Guest post from Beth Anne Schwamberger of
In Crystal’s book, , she gives incredible advice on how to find a great business idea and how to grow that business wisely.
I agree with Crystal’s advice: You shouldn’t have to go into debt to start a business. There are so many opportunities to market your products or services, and grow your income without taking a hit to your bank account. While these methods will require hard work and an investment of time, the benefit is that once you know how to use them effectively, you can train a dependable team member to perform these tasks while you continue to grow. .
Below are four ways my sister and I have marketed our business for free.
1.) Pinterest. Pinterest isn’t just a great place for bloggers. Product-based businesses can do well here, too. Our current storefront is getting over 50% of its traffic from Pinterest. And did you know that ?
Quick Tips for Pinterest Marketing:
- Create and curate boards that reflect the ideal lifestyle of your customers. For example, if you sell baby products, pins about parenting, activities you can do with your baby, and nursery inspiration will all help to draw in your ideal customer.
- Pin original content. Since the majority of pins on Pinterest are re-pins (meaning they were found right on the platform), pinning items direct from a website can make them stand out — particularly if you pin newly published content.
- Use killer keywords. Many people use the search bar on Pinterest to find content. If you use the right keywords in your pin descriptions and in your board titles, categories, and descriptions, your content can be found over and over again.
2.) Instagram. Instagram combines the visual appeal of Pinterest with relationship-building. Once we reached about 700 followers on the platform, we were able to make consistent sales. We’ve sold our products with flash sales, a Black Friday deal, lifestyle shots of our products, and photos and quotes from happy customers.
Quick Tips for Instagram Marketing:
- Use a consistent photo editing style so that your feed feels cohesive. For example, you may choose to slightly over-expose your photos and add cool tones to them. Or you may choose to sharpen your photos and add warm tones. Whatever editing style you choose, pick a recipe and stick with it.
- Use hashtags that will attract your ideal customer with each post. You can put up to 30 hashtags in the first comment of your photo. How do you find these hashtags? Use the search bar. As you discover posts with great hashtags, inevitably, they’ll lead you to other great hashtags you can try.
- Like, comment, and interact on the posts of users who fit your target market. Build relationships, and you will build followers and brand enthusiasts in the process.
3.) Email Marketing. One of the best things you can do for your business is to build an email list. Despite all of the work we do on social media and the sales we earn there, email performs even better. You can build a relationship with your potential customers over time, and as you provide value in the form of great content and helpful information, they decide to make a purchase. Many email service providers are free until your first 2,000 subscribers. Crystal shared tons of practical tips on building your email list on Periscope. .
Quick Tips for Email Marketing:
- Create a great freebie to encourage people to join your list. Simply stating “sign up to receive the latest posts” is not going to get you far. Your freebie could be a checklist, printable, coupon to your shop, e-book, free video training, access to a private Facebook group, or any number of other items.
- Make sure your freebie attracts the right audience. If you sell knitted items, for example, you want to entice people who enjoy buying high-end, handmade items, not other knitters. Consider a style guide for winter knits, for example, instead of a free knitting pattern.
- Set up an auto-responder sequence for new subscribers. This will make the process of building a relationship much easier. Introduce them to you, your business, and your best content. Provide helpful tips, then pitch your products or services after you’ve provided a lot of value. We just recently set up an auto-responder sequence, and it has been wonderful for our business! It’s not nearly as complicated as you might think. In MailChimp, for example, simply click Automation at the top, and the process is straightforward from there.
4.) Guest Posting. One of the most effective ways to reach a new audience, establish authority, and build relationships with influencers in your niche is to guest post.
Quick Tips for Guest Posting:
- Read the Guest Post Guidelines on the site first. Every blogger will have different preferences and requirements, and you need to follow these exactly to make a great impression.
- Get to know the blog’s content well. Pitch a topic that relates closely to content on the site but also fills a gap. Link to other posts on the blog to give their content a boost. And on that note: don’t link to your own content unless you’re given explicit permission to do so.
- Offer a great freebie to the blogger’s audience so that you can continue to build a relationship with them.
I wouldn’t be following my own advice if I didn’t offer you something fun for reading this post! .
These sheets are also included in our . If you decide to , use the coupon code MONEYMAKINGMOM at checkout to get an exclusive $5 off all orders of $10 or more for the month of December!
Beth Anne Schwamberger is the younger, quirkier half of the which she co-hosts with her sister Sarah. They’re passionate about providing the encouragement, support, and resources moms need to grow businesses on the side while also spending time with their families.