Marketing plays a crucial role in the success of any startup, small enterprise or a freelance business. The only problem is that it can be quite expensive and it’s usually one of the first victims of belt-tightening.
Well, we want to argue that this is a grave mistake, even for those who have nothing more than a shoestring budget.
Namely, marketing can be a real game-changer, a surefire way to rise above the competition and make strides towards set goals. Besides, it does not have to cost an arm and a leg, not if you play it smart and employ cost-effective strategies.
A planned method
Before everything else, embrace an organized approach to marketing. Come up with a rock-solid marketing plan, your roadmap for lining up your finances and shaping and executing campaigns. Note that this document also sets your short-term, mid-term and end goals that keep you on the right course.
They need to be realistic, tangible and measurable. It also helps to set a time frame and key performance indicators you are going to track. All in all, a killer plan is the main tool for implementing your ideas and achieving much-needed consistency across marketing channels.
Next, it is time to work out a budget. Bear in mind that most startups dedicate around 20% of their revenue to marketing and it should not be any different for your freelance business. Financial woes must never be used as an excuse, as it is possible to work miracles with more than humble budgets.
Moreover, you can look into various financing options. You can consider applying for personal loans or small business loans. You may not like the notion of getting into debt to fund your campaigns, but in the long-term, that decision can pay dividends.
To make every marketing dollar count, you need to have a crystal-clear idea of where to put them. In other words, cost-effective campaigns are rooted in facts and figures. To acquire them, do thorough research and identify who your audience or clients are.
Get to know their habits, preferences and wants. You can go the extra mile and put together a database of potential customers. If you lack the time to do this, hire a freelance virtual assistant or an administration expert.
Armed with knowledge, focus only on activities that have an impact and generate value (revenue).
Digital marketing is the best shot you have to get a business name out there without breaking the bank. In this day and age, we have a multitude of cost-effective channels at our disposal. They also have incredible reach and ability to capture and retain attention.
So, establish a strong online presence with a business website, blog and social media profiles. Use them in synergy to take your visibility and (personal) brand awareness to a whole new level. Do not overlook email marketing either, which is still one of the marketing strategies with the highest ROI.
In the world of digital marketing, content is the undisputed king. Quality is the main trait of posts that hit the right notes with the audience and do well in search engines. To get the most bang for your buck, take advantage of prominent trends as well.
Make the most of eye-popping visuals like infographics, product images, and engaging videos. Get into search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure your content is easy to find and engage with. Drive massive organic traffic to your digital real estate and make an effort to enhance your bottom line.
If it works, it works
It is easy to fall for fads and try too hard to be trendy. Cost-effective marketing, however, is all about doing what works. So, do not overlook a single opportunity to build relationships and foster loyalty and trust. For instance, launching social media campaigns is not a reason to completely disregard promotional merchandise and print media like flyers.
Your marketing plan should be integrative, meaning it ideally encompasses both traditional and digital marketing. That being said, you might want to stick to a few main strategies and avoid spreading yourself too thin.
Above and beyond
Marketing is integral to the success of any freelance business. It empowers you to make a name for yourself and spread brand awareness far and wide. So, create a sound action plan and outline your objectives.
Create a clear marketing budget and be present on digital and real-world avenues where your customers dwell. Allocate resources optimally and gain maximum traction. Seize immense opportunities and gain a leg up on the competition, reaching customers before your they do.
You have a great chance to set your business apart from the rest of the busy freelance landscape.