In updating one of my marketing programs (that I’ll be presenting on Kaua`i in June), I recently reached out to some of my savvy colleagues and asked for their insight on the top 3 most cost-effective strategies in their marketing toolboxes. First, business coach Andrea Feinberg shared 4 marketing lessons she learned from her mom. Then, PeggyLee Hanson shared 3 marketing lessons learned by throwing caution to the wind.
Now, Kimberly Pitts shares the top 3 strategies she used when she first launched her business 12 years ago.
As you will notice my top 3 strategies all deal with meeting potential clients in group settings. Building a marketing strategy that is focused only on one-to-one strategies takes a lot of time in reaching your business goals. I needed to find ways that would maximize my time, so that I could balance building a business while still cultivating my family life.
Strategy #1 – Launch Events:
When I started my business, I would host “launch events” at local restaurants where there was no cost to use their meeting rooms. I had formed a great team of friends and family that were committed to sharing the events with those that fit my ideal client. When people attended, I made sure it was very interactive, no heavy selling whatsoever, and I made a point to get to know them. I would share with them what my business was, and I learned what they were striving to do. This helped them get to know me and I got to know them. They ended up referring their friends to the next event I held.
To this day, I still host these events as they are a very effective tool for my business. My biggest cost was time, but it was well worth it. I would advise that you ask for support from 5-7 people you know who will truly be there to assist you in getting the word out.
Strategy #2 – Marketing Workshops:
Once a month I would hold affordable marketing workshops for entrepreneurial women. I would charge $25 (remember this was 12 years ago!). I would strive to have 10 women at each workshop. Now to some, that was setting my limits ways too low. However, I knew that I had to build my name and credibility so I was willing to start small. Hosting these training workshops allowed people to see my training style, my depth of knowledge and my level of support in helping them build their business.
As time went on, the workshops grew and I attracted more clients. Fast forward 12 years and we now have an annual conference held in October each year and we hold bi-monthly marketing focused workshops.
My biggest cost when I started these was $100 for the room rental. I was very active in a number of networking groups so I would advertise in those circles. The key to remember is that people do business with those they feel understand what they need. Plus, they people want to feel like they can trust you. So holding these events accomplished that for me.
Strategy #3 Meet Up Groups:
I created a couple of Meet Up groups that focused on the interest of my ideal clients. I held Meet Up groups for about 6 years, until I could no longer host them. This was a great way to build the Know-Like-Trust factor with potential clients. We held fun events in creative locations teaching marketing principles. I structured each event to be more than just meeting up and socializing. I infused learning marketing and being aware of how to really brand yourself in each meeting. These events were very crucial in developing my business, because I helped them to see that marketing your business is fun, creative and it should designed around who you are. Often people design their business around what they think they should be.
I focused a lot on connecting with my ideal clients. I did not wait for them to find me, I committed to finding them and getting to know them. Many people feel that networking is a waste of time and I had started to feel that way. So I made a decision to create my own networking groups through the launch events and Meet Up groups. By doing so, I was able to connect face-to-face with my ideal clients. I teach this to my clients every single day. I would encourage you to be creative, have fun with creating your marketing programs and really build a cost-effective marketing strategy that will draw in your clients.
Do you use any of Kimberly’s 3 favorite marketing strategies? Have another one you’d like to share? Feel free to post it in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you. Thanks!
About guest blogger, Kimberly Pitts: Founder of U Impact, LLC, Kimberly is a Marketing/Client Attraction Coach who provides marketing implementation and strategy programs for women entrepreneurs. She shows them how to maximize their marketing efforts, create systems for their business, attract their ideal client, and strategically build their business for maximum results.