
BONUS TIP: You can use your mailing list to create Custom Audiences on Facebook to leverage the data you have!
Last-minute JACKPOT update: Marketing budget aims to cover more than just raising awareness. It also caters to branding matters.
And today I just came across this super cool way a band (twenty one pilots, aka TØP) used Email Marketing to stir up enthusiasm across their fans, following a year of abs(tin)ence.
Check out this subscriber’s video of the email he received from TØP.
The band has been using heavy semiology and semantics in their songs, video clips, and social media posts. What you see in this email is Clancy, an allegedly fictional character symbolizing the new era for TØP.
Following a year of absence, working on their new album (yes, I’m a newly-turned fan, I think they reminded me of my Linkin Park years) they sent out a newsletter.
I love how the band used email over a radio or TV announcement to communicate to their fans (the Clique) that they are back in action.
This is a far more personable way to reach out to your fans.
So, Email Marketing can go as far as bands go, sure.
Coming across this, I didn’t want to miss out on the future fun, so I signed up for their newsletter, and I thought I just HAD TO share with you!
22. Start your own Affiliate program
It is SO easy to set up an affiliate program, it literally takes a couple of hours.
Once you do your research on other affiliate programs in your industry, set up your own today. Don’t worry about getting it perfect the first time; you can revisit the program and its terms as you go along.
Setting up an affiliate program with programs such as Get Ambassador helps you grow your business, compensates those who help you grow, pretty much like having salesmen on commission. So it ‘s only fair that they get a rewarding cut of the deal. Most commonly this stands at 30% of the subscription plan, on a recurring or one-off basis, depending on the plan.
You need to do your research, though. Especially if you are just starting out, you need to set up a MASSIVE affiliate program, super competitive, referral-based. Look for referral programs with free trial periods and before you sign up and the countdown starts, make sure you have already made up your mind about how the software works and even figure out the texts, automation, and all.
Connect your affiliate program or referral program with your Email Marketing platform (you can find all Moosend integrations here, including Maître), and start putting together your marketing stack. This is also a great opportunity for showtime for all the software programs you have added to your Marketing stack.
23. Find commission-only salespeople
If you haven’t heard about it or don’t know anyone who does it, you’ll wish you did.
At least I wish I had known about this as this has all the characteristics of a perfect side hustle.
This is how this works: there are designated salespeople who work on a commission-only basis, much like Affiliates do.
For salespeople, it’s easier to increase their job prospects, work for more employers at the same time, they are more highly motivated because their commissions are higher than those of the affiliates.
One of the much-envied pluses of this task is that they can work their own schedule. Some of them could be working a 9-5 job and have these sales as a side gig.
If you are about to bootstrap your business and are looking for bulletproof ways to do so, you need to start saving up on anything you can get. Yes, besides feeding on coupons and dressing at second-hand stores to invest in the dream job of your own, you must do all the unglamorous, unseen, unsung-for work.
To keep your commission-only program competitive, stay ahead of the curve, and grow faster, design an inverse pyramid program: allow salespeople to quickly grow to higher commissions, keep them hungrier, keep them inspired, keep them self-motivated.
And you never know, you might find your future partners or colleagues here!
This way, you are earning partners without paying them yourself, but simply by splitting the earnings (which you wouldn’t have if it weren’t for them). At the same time, you are growing your user base faster than ever.
23+1. Run a viral page
I’m not going to play the “virality” card. The reason is that what goes viral is most often SO random that it is almost impossible to guess beforehand or work towards that direction, in the first place.
For example, who could have seen the Fortnite dance catching on? It could have just been a video game thing, not something you’d see on BBC shows!
What about the Walmart yodel boy?
Or the #InMyFeelings challenge? For the love of humanity, who’d have expected that people would be jumping out of moving cars to do a dance filmed by …well, the driver?
So, no, I am not going to tell you that you could do something viral.
Unless, of course, we break down the common characteristics of the aforementioned videos, in which case you can replicate them so:
- Think of something random, never done before, however silly or absurd, not putting in jeopardy anyone engaging in the activity.
- Provided that you share a strong sense of community and support with your audience, get them to start preparing content for this “viral” to be. Hype everything up.
- Giveaways will also be of great help. his works great if you have a couple of heavy influencers on board – more than your giveaways, a prompt by their favorite icon will ignite/spur imitation.
- Once people start engaging with the “viral” concept, start hitting every journalist up. Start with the ones you have advertised within the past, or those expecting to book you for an ad placement, or those who just have. This is a great bonus when closing a deal with a newspaper.
- Remember to repost, regram, rejoice, reward every submitted video, etc. You are supposed to create a community. Remember that this does not happen overnight, and you will need to have set strong foundations amongst your existing community. You can’t possibly expect to go viral from a random video. You need luck, creativity, a tad of madness, grit, confidence and persistence.
But the question remains: How are you going to use the viral video or photo or content in a way that helps your business grow? Because then, we are talking about a viral product, not a viral idea.
One of my favorite examples, a true “A-ha” moment in the history of entrepreneurship, a real “Why didn’t I think of it” beating myself up for me was that of “Send your enemies glitter”. LOVED it. I envied it.
I should have thought about it first. Only I didn’t. Even if I had come up with it, my friends and I would have laughed it off over a bowl of poke, and we would have gone on with our lives and simply devouring more McFlurries and artisanal toasts with avocado and feta smash.
Turn your Marketing game around with loads of creativity and without budget!
Steal these tips and couple them with the free checklist provided, to increase effectiveness.
Put in that little extra work to get things moving, while your budget is intact.
Which ones are your favorite tips? Share your answers in the comments!