Cheap marketing ideas for YOUR small business!

Posted by Aaron Root on

how to low cost marketing ideas

Have you wondered how to get customers without spending a fortune?

     In our industry and many others small business owners struggle daily with customer acquisition and growing their business. In this blog segment we are going to offer some quick tips and ideas that helped us get customers when we first started pressure washing! Some of this is industry specific but much of it can be applied to all industries and used to start getting customers TODAY!

 

How about FREE options?

Yes you read that right, there are totally free options to get customers. You won't need to pay us or another advertising "guru" and you can get started on this right now. 

        1) Google and other search engines

           Did you know you can be listed on all major search engines free without having a website or any computer knowledge at all?

Most search engines have a local business tool which allows you to list your name, phone number, website(if you have it), and more right on their engine with a few quick clicks!

 

Getting a Google listing is extremely simple and FREE. Check out this short video from Google explaining the process. If you need more help follow the link below for a step by step guide!

https://support.google.com/business/answer/2911778?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en

 

 

 

 

 Easy right?

This is a similar process for all search engines including Yahoo, Bing, Google, and more. These listings will start driving traffic and building your brand as soon as they are listed. Being listed on all the major search engines is by far the best advertising you can have!

 

     

 

 

        2) Social Media

In the world of today social media is present everywhere. Customers search on social media for reviews, customer opinions, pricing, sales, and a fast or easy way to contact a business. A strong social media presence is imperative for a successful business! 

How do you chose which social media to join?

It's quite simple, to get in front of the largest target audience you should join ALL of them. 

Joining alone isn't enough though, you must post and be active. Reply to customers and reviews fast, and be professional and non-opinionated. 

Facebook provides a number of FREE online classes that can help boost your skills and set you up for success using all of their platforms which are probably the most common. You can find that linked below.

https://www.facebook.com/business/learn

 Once you have a business Facebook account it would be wise to start posting pictures immediately and share those posts to local buy/sell/trade groups. The groups are free to use and if you are respectful, follow their rules, and don't spam the group with posts, you can get a great amount of business and customers following your social media pages from these posts.

Another great option to drive traffic to your business is a business Youtube or TikTok account. Previously Youtube was the "go-to" for people wanting to showcase before, during, and after videos of their work but with the recent growth of TikTok many people are flocking to it and while your videos will be short, you will have a high chance of someone randomly viewing it.

 

Need help setting up a Youtube account? This video breaks it down for you! If that isn't enough here's a link with more information.

https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/1646861?hl=en

 

 

 Now how about some inexpensive ideas?

Not everyone is looking for free and some may have created the items listed above already. So what do you do if you're posting regularly on social media, have search engine listings, and still want to drive more business?

Logo Design!

A high quality, eye catching logo can be a game changer. When you see a well known brand your mind can easily pick out and remember their simple and attractive logos. Many small businesses try to overcomplicate their logo and make it hard to see, difficult to understand, or just plain overwhelming. For a relatively small fee you can have a professional logo made! We have people who can assist you with this (Contact us) or you can usually find a foreign individual or company on Fiverr.com that can help design a logo for a very low cost. Be cautious on Fiverr though because many of the logos are not unique and you may find yourself using a logo to brand your business which is used by many others.

 

Can you build a website?

You might be surprised to know that you can build your own website if you have plenty of free time by using one of the free website builder tools offered by many webhosting services. This is perfect for a new company on a very slim budget but if budget allows you should look at having a professional complete this work. When buying a website DO NOT buy into the hype of a cheap monthly price from companies as you usually never own the site or the domain name so once you stop paying them or they go out of business your website, web address, and all the search engine optimization done will be gone. You can get a nice, professional website for between $2000-$3500 most times and this site will be more easily found in organic search listings and drive people to your website. It should pay for itself in the first 2-3 months usually. We have a great web designer who can help if you are interested (contact us here for more info).

 

 Flyers and print ads

Flyers and print ads can be a great way to get your name out and start building a brand. You can usually make your own designs that are fairly simple yet appealing and have them printed starting at about $50. One tip, don't use the free design templates! Spend the time and use your creative skill to make something no one else has. Set yourself apart from your competition! Pass these out in your neighborhood, at the golf course, and at other places you may frequent that draw people with disposable income. Places you probably don't want to put them are laundromats or other areas where customers probably can't afford your services. While you can never judge a book by it's cover you also want to make sure your limited marketing resources have the most impact and return by getting them seen by the right people!
We will have a complete blog post on print ads, how to distribute them, and expected returns in the future so stay tuned!

Give your services away for free

I know you're saying to yourself "Nope, I'm skipping this part" but hear me out first. Potential customers absolutely love seeing businesses give back to the community. This not only helps your community but it provides you with a bunch of absolutely free advertising and word of mouth as well. We would usually focus on community based nonprofit organizations such as churches and youth centers. Police stations and fire houses can be good option as well. To locate potential groups or places needing our services we would create a simple post on our social media thanking the community for using us and offering to give back by cleaning the entry or front area of a building or sidewalk of a church or other nonprofit for free. We would then share this post or boost it to a selected area using Facebook marketing. With this post we've already painted our company in a positive and memorable image to potential customers without doing anything. Once we have found a suitable location we would explain the amount of time we were able to spend and set the expectations of the free work we would be performing. Usually limited to 2-4 hours depending on the size of the organization. We would take great before and after photos and once we were done we almost always got a request to clean more of that particular location and usually we would receive many quote requests from members of the organization as well that were thankful for the free work we had given them. Using this strategy alone we brought in over $20,000 in profit in two months in our last year in the field.

How about one more free tip?

Always be professional and polite. Every person on the road, in the store checkout line, and at every business is a potential customer. It's easy to create a local reputation for yourself and if it's not positive, it's hard to change that reputation. Go above and beyond, turn the other cheek when you might have wanted to say a mean reply, or help someone change a flat tire or jumpstart their car. For the most part these people will remember those times you've helped them and even if they don't use your service they may recommend you to someone else.

 

That's all for this week!

Thanks for reading guys. This is only our second week on this project so expect things to get more visually appealing and better laid out as I learn more about this system. As long as we continue to receive positive feedback and you guys continue to enjoy these I will keep doing them.

 Stay warm and have a great week!

 

-Aaron