As I look back on my working life, whether it was working as the Officer in Charge at Grenada Public Service Credit Union now called Ariza Credit Union or later in financial services in Canada. I have always had a side hustle. During those times, I was just making some extra money, either writing business plans or social media marketing. I did my undergraduate degree in Economics; I never thought I’d now be working in digital media, much less doing a Master of Digital Media. However, my love for digital media grew as I got deeper into my side hustle. Now my side hustle has taken over my life.
Many believe that marketing and advertising is an expensive business practice; however there are creative ways that even the smallest business can take advantage of. Social Media and the Internet has leveled the playing field between small and large businesses to some extent. In the past, larger businesses had an advantage over smaller ones based on the size of their marketing budget. This is not the case today, and the following are some creative ways to market yourself like a big business:
Content Marketing– Content marketing involves sharing valuable information to your online community; information that will inform and educate without directly selling to them. At the end of the day,when people feel informed and smarter they will feel a connection to your brand which will lead them back to you when they’re in need. Some examples of content you can share include blog posts and articles, infographics, videos and other graphic designs. The best part about Content marketing is that for the most part it’s free, with tools such as Canva or Easely.
Social Media Ads– Whether it’s Facebook, Google AdWords, LinkedIn or Twitter, social media ads are one of the best ways to market your business. My favourite is Facebook. If you’re a small business owner and you’re not on Facebook, that is a big mistake. It is free to set up a Facebook page and free to post valuable content to build a relationship with clients. Facebook ads allow you to reach your ideal audience very cheaply. Businesses can spend as little as $1.00 a day to run ad campaigns to generate Leads and Customers. The targeting and retargeting options and also the ability to create custom audiences from your email list and website visitors is great for business marketing activities.
Email Marketing– One of your best assets in business is your email list, because you get to reach out to these people at any time, offer them value and also pitch them products and services. However, there is an art to doing this; sending random emails with random subject lines will not get your email opened. You may also have people unsubscribe from your list if you do this. Ryan Deiss wrote a book called ‘The Invisible Selling Machine’ where he shows how email marketing should be done. Small businesses need to get an email marketing service such as aweber or Mailchimp and start building their list immediately.
Give talks at networking events, workshops and meet-ups– One of the most creative ways to market your business is to share your expertise with others who are willing to listen. Networking events and meet-ups are great opportunities to share with others. You can also start your own meet-up in your industry. One-on-one workshops are also a great way to get in front of people and get the word out about your business.
Partnering with other brands and small businesses– This is very effective because when businesses partner with each other they are able to tap into each other’s resources. Two small businesses can agree to promote each other’s products or services. They can also team up to run joint promotional campaigns, which they may not have been able to do if they were doing it on their own.