Earlier this week I had an email from a man whose business has really been hit by Covid. He is struggling to get people to sign up and is suffering from the fact that he has noticed that people have become more focused on price (possibly due to changes in their own circumstances during the pandemic) but as a small business he is unable to lower his prices. He was at a loss about what he could do to turn things around with a limited budget.
So, I sent him a few ideas and given the current climate and the fact that many businesses are suffering from the same thing at the moment I thought I would share with you what I shared with him. If you’re low on funds and need to raise the profile of your business here are some cost-effective things to try.
Blog. It can be a slow burner but gives you the opportunity to share your expertise and can often act as a place to direct people when they want advice.
Think about what makes your business unique and then share your story. That can be anything from sharing on your social channels to sharing with the media. It could be talking at a networking event or how you speak on your website. Whatever your story use and share it far and wide.
Depending on the type of business you have you could set up a Facebook group or create some sort of online challenge for followers that will encourage them to share/spread the word.
Re-read the fabulous blog that Shona Chambers of Shona Chambers Marketing wrote a few months ago where she shared 50 free marketing tips for small business owners https://www.beckandcallpr.co.uk/post/guest-blog-50-free-marketing-tips-for-small-business-owners-by-shona-chambers
Get networking. If you’re anything like me the thought of traditional networking actually makes me, feel a little queasy. I hate doing things like 60 seconds and have been to groups where it feels like people only speak to me to try and sell me. Not for me. But the world of networking has changed and there are definitely more opening up that are more informal and step away from the usual setup. Plus, lots of them have now gone online which means geography won’t stop you from finding the perfect group for you.
Consider collaborating with an individual or business that compliments yours. I recently ran a storytelling workshop with coach Lisa Townsend who runs Change Your Badge. I also work with photographer Susan Truseler to offer the Bigger Picture photography and PR package to small businesses.
If you can afford to create a special offer
Go traditional and get some flyers. Now spaces are opening up put flyers and business cards in relevant places e.g., if you’re an accountant you could use a local coffee shop where you see lots of potentially self-employed people working from. If you run a baby class, go to where the mum’s hangout (in my case this was the library, we loved baby bounce and rhyme) Flyers in local cafes (when they open next week
Sponsorship of a local club/team
Is there a charity that you could work with or support? You could encourage people to get involved with what you are doing or just share the news of how you are helping. With charity I always advise working with an organisation that genuinely means something and is important to you. Don’t work with an organisation just for the sake of publicity.
Finally, where can you add value? Is there something you can give people that enhances their experience and feels like a benefit without costing you any extra money? In the case of the man, I spoke to he ran a gym so I suggested one possibility could be teaming up with other local businesses that could be of interest to his users and creating an offer. An example would be teaming up with a juice bar. The bar gives members of the gym 10% off if they show their membership. This way the juice bar gets new customers and can upsell once they get people in and your clients feel they are getting something on top of their membership. Everyone’s a winner. This could be extended and include lots of local businesses working together to offer a package.
This is in no way an exhaustive list but hopefully gives you some ideas of ways you can promote your business during what might be tricky times.
If you have any questions, then please feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org