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Marketing / Business marketing

3 simple and free marketing ideas that win you customers quickly

Even if you only try one of these free marketing ideas, I guarantee you’ll land new customers and it won’t cost you a cent.

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free marketing ideas

In this post, I’m going to teach you 3 powerful free marketing ideas to attract new customers quickly and increase your revenue.

Best of all?

All of these free marketing ideas actually work.

How do I know? Because these are the same marketing strategies I utilised to get my first customers in the door when I was just starting out.

"Facebook groups are a gold mine for potential new customers!"

Ready? Good! Let’s get started.

1. Attend industry conferences

Let me share a story with you. Back when I first started my digital marketing agency I had zero money to spend on expensive advertising campaigns. Sound familiar?

I knew my perfect customer was a business owner so I thought to myself, ‘where do business owners hang out?’ That’s when it hit me; industry conferences! They’re full of business owners checking out the latest industry-leading technologies and seeing what’s new in their industry.

Personally, I live in Melbourne, and I dunno about you, but literally every weekend there’s some sort of big industry trade show event held at the Melbourne Convention Centre, and I bet your city has the same, or similar, events.

The best part? Most of these events are completely free to attend, so that’s where I spent a lot of my time in the beginning. Armed with a few business cards and a smile on my face, I walked around the conference floor and introduced myself to as many people as I could.

At first, and I won’t lie to you, it was intimidating. But I soon realised after a few friendly conversations and awkward ice-breakers, almost everyone at these events is in a good mood, catching up with colleagues, and more than happy to have a chat.

I actually started to enjoy the experience.

Here are some quick tips to help get you started:

  • Jump on your city’s convention centre website and have a look at the ‘Upcoming Events’ page. For example, I did a quick search on the Melbourne Convention Centre site and in under 30 seconds found at least 8 different events being held next month that would be full of business owners. AKA, my ideal client.

Seriously, it’s that easy.

  • If you try this idea don’t go for the hard sell, nobody likes that and it will most likely get you nowhere. Be human and just try to spark up a general conversation with as many people as you can. Before long, people will ask what it is you do and that’s when you take the opportunity to deliver a short pitch.
  • You’ll be surprised what a few friendly conversations can achieve. Before long I had a stack of business cards from potential clients wanting me to follow up with them after the conference to discuss their company’s online marketing strategy.

2. Join Facebook groups

Facebook groups are a gold mine for potential new customers and better yet, you don’t need to get out of your PJs to find them!

Here’s a simple step-by-step method to follow:

  • Search Facebook for groups related to your niche. For example, let’s say you run a graphic design business from home.
    Simply type ‘graphic design’’ into Facebook and you’ll see a tonne of relevant Facebook groups full of potential customers. Facebook even has a nice feature showing you ‘related searches’ to find more groups.
  • Sign up to as many of these groups as possible.
  • Remember: Facebook groups vary in quality and you don’t want to waste any time on the bad ones. I recommend keeping a close eye on them at first and looking out for any groups filled with people just posting self-promotion and advertising material. Remove yourself from these groups right away.
  • Now it’s just a matter of becoming an active contributor to these groups. Ask interesting questions, post helpful hints and help answer questions posted by other members. Your goal here is to become an active and valued member of the group, not to become a spammer.
  • It’s also worth mentioning some of these groups require a one-time paid entry fee. But don’t let that put you off, paid groups often have high-quality prospects and stop spammy people.
  • Finally, you want to share success stories of existing clients you’ve helped. Remember though, you don’t want to advertise your services; all you need to do is show the results of your hard work. By doing this you position yourself as an expert in your field. Trust me, your private messages will start to fill up with potential new customers interested in your products and services in no time.

Pro-tip: Make sure your personal profile has a link back to your company website. Lots of people will check out your profile and if they see a link to your site, it’s an opportunity to properly expose them to your business.

3. Create a referral program

There is no better marketing than word of mouth.

Think about it…

If a friend, family member or someone you work with recommends a product or service to you, how likely are you to choose that option over another?

The answer is highly likely.

A referral program encourages people to spread the word about your business and it’s a great way to find new customers.

More importantly, setting up your referral program is easy.

All you need to do is send an email to your current customers offering them either a cash reward or a discount on their next purchase when they refer a new customer.

Here’s a great example of Airbnb’s referral program:

Final thoughts

Ok, now it’s your turn.

Which of these easy and free marketing ideas will you try?

Are you going to attend any industry conferences, start a referral program, or begin engaging with people on Facebook?

Whatever free marketing ideas you choose to implement, I’d love to hear your opinions and success stories in the comments below.

Jonathan Gorham

is a digital marketing consultant specialising in driving organic traffic through content, search and social. He currently owns Engine Scout, a digital marketing agency with offices in Melbourne and Geelong.

You can connect with Jonathan on LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+.

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