I hear you when you say you don’t like the word “marketing”. It feels kind of icky. It might make you feel like you have to stop what you’re doing, sell your soul, and turn every online touchpoint into a sales pitch. But no, that’s not what I want you to do, or what I want to chat with you about. Over the past year, especially, marketing has changed a lot. Now, more than ever, entrepreneurs are required to pay attention and pivot as often as necessary as things change. I want to talk you through 3 ways to market yourself without spending a cent. Let’s turn marketing into a positive thing that works for you!
Encourage Your Clients to Share
I feel that testimonials are one of the best tools I have at my disposal and I don’t have to pay for them. When you wrap up a project, ask your client to share about their experience with you. What other people have to say about you can be a highly effective advertising tool. Give them everything they need to share in a way that will speak to future ideal clients about why you are the most awesome creative to work with.
Now, put this testimonial to work! Display it on your website, post it on social media, share it in your new proposals, etc. Allow your clients to brag about you.
Use Social Media
Social media is still the simplest and fastest way to get in front of the right people. Different platforms provide you with different opportunities to grow, and reach your ideal audience. You do not – I repeat – you DO NOT have to pay for ads or boosted content to leverage social media in your favor.
Great social media means knowing who your audience is on each platform and giving them the content they want to digest. Maybe on Facebook it’s blog posts and personal photos of your family. Perhaps on Instagram it’s pictures of client projects, hosting Ask Me Anything ‘sessions’, and sharing industry articles that speak to their pain points. There are myriad ways to speak to your ideal audience on social media.
Get Your Name Out There
You basically have two options when it comes to being featured on your favorite websites, by your favorite brands, etc. The first is that you can pay them for advertising space. The second is that you can be featured by them in some way. Trust me when I say that even though the second is harder work, it’s worth it. Submit your content early and often. Don’t give up. And though it does cost you time, it won’t cost you dollars. Set aside a portion of your time specifically for these goals.
Guest on a podcast, submit to beautiful publications, offer to fill needs that those you admire might have (in a way that serves your business), create content for audiences of those you respect but may be outside your niche. Have a servant’s attitude, but don’t get taken advantage of. See how happy people are to share when it helps them, too!
Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, you don’t necessarily have to pay for it at all. If you have a plan in place and know your goals, all 3 of these things will move you toward your ideal audience knowing your worth.
I believe people want to create connections with other people, so if the amount of money you have to invest in your business right now is $0, focus on genuine engagement and creating content for the people who already follow you. Give them what they want, and they’ll tell their friends.