Thursday, October 18, 2007

low-cost marketing techniques - part six

This post is part of a series, based on a talk I gave on the subject of inexpensive marketing techniques to the Toronto Chapter of Professional Organizers in Canada.

How do I market myself as a professional organizer? How do I market my professional organizing business?

6) Alternative marketing techniques

What do we mean when we talk about alternative marketing techniques? Let's take a look at the definition of Guerilla Marketing, a concept originated by author and marketing coach Jay Conrad Levinson.

Guerilla Marketing "is an unconventional way of performing promotional activities on a very low budget." (Wikipedia) Levinson identifies the following principles as some of the foundations of guerrilla marketing:

-Guerrilla Marketing is specifically geared for the small business.
-It should be based on human psychology instead of experience, judgment, and guesswork.
-Instead of money, the primary investments of marketing should be time, energy, and imagination.
-The primary statistic to measure your business is the amount of profits, not sales.
-The marketer should also concentrate on how many new relationships are made each month.

To read five other foundations of Guerilla Marketing, check out the entire Wikipedia article, here.

There are many low-cost techniques that you can use to market your business - and you can find a number of examples if you do a few online searches.

Suggested online search: How should I spend my marketing budget?

A few results from the above question will lead you to blog entries like the following, which answer the question, How would you spend a $1000 marketing budget?:

Firstly, $1000 isn’t a lot of money. Just like a prudent investor, you should never invest your marketing budget in only one or two untested areas.

For example - direct mail. Let’s say you rent a list for $300 and mail 1000 letters. Turns out the list was as old as the hills and you get minimal response (I’ve seen this happen several times, even with good copy).

Now you’ve blown your marketing budget!

With a budget of this size, I would suggest spending no more than $200 on any one marketing activity, and also parlaying the resources of others to stretch your budget further.

Read the rest of this blog post, here.

Here are some other suggestions from the same post:

I’m coming into this topic late as I’ve just discovered your blog, but wanted to add my comments as well. I am a home-based service business and my market is primarily local rather than online. Here’s what is on my list:

$150 - car/window decal done by a professional sign making company. I drive a lot and this exposure has proven to work in other businesses like mine.

$0 - this only requires my time (a few hours at the library or on the computer) to build my own mailing list using addresses in specific neighborhoods, demographic sects and targeted areas locally. This is a better option for me than buying a mailing list because my personal touch allows me to know exactly who I’m sending which materials to.

$400 - printing of targeted brochures, postcards, marketing materials or supplies for handmade promotional items for the mailing list I just created above. I have several different types of brochures based on the nature of each audience. (wedding, baby, travel, military, etc.)

$200 - postage to mail those materials above (this will reach about 500 people - but I would rarely do a mailing this large all at once. My typical mailing is about 75 per week so these expenses are spread out over time.)

Read the rest of this business owner's suggestions, here.

My next several posts will cover a variety of marketing techniques that you may wish to try, such as car signs, lawn signs, poster blitzes, promotions, targeted mailings, referral strategies, networking, public speaking, media attention, the Internet (including blogging), as well as positive thinking and visualization.

If you are interested in learning more about Guerilla Marketing, you can sign up for free newsletters and articles at Levinson's website,

List the alternative marketing methods that intrigue or interest you.

ACTION ITEM: Choose one marketing method and follow through on researching and implementing it in your marketing strategy within the next 30 days.


vickykarin said...

Interesting info. I'm new to the whole online marketing world and I've noticed that there are so many different ways of marketing yourself and your business online. You can put blogs on your website, comment on other blogs, use ppc agencies and Organic SEO Services etc etc. It's all about choosing the way that works best for you I guess.

Anonymous said...

I agree with vickykarin. You can market yourself and/or your business in a million ways these days. Almost all of the seo consultants I've been talking to though said that blog commenting is probably one of the cheapest and most effective strategies.