Marketing without money
If you think marketing requires a lot of your time and money—or, hiring someone to do it for you—I’ve got good news for you! There are so many ways to get the word out about your business, none of which will cost you a dime. Let’s dive in:
Emails, Texts, and Social Media posts
Sending out regular communication about your services, specials, and events via email, text, and social media posts is one of the best ways to stay in front of your customers. Clever wording and eye-catching pictures/graphics will ensure you stand out.
Cultivating Your Existing Client Base
Use what’s already in front of you: your existing clients. These folks already like and trust you, so don’t be shy. Tell them about a new product or treatment that you and other clients are loving, make them a can’t-refuse-offer on a series of treatments, or invite them to a special event you’re hosting (and ask them to bring a friend). The more the merrier!
Generally speaking, people enjoy helping other people. Asking new and existing customers for a glowing customer review on sites such as Yelp! and Google should be an integral part of your every day marketing repertoire. Most customers will gladly help you boost your biz for nothing in return, but if you throw in a little incentive (maybe a free add-on treatment for any referrals received from a review), you may get an even more enthusiastic response.
Become a YouTube Regular
Publishing regular short videos of yourself, your co-workers, your treatments in progress, and before- and after- shots allows viewers to easily associate a face and voice with your business. Not only that, but videos can be very helpful in establishing you as an expert in your field.
Content is King
Writing your own content for your website is important for a few reasons: 1) Google likes fresh content as far as search rankings go, 2) linking your content to your social media pages increases your exposure, and 3) it gives you a chance to let your customers know more about you, your personality, your hobbies, and your passions—and the more interested they are in you, the more interested they will be in your business.
Dare to Be Different
One of the things I always stress to students in my marketing classes is that they have to find a way to stand out from the crowd. Let’s say you move to a new city and are looking for a new hair stylist. You Google it and get about 100 stylists: Who are you going to choose?
If #1-99 of those stylists have the same cookie cutter websites, with the same stock photos, and the same dreary marketing copy—but #100 has a really slick website with beautiful photos of actual clients, and a YouTube channel with witty videos that showcase his/her humor and passion for what they do—wouldn’t you choose #100? I know I would. Whether you’re the funny facialist with the thick New Jersey accent, or the one who posts the most intriguing photos on Instagram, or the one who is the expert on extractions and performs them at no additional charge—dare to be different. Let your personality shine in all of your marketing efforts. Let the world know you have something to offer that no one else does.
No money for marketing? No problem! Use the suggestions in this article and you’ll be well on your way to success. But remember—always start with a written plan of action, and always track results. Decide in advance how often you will send out communications, post on social media, etc. And it’s always a good idea (and free!) to ask friends and family for feedback on your marketing endeavors.