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7 Free Marketing Strategies

A good marketing strategy minimizes the use of resources to achieve maximum benefits. For a small business with a tight budget, there are different approaches to communicate with potential customers and achieve maximum results at low cost. Whether it is targeting the general audience or a specific one, the choice of strategy will be influenced by the availability of funds – which is sometimes limited. Therefore, having the option of free strategies is an advantage that can help boost your business while keeping your cost at a minimal level. Here are 7 free marketing strategies that can help grow your business.

Strategy #1: Join a Free Networking Forum

When you join a networking forum, your focus will be to form new relationships or strengthen existing ones. This will provide great opportunities to connect with people in your field, where you can share ideas, and discuss subjects of interest. Use this forum to share information about your business, and convert your contacts into potential customers. Through these forums you can also increase your knowledge, which in turn will help transform your business, leading to better quality products or services, and increased sales. Networking forums are free, only requiring your time and effort.

Strategy #2: Email Marketing

Take advantage of networking opportunities to obtain contact information from your potential customers. With their permission, take the time to send out useful information. This can include things such as notifications on new products, events, and newsletters to keep them updated about your developments. However, do this periodically (i.e. don’t spam your email subscribers) to avoid being intrusive. Meanwhile continue to grow your email list to expand your customer base.

Strategy #3: Begin blogging

Blogging is an effective way of reaching out to your target audience, and building lasting relationships with them. By interacting with like-minded people on your blog, you build a community which is a resource for potential customers. Over time, you can share information about your business and encourage them to buy your products or services. This is a long-term strategy that requires dedication and consistency to see results. Guest blogging is also an option that gives you access to another blog’s audience. When you contribute quality blogs you attract the attention of their audience, you may be asked to contribute more. Eventually you will build trust with them and benefit from referral traffic.

Strategy #4: Be active on Social media networks

Use networks such as Facebook, Twitter, or professional networking sites to promote your business. This is a very effective method of marketing because it provides access to a large and diversified potential market, where you can attract attention, or traffic to your website. Create promotional content and post them on your social networks, and encourage people to share with their contacts. Engage your readers by responding to their feedback which will result in building relationships with your customers. Focus on the network where your customers are most active for maximum effect.

Strategy #5: Word-of-mouth marketing

Word of mouth marketing is personal communication to a potential customer about your service or product. It can either be oral, or a written referral by a pleased customer. As the business owner, begin to see every person you meet as a potential customer and during conversation, use the opportunity to tell people about your business. Ensure that you provide good quality products or services, because a happy customer will always tell others about your business.

Strategy #6: Get links to other websites

Take advantage of the relationship you have built with service providers and ask them to link you to their website. This way they become a source for potential customers at no cost at all. The more visible you are on other websites. the higher the chances that they will contact you.

Strategy #7: Provide useful information to your customers

One good way of retaining existing customers is providing useful tips that will help them maximize the benefits of the products or services you are selling. For instance, a company selling hair products can provide tips on choosing the best products for different hair types. Your customers will be grateful for the useful information and it will keep them coming back.

In conclusion, marketing need not be costly. With good time investment you can take advantage of the 7 free marketing strategies listed here to boost your business. These strategies involve connecting with people, sharing information, and (over time) convincing them buy your products or services with no direct cost incurred. They do not guarantee instant results, but with your effort, dedication and patience you will reap the benefits in the long run.

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3 Forms of Free Advertisement For Authors & Bloggers

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Advertising your books or your blog can be expensive. The truth of the matter is that $5 here and there, along with dropping $50 or $100 once in a while, adds up – and it adds up quickly. Finding ways to advertise that will also stretch a limited budget is especially important for authors and bloggers, because budgets are usually tight from the very start. Ready to find out how you can advertise your books or blog for free? Check out these three great ways to get started.

1. Word of Mouth

Word of mouth is one of the oldest forms of advertising, and it still works well to do this day. The best part is that word of mouth is entirely free, and people are much more likely to follow up on something a friend tells them versus something they saw on a commercial or billboard. Plus, word of mouth is incredibly easy to start. Just tell someone you know to spread the news, or hand out a business card to an interested stranger you meet in your day to day. Ask your current followers to invite their friends to your page – it’s really that easy!

2. Social Media

Social media is free, although there are usually paid options. It just depends on which social sites you’re currently using. The big thing here is that you need to be using social media the right way. Too many individuals start out using hard selling techniques, only to find that it doesn’t bring in the desired results. That’s because you need to focus on soft selling techniques on social media, with engagement being your primary goal and sales being your secondary goal. Engagement through social media has the potential to create a type of very personal customer/reader loyalty that you simply can’t form any other way.

3. Link Exchanging

Social media is a great way to create professional relationships, and so are things like conventions, guest blogging, etc. You can use relevant professional relationships to help one another advertise, and link exchanging is just one really great example of how. When you exchange links with someone, you are offering to advertise their books, blog, or website on your own blog or website, while they do the same for you. It’s simple, free, and can help to pool everyone’s followers together to create a much larger following for everyone involved.

Do you have any free forms of advertising that you’d like to share? Tell us about it in the comments, and we’ll cover it in a follow up blog post! Come back tomorrow for a look at three more free forms of advertising for bloggers and authors that we’ve come up with ourselves.

If you’d like to read more on a similar topic, be sure to check out our blog post, 7 Quick Marketing Tips For Authors and Bloggers.

7 Quick Marketing Tips For Authors & Bloggers

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Think your marketing could use some revamping? Or that there is something you’re missing in your marketing strategy? Check out these quick tips to get you started on the right path!

#1: Send A Weekly Email

If you don’t already have a weekly email you send out, you should start crafting one now. A weekly email keeps your fans up to date with what you’re doing, what’s going on with your blog, and can feature pieces you’ve written for additional exposure. The awesome thing about this is that emails tend to be more personal than other forms of marketing. It keeps you at the front of your follower’s minds, creates a stronger relationship between you and your audience, and also offers a steady form of interaction.

#2: Offer Free Books & Ask For Reviews

As an independent author, it can be hard to get people to read your books. They aren’t sure what they’ll be getting, so they’re much more hesitant than if it were a well-known author. You can remedy this by offering out a few copies of your book for free. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but giving them away on your social media or blog once every month or every other month is sufficient. Ask those that receive free copies to leave reviews on major sites once they’re done reading. The more reviews an indie book has, the more likely it is that people (unaware of who you are) will purchase it.

#3: Use Giveaways

Run flash or Rafflecopter giveaways that reward people for sharing you, your works, and the giveaway itself forward. This helps in two ways. First, it shows people that you care, because you’re willing to reward them for helping you. Second, it brings in new people who may not have previously been aware of you and your works. This helps to broaden your primary audience, which could result in additional book sales, likes, follows, and fans.

#4: Content Marketing, Part One

Content marketing is one of the primary forms used to bring people to your blog. These people are then introduced to your work, which may or may not result in them becoming a new fan of it. You have to do your content marketing in the correct way for it to pay off, however. Ensure your message and tone are fairly consistent, although there is a lot more leeway on this than if you were a company instead of an individual. It’s also a good idea to break your content up into easy digestible bites of information. Each paragraph should, ideally, be no longer than five sentences. Making use of images is also a good practice, as content with images has been proven to be read in it’s entirety much more often.

#5: Content Marketing, Part Two

Speaking of content marketing, you should remember to write with your audience in mind. What do they want to hear? What will they relate to? Ensure there are no typos or grammatical errors in your content as well, as too many of these mistakes can seem highly unprofessional.

#6: Use Business Cards

Carry a few business cards with you at all times, and hand them out when the opportunity arises. If you don’t already have business cards made, you can create 250 for free at Vista Print. Business cards can help to begin a word of mouth campaign, which is truly invaluable. Think about it like this: are you more likely to try something a friend or stranger told you about?

#7: Keep Social Media Active

If you want social media marketing to pay off, it is absolutely vital that you keep all of your accounts active. It’s better to have less active accounts than a whole bunch of accounts that you never post on. If you don’t keep social media accounts active,  you’ll fade from your follower’s minds. This makes inactive accounts literally worthless. Active accounts, on the other hand, keeps you at the front of follower’s minds.

Making use of these seven incredibly simple marketing tips can help you give your efforts that little extra boost. If you’d like to read more about marketing for authors and bloggers, be sure to check out our post, 6 Simple Things You Must Do On Social Media.

6 Simple Things You Must Do On Social Media

facebook_button_eu3gIf you’re an author, blogger, marketer, etc. chances are very high you’re using social media. But are you using it correctly? There are a few key things you should be doing if you really want your social media marketing to pay off, and today I’m going to supply you with what those things are. Ready? Here we go!

Item #1: Post Often

If you’re not keeping your social media active, it isn’t doing you a bit of good. You should try posting to EACH ACCOUNT once per day. That means every single account you have, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, etc. If you have more accounts than you can keep active, it would be best for you to get rid of the one which helps the least. Stay on top of things if you want to see results.

Item #2: Like All Comments

It takes just a few minutes to go through each of your social media accounts and like each post. This is a simple way of showing your followers that you care enough to read what they write. Because of this, you’re much more likely to receive more engagement if you take the time out to like all of the comments you received the following day – or in however long it’s been since you were last on your accounts.

Item #3: Respond To At Least Five Comments

You should be personally responding to at least five comments PER SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNT per day. This is just another way of showing your followers that you care about what they have to say, which helps to boost your engagement. No one wants to interact with someone who doesn’t interact back. It’d be like talking to a wall!

Item #4: Respond To All Relevant Messages

Each day, take the time to respond to all relevant messages. This includes any messages which aren’t spam, or simply say “Hi” or anything along those lines. If someone has taken the time to craft a well-written messages to you, take the time to respond back in kind.

Item #5: Share Something Relevant

Share one item (something relevant to your followers) on each social account each day. It takes just a few seconds to click the share, re-tweet, or pin button, and it serves two purposes. First, it helps keep your social media accounts active. Second, it helps you to connect with other individuals in order to form business relations that could prove useful in the long run.

Item #6: Keep Information Up To Date

Whenever something changes, you should update your social media accounts to reflect this. It’s simply a matter of giving your followers accurate, up to date information.

If you ensure you’re doing this six simple things with your social media accounts, you can be confident that you’re reaping the benefits of them. If you don’t use your social media accounts properly, however, they aren’t going to do you one bit of good.

Want more marketing information? Check out our posts, 4 Simple Tips To Boost Book Sales, and 4 More Simple Tips To Boost Book Sales.

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