How to build a business without a big marketing budget

Whether it’s a brick and mortar business, a service business, a consulting business, or an online business, there are a lot of marketing strategies that overlap and can be used to build any of these types of businesses – without a big marketing budget!

Increase Client Retention

First and often the biggest consideration is how to increase client retention. It has been said that it takes seven times more money to acquire a new client than to keep an existing client. But so often, we’re focused only on client acquisition. What if you could create more products and services that your existing clients want to buy? For example, if you already have an in-person offering, can you offer an online offering that supplements your in person product or service? OR, if you’re an online business, can you offer a group program, a private consult, a live event – or something to further engage your existing client base? What can you ADD to your existing client services that would allow you to create additional revenue streams? Or how can you change your pricing or packages to increase continuity and have people paying you over and over again?

Build a Referral Program

Do you have a business full of raving fans? Have you ever even ASKED them for referrals? Often we’re afraid or embarrassed to ask for referrals. We don’t want to ask our clients for anything. We want to look like we don’t need anything from them? Dale Carnegie once did a study that found that 91% of clients would give a referral if asked. But only 11% had actually been asked! That is a HUGE disparity, and a HUGE opportunity. Are you asking your clients for referrals? Are you incentivizing their referrals? If not, you may want to consider making this a top priority this year. See our article on How to Get More Referrals, without a lot of money!

Create a Website That Converts

Is your website a stagnant brochure, or is your website a living, breathing item that brings in clients and prospects, even while you sleep? Once you do have traffic coming to your website, are you gathering their information? When working with our clients, we encourage you to list the TOP 3 things that you want your website to do.

  1. Do you want someone to book an appointment?
  2. Do you want someone to give you their email address?
  3. Do you want someone to buy a product?

Then build the site to do those things! For example, our site is used to build our email list and to provide great, valuable, free content to women who want to build businesses. Yes, we have sales opportunities, but they aren’t all over the site! As you go through our site, you’ll see that we offer all kinds of free education, with a lot of free, downloadable resources in exchange for your email address. That is one of our best ways to stay in touch with our prospects – and turn them into first time clients and repeat clients.

Build Your Email List

One of the biggest assets of your business is your email list. But yet, so many businesses aren’t doing the things necessary to build their email lists because they’ve been told that the best way to build an email list is through paid traffic and they think it costs a lot of money. Yes, paid traffic is absolutely a great way to build your list. But it isn’t the only way. You can build your email list with social media posts and opt ins in your links in bios. You can write blog posts and guest blog posts – and include opt ins in your posts. And you want to NURTURE that list with valuable content – NOT JUST SALES PROMOTIONS! Your money is in your list!

Cross-Promote

As women, we often behave like we are on a deserted island all by ourselves and that there is no one around to support us or help us, that we have do to all of it on our own. The thing is, we’re really nurturing people who like to help those that matter to us! Offer one of your business bestie’s offers in your email newsletter. Include some links on your website to one of their offers. Do a cross-feature on your social media accounts. Do a joint event together – either in person or online! Swap services as bonuses for someone purchasing a product. There are SOOOOO many ways that you can build your business by working together – either formally through affiliate relationships (paying a commission on sales) or informally just as women helping women.

I hope that this article was really helpful and thought provoking in how you can build your business, and your revenues – possibly without spending any money at all. Remember – money buys speed. If you don’t have the money for paid traffic, or hiring a team to do everything for you, that’s ok! You’ll just have to be a bit more creative in how you get started! Almost all of us first started our businesses on a shoestring budget! (I know I did.) But with proper planning and proper strategy, you can absolutely build a six (and ultimately seven) figure business without spending a ton of money on marketing!

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