10 Free or Nearly Free Marketing Ideas
"I met a relationship coach who is making $20,000 per month." Jenni said triumphantly.
"Are you sure?" I said, head cocked to one side and eyebrow raised.
"Well, that's what she said." she replied, her spirit a little wilted.
"How are YOU doing with your online business?" I wondered.
"Not very well. I have tried the best I can. I send out great emails and have wonderful classes but only 10 to 20 people sign up. I can't keep myself afloat with so few students!"
"How big is your email list?"
"632, three more opt ins yesterday and my open rate is 35%!" Triumph back in her voice, Jenni continued, "People love my work, they tell me that all the time."
Sound familiar? If you are like Jenni and you are unhappy with 20 buyers out of a list of 632, you need a mathitude adjustment. According to the Universal Law of Distribution (just as true as the Law of Attraction and the Law of Gravity) you can expect 2% of your group to leap into action.
To spare you a run for your calculator, 2% of 632 is....drum roll....12.64. That would mean that if you did indeed book 20 people in a class....you are ahead of the curve.
If you need 20 students a week to survive, you don't need more registrations, you need a bigger pond to fish in. Creating a good looking, interesting and easy to navigate blog will draw attention to you and your topic. That is a good thing.
That is how you make money with your blog. Google loves blogs. New clients/readers/customers find you as your blog presence grows and shows off your expertise. The more people revolving around you, the more likely you will sell goods and services.
If your marketing budget is non-existent, I feel for you. But, no money is no excuse. You have time and with time you can invest in yourself. I built my platform myself and have active revenue streams on two blogs. If you are ready to focus and get serious, these grass roots marketing steps will help you make money.
I didn't tell you the rest of Jenni's story. An internet PR guy told her that until her email list was 12,000 strong, he couldn't help her.
If you are reading this article, you are here on Your Tango--the world's hottest relationship article marketing site. The media scour YT expert columnists for interviews, TV appearances and opinion pieces. If you write for Your Tango, you have immediate credibility and respect.
Ready for action? I hope so. To be successful you have to establish your expertise (build your platform). Here are 10 Grass Roots Marketing steps that will cost you next to nothing and get you tangible results:
1. When possible, choose a sexy angle to focus on. Sex sells but clever sex sells even better. You might be able to create a cool alliance with Ande Lyons at http://BringBackDesire.com Inviting guest bloggers is a brilliant way to bring yourself to another woman's audience. Check out what Rosie Battista guested on Heidi Lee Munson's blog. http://www.theartoftoadkissing.com/2012/01/17/5-confidence-boosting-foods/
2. Create a Marketing Mission Statement based on that focus. This simply means establishing yourself as an expert in your topic. The more evidence of your expertise, the stronger your platform. Every action you take must line up with your specific mission statement. All other tasks are to be kept on a list for the future.
3. Simplify your website. Pruning is the healthiest thing you can do for a prize winning rose and it is the same for your web presence. Take away as much as you can. You want to train your readers to click...yes, that is true, but only on the path you lay out for them. Arielle Ford's site for her newly released book is a great example of a platform focused blogsite: http://WabiSabiLove.com
4. Get in front of people to talk about your expertise. There is nothing like being in person. I know many are tempted to create coaching income from home and have a teleseminar success story. If your list is under 5000, don't expect teaching classes online to create appreciable income.
5. Leverage speaking engagements. Mindfully craft your presentation to have a compelling personalized message. Work with a friend to brainstorm the most compelling headline and message you can come up with. Your friends will be honest with you...if you ask them. Compelling material is your ultimate achievement.
6. Give a way a kitschy gift as a 'door' prize. Yes, you may have a copy of your book and/or other material to give away. People expect that so go the extra mile. By having a fun door prize you become remarkable and as successful internet marketers know...Be Remarkable or Be Gone. A client of mine, Shelley Miller at http://HomeExchangeExpert.com spoke at an event recently at a cool Italian bistro here in San Diego.
The presentation was casual and compelling, the restaurant perfectly selected to match the travel theme and Shelley's enthusiasm for her topic instantly convinced us of her expertise. She had a very active Q and A and had quick entertaining answers for all. She barely had time to eat her lunch.
At the end she asked for every one's email address to keep them posted on the publication of her book and drew a name for the door prize. Her valuable gift? A simple mini vinyl globe...less than $5. You should have seen how excited the winner was. People are funny, aren't they?
7. At the end of the talk, pitch a workshop, series of classes or event for pay. At this point in creating expertise, you are very much in seduction mode. You want to tease, tease, tease. Keep your mission in mind. Whatever you pick as your singular focus, create a one day or 5 week series of classes on something highlighting your focus.
You will feed off of the energy in the room and you need that. I will never forget what one of my mentors taught me. You only need to be two steps ahead of your client/reader/customer to be considered an expert. Huh? Yep, it is true. There are people out there who see you as a genius for what you know. YOU are the one who has to believe it!
8. When pricing your first events, price fair but a bit lower than competing events. You want butts in the chairs, period. There is nothing like the cluelessness of your audience to boost your confidence in your topic. You can create events demanding a bigger investment from your audience in due time. Right now, the attention of curious people is worth its weight in gold.
9. Commit to building your online community. Now that you have an action plan and you are booking your speaking engagements, you are ready to invite people to engage with you on line.
If you don't already have one, you will need an email list provider. There are many but my favorite is Aweber.com. I like them because you can create as many opt in lists as you want. Makes it easy to sort your different classes and campaigns.
Your confidence as an expert always creates irresistible magnetism around your book/project/company. It is YOU people want to know about especially when they start to feel your authority in your topic. Wonder what you will write to your audience once they are on your list? Here's a great resource: How to Connect to Your Email List
10. Commit to blogging regularly to interact with your followers. Commit to a daily intention of build connection with your readers. Sometimes I scan the names and email addys of my Aweber list and send love, light and a smile. Some people have been following me for years. They may never buy anything, but they are interacting by opening the email and clicking through to my blog.
Your Blog Angel Tip: Personally email the people who comment on your blog. Of course, it is always savvy to answer comments on your blog, but a personal email is always a surprise and helps you stand out in the crowd.
Eventually people will buy from you, there is an insatiable desire for information out there! You just need to remember the Law of Distribution and have reasonable goals. If you need to create more income than the math predicts is likely, don't panic.
Find an accountability partner who will pin you to the wall to take action on each and every one of these steps. Read number 2 one more time. Is your Mission Statement compelling...to you? Are you passionate to see your work make a difference. Prove it. Commit to action and follow this plan.
If you don't create revenue as a result of these steps, then here's what to do. In the book The One Minute Millionaire by Mark Victor Hansen teaches that any plan should have a simple outline. Prepare. Execute. Review. So that's what you do.
If you haven't created any buzz, interest or cashola after following through with these steps it means just one thing. Back to the drawing board. Something is off. If you are in your passion, taking action and providing people with something they perceive as high value you will see evidence of success. The Prepare-Execute-Review method always helps you course correct to achievement.
The most important secret to success I can give you is this. You must have an accountability partner and you must commit to daily focused action. Focused on what? Go back and read number 2.
Curious about your Blog Marketing IQ? Take this quick quiz and find out where you stand: What's Your BMQ?