Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

Recently I blogged about how to engage in Marketing from a Dead Stop in which I cited five essentially free steps: 1. Contact List, 2. Phone Call, 3. Follow-up Email, 4. Email Marketing or Invitation, 5. Count the Results. Doesn’t cost a thing, fits into almost everyone’s skillsets, and it’s more than you were doing.

Step five shows us that statistically, almost any effort pays off. So why not put a little more effort in and see what happens? Say your website looks like a hyperlink list from the turn of the century and your business cards are so old they might come back in style. I am going to assume that you have a budget of $1,000 – use your credit card if you have to. This is an investment!

Get a fresh logo for $50-400 at one of these sites:

Or, check with the local design college and offer to pay for the best student submission. You need high-resolution artwork in multiple formats.

Design a new business card. I use, but there are many others.

Use your new logo and business card design and hire someone to build you a simple website based on that. Here’s what your minimalist site needs:

A home page with a value proposition and call to action: “You care enough about to find our website. Discover why this is your lucky day ”

This link takes you to a landing page with a personal note from you, the proprietor (with photograph):

“We care too. Our clients agree . Our company is the one that discerning buyers like you switch to when outstanding results are your top priority. Personalized results start with a conversation. You can reach me .”

Do this as an embedded video if you are capable or have a teenager at home.

You need three more pages for a total of five or five sections on a brochure-style website. Here’s the list:

  1. Home page with logo, value proposition, and call to action
  2. Landing page with written invitation or video from the proprietor
  3. Testimonial page with 3-5 quotes from clients with name, title, and company (important!)
  4. What Our Customers Do (as opposed to the tired “What we do”): Describe your ideal customer and how they use your services.
  5. Contact Us: All your contact information, address, email, phone – don’t be shy! Plus, add a link so they can request that you contact them instead. Be sure to add a place for them to suggest a good time to call.

Use photos where you can, but they must be high-resolution images and all of your photos need to be equally good. One bad image will ruin your site. Trust me on this.

Have any money left over? Have your business card folks create a 5×7 card suitable for mail or a leave-behind. On one side mirror the content of your Customers and Testimonials pages from your website. On the other side, put your contact information and a space for a personal, handwritten note. Leave room for address and postage.

Now, send people to your website whenever you can. Mail the 5×7 to anyone new you come in contact with or hand it to new prospects you meet in person. Be proud of your new logo and business card. Don’t let yourself be discouraged by uninvited criticism. In fact, never ask what people think of your marketing unless you plan on making a change.

You may have more resources than the examples in this article and the previous one. Good for you: you can afford to take it up a notch or two. What you can’t afford to do is wait longer.

Tom Stimson MBA, CTS helps owners and management teams rediscover the fun and profit that comes from making better decisions about smarter goals. He is an expert on project-based selling and a thought leader for innovative business processes. Since 2006, Tom has successfully advised over two hundred companies and organizations on business strategy, process, marketing, and sales. Learn More at TRSTIMSON.COM