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Marketing: No budget, no problem!

Sometimes it feels quite overwhelming, knowing that you have little to no budget and bugger-all time to boot!

Trust me, I get it. I’ve been there too. So I’ve put together a few ideas that will help you get your name out there and start calling in those clients you know are there just waiting for you! Even if you have a truly zero budget. You can spend a little time sprinkling magic and it’ll pay dividends.

Take a look at these 9 tips that'll cost you nothing but a few scattered hours:

1. Look at how far you’ve come and then plan your goals

First thing’s first, set a date in your diary - half a day is great - to really get to grips with where you’re at. Do a bit of an audit. Hold a marketing strategy session with yourself!

Analyse the content and marketing you’ve got going on right now. Which platforms are you using? What’s working well? If you’ve invested in ads, how are they performing?

Time to set your goals for the rest of the current year, and 2021. Look at where you want to go - your mission. Think about your objectives - what you’ve got to do to fulfil your mission. Now it’s time to strategise: this is the plan of how you’ll get there (sort of like a map!). Finally, it’s time for tactics. Tactics are the specific things you do to make the strategy happen! Boom!

2. Blog away!

I spend a lot of my time writing blogs for clients because they know how valuable blogs can be for lead generation and SEO. But if you can’t yet budget for a word witch, that’s not a problem! There’s absolutely no issue with you writing your own blogs. In fact, I’ve got tips here and here to help you out!

A good place to start is doing a mind map of blog ideas. Set a timer - 10 mins - and scribble down as many ideas as you can! From “How to make banana bread” (hahaha only kidding, no one needs more banana bread! Thanks Corona. Who knew we’d ever be sick of banana bread?!) to “3 ways I get energised in the morning”. It doesn’t matter, it’ll get your creative juices flowing!

If your content’s up to date, why not reach out to someone you’d love to collaborate with? Write them a guest blog. Not only will you be adding tonnes of value to their website with your knowledge, and reaching potential new clients, you’ll be able to create super valuable backlinks to your website.

Which leads me nicely to the next subheading...

3. Community over Competition

This is something I champion and believe we as women really ought to be doing ALL THE TIME. We’re trained by a patriarchal society to see each other as competition (for male attention) and it’s time we said NO.

Therefore, in the spirit of intersectional feminism and all things good in the world, I am urging you to connect with other founders and sing their praises. Share their shizzle, comment on their posts, and reach out for a collab. Read about why having a girl gang is so important here.

Especially emphasising this point in terms of the current situation. Because, right now, we’re all suffering a bit from the physical isolation of lockdown. But, for all the anxiety and loneliness it’s causing, it’s an ideal time to connect online with people on the other side of the world who you might not have had a chance to link up with otherwise. Feel a bit scared? What’s the worst that can happen? Take a deep breath and send that DM.

4. Stop blushing and share kudos from your clients!

If you haven’t done this already, I can tell you it is definitely worth doing! I am RUBBISH at asking for testimonials, but recently reached out asking recent customers for written reviews, and I’ve now used them all over my socials, in a launch and on my emails.

They are super powerful. For your own mindset and confidence as well as giving you tonnes of credibility. Endorsements help you build trust with potential customers and are often the reason people get the urge to push the “buy now” button.

5. Email elevation

When was the last time you refreshed your “Welcome” email, the automated one when someone signs up to your mailing list? Be honest...was it when you set up your website?! Hands up if you just left the template as it was? (I know at least 4 of my past clients have done this…)

Well, it’s time for flexing your brand muscles and jazzing up those automations a bit. If you’d never say “Hello”, then greet them with something more on brand. Sign them off in a way that sounds less like an old white dude on LinkedIn and more like you.

Next, send an email to your list. Tell them a story. Be honest, be vulnerable. Connect. Pop in a bit about services or freebies that they might find helpful.

Only got 7 people on your list? No worries. Put a CTA at the bottom asking them to forward to someone they know who might enjoy your musings, or needs what you’re offering.

6. Sprinkle some magic on your Instagram

Instagram is such an easy win for marketing. It’s not always about making sales, it’s mostly about positioning yourself as an expert, and building trust and deeper connections with your audience. And it’s also FREEEEEEEEEE! The algorithms aren’t always your friend, but the more you interact and the more value you bring, the more you’ll be seen.

One immediate thing you can do to level up on Insta is re-writing your bio. You can be as creative as you want with it. There are no rules apart from giving them somewhere to find out more about you - like a link to your website or blog-, or a freebie, a funnel...whatever!

Spend time planning content that serves your audience. Be helpful, be authentic, show your face! You could download a free app like Planoly to experiment with the look of your grid. Play around with quotes, photos and tip posts to see what looks best.

And don’t be afraid of stepping into Stories! Don’t go on and waffle incessantly (trust me, I’ve been there). Do share your day with your followers. Do a Day in the Life Of Me story. Show them a little of your routine, your workspace or your hobbies. A bit of behind the scenes action always goes down well. We’re all bloody nosy and love seeing other people are as normal and weird as we are! Follow @notaboutthekids for more on this!

7. Give away golden nuggets

This is something I do a fair bit, because it makes me feel good, but also means I’m memorable. Whether that’s an IGTV tip of the week, or doing a live Q&A, offering a free download or an informative blog post, or just a friendly bit of advice by something of value to your community is an easy win.

People remember the way you make them feel, so if you get a DM asking for help, don’t automatically think that person is a time waster. Helping them for free could lead to a great client relationship in the future. I’ve had messages 6 months after I offered support for free to a few lovely newbies on insta, because they had kept me in mind for when they had a budget for my services. Be kind. It pays in more ways than you’d expect!

8. Get to know your peops - Do Some Research

A mistake we’ve all come across on socials is someone talking non-stop about their services. It’s all they post about. However, it’s key that you understand that marketing is not just about promotion. Mix up your content! But also a huge part of connecting with your audience is getting to know them and their needs, not just assuming you already know what they want.

Use a survey to find out about their problems, desires and buying habits. Ask your existing customers for feedback, and put up some polls on socials for your followers to answer. By getting a better understanding and in-depth knowledge of your audience, you’ll be able to create offerings that bring them value and make you more sales!

9. Rewrite Your Website

If you’ve still got time on your hands, another simple marketing tactic is working on your website. You can make small tweaks that will impact its effectiveness massively! Try to look at it from a user’s perspective - how easy is it to navigate? Do the links all work? Are your services all up to date?

Take a look at the copy. Does it tell your reader - clearly - what you do? Is it obvious? Let them know who you are (tips on how to do this authentically here) and why they need you/your product in their life.

I’m always banging on about word witchery over on Insta, so head there and watch my videos for tips and tricks of how to improve your copy. You can also sign up to be a Scribe Sister here, and you’ll get access to the Witches Cupboard and the freebies in there. Woop woop.

Cover image photography by Sophie Carefull

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