After six years of trying to run a business that wouldn’t bring me any bacon if I owned a pig farm, I decided I needed to market myself from a new, fresh perspective and at absolutely NO COST! But how would that be possible when in this day-and-age everything costs something and usually a lot? Several free teleclasses hosted by coaches, small business owners and trainers later, I learned quite a bit about how to start a business without knowing diddly!
First, I am a Certified Professional Coach and Motivational Speaker who works with folks who have big dreams of quitting long-time careers; being the number one in sales at their companies; or having successful businesses themselves. So you can imagine that when I was noticing that my practice was not thriving just how embarrassing that was. I figured if I wanted to stay a businesswoman and not go back to work for somebody else, I was going to have to open up, ask for help, and roll up my sleeves and do some possibly “uncomfortable” work.
Thus, I started from scratch. I took on a lot of unpaid speaking gigs to kickstart my business back into high-gear as well as started writing a ton! I knew since I was losing money, I had to started over without paying a dime. I hope my learning serves you big time. So here we go with my low or no-cost steps to get your business back and I swear, if you follow these easy, free steps, your business will be taking off in no time.
Attend free teleclasses, they are a wealth of information! Usually you have to pay the long distance fees for the call but if you have a phone service like Vonage, Skype or YorVoice then you are not paying a thing. I learned about publishing, marketing, and joint ventures all because I attended teleclasses that taught me about them.
Mail a “warm” letter or “warm” email to friends (it is better if you send a warm letter by using both snail-mail and email) telling them what you do, asking for help or requesting that they refer you to other folks. Also, send a free monthly or quarterly newsletter to your database. You may want to check out services like Constant Contact as they have a free 60-day trial and have wonderful templates to build a newsletter or promotional mailers.
Write articles with amazines.com, EzineArticles.com or successarticles.com to get published and noticed, it does not cost you a thing. It also does not cost you a penny to email a journalist with an article and the permission to publish it. I suggest writing an article at minimum once weekly for publishing. I am from the United States but an individual from Australia read one of my articles, enjoyed it and contacted me! Had I not written this free article, I would have never been in contact with him.
Call radio stations, web radio stations and local cable tv channels offering your services, a story, or advise what your business is. They want to hear, believe me! When they are short on stories, they always use what other folks have already mailed in and they save your information.
This definitely does not cost a thing. Have an automatic signature line which pops up every email advising the name of your business, your tag line, what you do, your website, and how you can be contacted. Folks actually read who sent the email so having the aforementioned info in your signature line is crucial!
6. Join a Joint Venture (JV) club-
Many JV clubs offer a free 30-day trial. Check out the privatejvclub.com. The beautiful thing about joint ventures is that they are people just like you and me who are starting out and need help spreading the word on their businesses. They want to partner up with other folks just like you and help in any way they can.
7. Host free “business” parties-
When I was starting out, I called them free “Life Coaching Parties.” I asked my friends to host a party by inviting their friends and then I would come in and give a quick, fun,and easy presentation about my business and services. I offered a complimentarly consultation to the attendees in an effort to drum up clients. Also, I passed out a newsletter sign-up sheet so they could be contacted by me when new things were going on with my business such as classes, presentations, seminars and workshops. You never know, they may send your updates to their friends and so on.
offer fee packages and be upfront about them. Create packages that include a “deal” for the purchaser but also keeps them working with you for awhile as well. I suggest having three separate fee packages, one that is the most expensive, a middle-range price, and the cheapest package. That way, if a prospective client really wants to work with you but may not have the money, they can still sign up for your services because you have a cheaper package. And, they will remember this about you when they acquire more money later, they will ultimately want to pay for the more expensive package because they now can.
9. Host teleclasses-
You can start off by offering this service for free. Utilize this method as an opportunity to discuss something you feel passionate about, something you wish to educate folks about, and be sure to inform them at the end what your services are. Later, you may also start to charge for these classes and services. You may find the free bridge lines by simply going to any search engine and typing in, “free teleconference lines.”
10. Create workshops-
People want to learn about anything and will pay or attend a free workshop when they see it will impact their life. Check out the library for low pricing on rental space or conduct the workshop in your home or somebody else’s home. Perhaps your full-time job will allow you to use their space? Space is hard to come by especially for free so don’t be shy in using the resources that you already have available to you.
Now, I know many of you may have a fear of public speaking and well that is for another article or perhaps you need to coach with me about that but that, too, is another article (hee, hee), but if you don’t have that fear, then get out there and publicize yourself and your business. I suggest Kiwanis, Lion’s,and Rotary Clubs as they are desperate for speakers. You may want to try your church, book club, or networking groups. I have gotten other speaking gigs as well as clients by creating a quick workbook and giving a pleasant presenation at various networking groups and clubs.
I hope these tips were helpful and feel free to call me anytime for more tips and tricks or a complimentary coaching consultation! Also, I speak on this topic, so if you wish to see it in the flesh, I would be more than happy to assist you in any way that I can. Shameless marketing on my part, eh??? And guess what, it didn’t cost me diddly!