3 Marketing Dos and Don'ts for Maximizing Profit on a Bootstrapped Budget
If you don't have a working marketing strategy, you're just as likely to feel stuck with money as you do without it - and a few key strategies make all the difference.
A company’s access to information, ideas, tools and other resources is at an all-time high, but it’s the ability to be decisive and apply what you learn quickly that is truly valuable. When it comes to marketing, the mantra is “measure, track and improve”. Keeping this in mind will, among other payoffs, avoid the trap of spending most of your time researching or otherwise consuming others’ content, and questioning your every move as a result, instead of attaining the confidence needed to truly achieve better results.
A few other principles:
1. Be the tequila, not the lime
Picture yourself as a subway singer. You have your “song”, or message, and instead of chasing down anyone who you think might like it, you stand still. Soon, a person stops to watch. More people see this and join. In minutes, you have a crowd. This is audience building, and you do it by creating a strong message and a winning offer, and standing in a single spot so people can easily find you. It’s rare that any platform these days won’t have some collection of your ideal clients on it; the next step is to decide that platform(s), consistently share the message, and commit to the process.
2. Be the voice, not the echo
Choosing to be a product of your idea and achievement is paramount to success. After Henry Ford built a revolutionary automobile, he would never take a horse into town. It would make no sense… like Steve Jobs living off the grid with a rotary phone. So, when you market something, you should use it. Say you sell software (perhaps you do); be the best example of the software in action… the most successful case study. Gather metrics from your own business and any software users, and prove that it works. Show people why it’s exceptional, don’t just tell them.
Marketing and selling on a small budget is easier, of course, when people want what you have. This makes you desirable, and desire creates demand. When you have a use case people can model, success feels inevitable.
Every interaction with an audience costs you money, however. If you can prove the value of what you sell personally, you’ll feel confident making bold claims, guarantees and confident offers. People will trust you more. Before you know it they are lined up at the door, and others begin to do the selling for you. Make it a goal to not need a bigger marketing budget by the time you have the money, and watch how that outlook shift impacts results.
3. Be the wise one, not the fool
Wise people are always aware of what they don’t know — they seek solutions on top of success, and make zero assumptions. So, think about the marketing actions you’ve invested time and money in. What’s working and what isn’t? Admit what you don’t know and compensate for weak spots. Work from facts, not opinions, because money is lost in the mistakes. Also, think about how you can scale back to only what’s worked well, then examine those strategies to see if they can work twice as much… in half the time. This includes spending wisely on annual subscriptions to software you know you’ll use instead of monthly plans, or how to cut down on fees or features you don’t need.
Then, consider how to build a better process. Create more streamlined systems to save hours per week, such as using templates for batched work, or what about automating work? Consider forming strategic partnerships, perhaps? Get creative and decisive; your options are unlimited, but time is not!
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor