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Marketing to a budget

Start with your website
Marketing is not always about spending money, you can work with the promotional material you currently have and your website is a perfect example. Aim to re-visit your website every month or so to ensure the content is fresh and that any new products and services are being promoted.

In the main, your website is key to attracting the customers you don't know about, rather than the customers or clients you do. Existing clients will know how to navigate and find information on your website but visitors who have found you through referral will need to discover this information for themselves, so spend time ensuring that content is accessible.

Don't forget that your website should not be all about you, you, you. Put your potential customers in mind at all times and think about their needs - give them solutions to their problems. Offer useful information in return for an email address (just like this newsletter), this will provide you with a cost effective means of contacting them in the future and encourage them to keep visiting your website for updates.

Email newsletters
The email newsletter, or infoshot is an incredibly cost effective way to keep in touch with your clients and customers. There are numerous email campaign management tools available including Campaign Monitor and Graphic Mail, which are relatively cheap to set up and simple to maintain.

Be aware that there are rules to sending out emails and you need to make sure you work within them or you can potentially damage your brand. One of the main issues to consider when sending email campaigns is the opt-in and opt-out facility for the receiver. Don't bury the opt-out information or re-contact unsubscribers, as user frustration will also damage your reputation.

We always recommend keeping these emails relevant and useful, start the exchange of value first and give something to your subscribers.

85mm x 55mm
One of the most effective forms of marketing is your business card. Make it your aim to have the best business card at an event. This doesn't necessarily mean you have to invest vast amounts of money, but a cheap business card does say more about you than you think.

Blog about what you do
If you don't already have a blog, you can set one up fairly quickly using WordPress or Blogger. These can be hosted externally or incorporated into your own website. As long as you're disciplined it doesn’t take too much effort to maintain a blog; put time aside to update it but keep in mind what your blogging about. It is easy to use your blog as a personal sounding off platform but if this isn't relevant to your business then a separate, personal blog should be set-up to avoid any association.