Marketing 101, with tips for low-cost marketing (or free marketing)

Marketing does not have to be expensive—you can start small. These are some tips around how to get the most out of a tiny marketing budget, and still grow your business.

Start small, invest your profits back into marketing

If all you have is $300, then start there. If that $300 produces a customer, take the profit and put it back into marketing, let’s say up to $450 month, and see how it does. Keep putting the profit you make each month back into marketing and see how quickly marketing pays for itself.

Be strategic and analyze each marketing source’s effectiveness

Remember, you have to be strategic. You can’t just spend money and not answer your phone. Well-placed marketing is worth the investment because there’s a return. When you spend $1000 and get 3 or 4 customers who will use you for a year or longer, it pays for itself. You have to analyze each marketing source you spend money with— is it a weak source, driving low-value customers or none at all? Then cut that source and replace it with a proven source.

Be responsive – answer inbound leads immediately

You need to be sure you’re responsive to your marketing—answer immediately—it’s not going to work if you don’t call prospects back for days or if they can’t ever reach you. With a quick response, you should be able to snag those jobs that your marketing drives to you.

No money? Invest time instead

If you really can’t afford to spend money on marketing you can spend time instead. Sometimes you have more time than money… and sometimes you have neither but you find a way!

Low-cost (or free) marketing ideas

  • Build up your Facebook page and presence, participate in Facebook groups by making recommendations for local restaurants and dialoguing with people on Facebook. It costs you nothing. When the time is right, talk about your service and get the word out.
  • Email marketing is very cheap. It’s not free, but it’s inexpensive. Build your list and communicate to your subscribers with relevant information and offers.
  • Go to networking events and attend local events in your community, like local trade shows or festivals. I had an employee attend a women’s event today— we had our table and signage, which probably cost me $100, and had hundreds of people to come by and engage with my employee.
  • Incentivize a friend to drum up business— give them $20 for each client they send you.
  • Partner affiliate relationships don’t cost you anything but a business card. Leave business cards at local nail salons and restaurants and tell them that for every client they refer, you’ll give the client a $50 gift card for nail treatment or dining out. The partner businesses will be thrilled to promote you because that means money back to them.

This is just a sample of the kind of help I can offer in my 16 week Cleaning Business Fundamentals course. My course is a no-holds-barred program to teach you how to get out of the field and what the right way is to add customers and staff quickly. For a free 30 minute consultation to discuss whether my course is a good fit for you, simply fill out my owner’s survey and I’ll be in touch to set up a time to talk.