Are you struggling to market your business without spending a lot of money? Need help cutting costs?
Well, I have the perfect solutions for you. Keep reading..
This Saturday, I taught a workshop in Houston, TX at the Mind Your Biz Brunch and Learn. I taught women how to Market their Business on a Shoestring Budget, and I want to share with you some of the key points I touched on.
1. Create a Budget
Now, I know creating a budget sounds really simple, but you’d be surprised by how many people skip this step (might be you!).
Don’t wait until your business or brand is making money before you create a budget.
This is especially important for those of you who have brands in the creative space (bloggers, content creators, artists, etc). If you are spending any kind of money on your brand, you NEED TO HAVE A BUDGET.
Why is having a budget so important?
Well, for one, you need to know where your money is going.
How will you know what areas are taking most of your money and investment dollars if you are not monitoring your expenses? You need to have a system in place to monitor your expenses, and show you if your business is profitable. If you are spending a lot of money in a certain area that you can cut back on, your budget will help you make that decision.
How I was able to asses the need to start monetizing my brand on Instagram (@crystalngumezi) was by looking at where most of my money was going toward. For me, it was photography and fashion. So, I started monetizing my social media brand so I could pay to keep up with the demand to create great quality content for my brand and online audience.
I give you some great resources to create a budget and automate your expenses (great for those of you who are not finance people) in my new e-book, The Fundamentals to Building Your Brand Online.
2. Know Your Business Category
When it comes to marketing your business on a shoestring budget, it will be very important for you to understand your business category.
As the CEO of a nonprofit, a content creator on social media who works with major brands, and the owner of a consulting business, I know a thing or two about marketing on a budget for different industries.
So lets break this down…
Some ways to market your nonprofit business on a budget is to find easy fundraising ideas.
Here are a few:
- Online fundraising. Facebook and Go Fund Me are great online tools to use to raise funds for your nonprofit.
- E-commerce. Creating and selling products is a great way to generate funds for your nonprofit and market your organization to supporters in the community.
- Create a community. For nonprofits especially, creating a strong community base of supporters and people who believe in the mission of your organization is going to be crucial for you. These are the people who will participate in your fundraising efforts and spread the word about what your organization is doing in the community.
If you have a brand in the creative space, primarily if you are a fashion, beauty or lifestyle blogger/content creator, you will want to find easy ways to cut costs and generate money to support your brand.
Here are a few options that I have personally tried:
- Trade or sell your clothes. There are great local consignment stores and shops in your area that you should look into to trade or sell your clothes. You know how it goes – once you wear something on Instagram one time, it’s over! LOL. So look for places where you can swap out your outfits for brand new ones, or sell your clothes online through apps like Poshmark. This is a great way to keep a revolving door for your closet in order to have outfits ready to go for creating content for your brand.
- Collaborate with other creatives. Collaboration is key in the creative space! There are so many other creative minds out there that you can collaborate with to create great content for your brand. Photographers, stores, content creatives, models… you name it. Do your research online to find other creatives in your area to collaborate with. This is a great way to cut costs for your brand. I highly recommend this option!
For-profit Businesses (everybody else)
For those of you with general businesses (real estate, consulting, brick and mortar, etc.), here are a few ways you can cut costs in the area of marketing your business:
- Online advertisement. Online advertisement is a great way to market for your business (if you know what you’re doing). I go into much more detail about creating ads that will work for your business in my new e-book, The Fundamentals to Building Your Brand Online. I highly recommend testing out your ads online before you put money behind it (so you don’t waste money!!).
- Email marketing. Email marketing is an old school marketing technique, but one that still works today! Think of creative ways you can gain new subscribers to your email list. You want to think strategy. Target people who will want to do business with you in the future, and provide value to them up front.
- Network at events. I know, sometimes going to events can be expensive. My recommendation, join groups and professional networks that can provide value to you as you provide value to them. It’s all about networking here people. Nobody is going to know about your business if you’re not talking about it! A lot of the clients I get either come from Instagram or from referrals. Your network is a valuable resource that you should spend time investing in.
Last but certainly not least, when it comes to marketing your business on a shoestring budget, you want to know when to outsource certain roles and functions to other people.
As I mentioned before, I have 3 different businesses that I operate in 3 different industries (nonprofit, Instagram, Consulting), so let me help you here.
A common question I always get asked is,
“How do you do it all?” God has given me many gifts, and one of them is knowing when to delegate and outsource.
Now, I am a high performer with a spirit of excellence, so I don’t recommend outsourcing roles and functions to people who are not willing to operate at the same frequency as you. However, I do recommend doing your own research to identify key team players that you can add to your team of operations.
Here are a few ideas:
- Hire an intern. I am a teacher by nature (clearly lol), so I love the idea of internships because it gives me an opportunity to train people as they provide work and services to my companies. If you are not good at teaching, add someone to your team who is. Having an intern is a great idea budget wise, if you’re willing to train someone.
- Virtual assistance. Virtual assistance is a great online tool to outsource work without having to find a local worker. You can look online for virtual assistants in just about every field.
- Use apps! I am an app girl. My background is in mechanical engineering, logistics and process improvement, so I am a firm believer in the use and implementation of technology for operation solutions. Use your smart phone for what it was made to do – BE SMART! The investment you made to purchase your smart phone should go a long way, so use it!
And there you have it folks!
A few of my key tips and strategies to help you market your business on a shoestring budget.
I go into more depth and detail on the different softwares, online tools, and applications I personally use for my different businesses in my new e-book, The Fundamentals to Building Your Brand Online. Be sure to avail yourself to this great resource!
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You can find me on the internet via Instagram at @crystalngumezi, so don’t be a stranger!
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