Spending unreasonable amount of money and on ineffective marketing strategies.
In attempt to promote my latest acquired skill, I paid money to advertise my skills and contact information on billboards. I also hired five to seven random people I just met so they could be my promotional team. My billboards generated phone calls that weren’t for my business. My promotional team scared customers away and was combative when I would inquire about their supposed marketing efforts.
Often times, I hear people say that they are limited on their money and that marketing can be pricey. Your success is an investment, and even if it’s not money, then it’s time. How much does your success mean to you?
How much does it cost to take a picture of someone? How much does it cost for you to find the nearest networking event or class needed to boost your career? How much does it cost to say “Hi”?
Everything I mentioned can be achieved in the range of $0 to $1,500 depending on your location, your connections, and the expertise of those you might hire to help you complete these tasks. And while paying for outside help to market can become pricey, following are some things you can do by yourself and with less money.
Here are a few less than one hundred dollar ideas to help build up your brand and market your career:
1. Marketing Follow Up Tools
You can create businesses cards to pass out to individuals for less than $50. You can create a simple website for less than $100 with WordPress or Wix. MailChimp lets you send newsletters to up to 2,000 people for free. Skype is an inexpensive way to communicate and market your services to potential clients. It is also used for meetings and job interviews.
2. Social Media
Social media sites are free to sign up to. You can use a camera phone to take pictures and record your visual branding moments. Want a logo or neat animated way to showcase your work? Look at sites like Fiverr.com to help you with creating your ideas for $5-$25. You can even do cross-promotion with another company or organization. See if they would promote you or your product if you agree to have a link to their website or put their logo on your site.
Blogs can be used to give your advice on a subject. Creating a blog on Google Blogger and Tumblr are free as long as you set up a profile within that site (or with Google Blogger you must have a Google account).
4. Join Clubs or Memberships Related to Your Field
Do you want to be in the field of human resources? One of the best organizations to join is the Society for Human Resource Management. Most organizations have different chapters depending on the city you are in and even have opportunities to start a chapter to your town if you have an interest in bringing the organization to your city. Membership fees vary and may be annual as well.
5. Get Local
Look in your local events paper or newspaper for events, articles, and stories that expose you to opportunities or individuals you need to connect with. Craigslist is like an online classified section in a newspaper. While there are many questionable posts on Craigslist, those that are written professionally and enable you to research the background of the company or event are ones you should reach out to with your information. There are so many opportunities for people to work in any field they want and the opportunities are on this site.
I also would suggest using sites like Meetup that pair you up with groups that have similar interests to yours. You’d be surprised by the groups that are out there like one to learn French or a traveling Meetup group. Meetups make it easier to strike up a conversation with individuals because you will at least have a mutual interest in being at the event. The meetups even allow you to send messages to the attendees of the event.
6. Research Your Craft
There are webinars, classes, workshops, and seminars that are offered regularly on a wide array of topics. Sign up to receive daily news from an informative website. Visit a bookstore or a library and look for books that can help you with your business.
7. Get Help
If you need outside marketing help, there might be students that you can reach out to who need the experience of working with you to use for their portfolios or resumes. They can assist you with your marketing needs for low costs. No matter if it is a student or someone who is considered an expert for years, make sure that you do your research and get more than one quote for the service you want.
Make sure that whoever you chose to do your marketing, that there is a written contract that specifies what they will do, the length of time of their service, the breakdown of the costs, and a clause that covers what happens if you are not satisfied with their work. There are many advantages to hiring an expert to perform and manage your marketing materials, but make sure you hire someone who is going to give your brand the results and professionalism that you can stand behind.
Your marketing efforts are most effective when they are seen where your target audience can appreciate them the most. Researching your target audience’s interests or regularly-visited places can let you know where to spend your advertising dollars.
If you are going to get an outside team to do your marketing, be careful of who you hire to represent you and your brand. What is their experience? Do they have references? What are your required marketing goals for them to reach? Training a team to represent you or investing in a team that lacks the experience or the professionalism for what you want to achieve is counterproductive for your goals.
About the Author
Desha Elliott is the CEO and Founder of PB7App, the Editor in Chief of B.O.S.S E-Magazine, and Director of Business Development for DrDesha LLC.