We've all heard the old saying, "You have to spend money to make money." But in this chicken-and-egg conversation, what do you do if you haven't yet made enough money to spend? In a company's infancy, finding the money to get going with marketing can be particularly tough.
Eventually, you'll want to start setting some money aside for your marketing budget, but until that day comes, here are some inbound marketing tips that won't tip the scale of your bottom line:
Inbound marketing is founded on the basis that if you're awesome enough you just attract the right people wherever you go. Focus on making the things you're great at even better, and make sure you're honest enough with yourself to identify your faults so you can work to correct them. You don't want to grow too quickly without addressing potential opportunities to improve or you'll scare away potential customers before they even know you exist.
You need fresh content. Not just once in a while or when something cool comes along. All the time. Share tips and tricks. Answer your customer's questions. Talk about controversial topics in your industry, be BOLD, be BRAVE! Talk about your awesome employees. Reference upcoming industry events. Find ways to link to other pages that your readers will find interesting or useful in your blogs. This gracious cyber gift will likely find its way back to your door in the form of a new friend or two just for you.
Social media may be known for weird cat videos and talking dogs, but it also has an amazing way of getting the word out about legitimately great companies, too. Set aside dedicated time to cater to your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media sites, identify where your ideal customers connect, post all your blogs and engage with them through these media sites. The more you socialize, the more eyes you're getting in front of, and the more likely those folks are to share your name and ideas to their circle.
Shuffle Your Cents
So, you can't find the cash to spend on inbound marketing efforts. Does that mean you're spending marketing dollars on other distribution channels? If you're using outdated or ineffective marketing methods, shuffle those cents into new efforts that could yield a better ROI.
Here are some great free tools you can use:
Canva is a great, free version of Photoshop and InDesign that is extremely user friendly. You don’t need a background in design to use this free tool. There are customizable free templates and it’s very easy to create original work for your campaigns, blog posts, social media platforms, and much more.
Wistia allows you to track how well your video engagement is. It’s a freemium service, where you can upgrade from the free version to a pro one that comes with even more useful tools.
HubSpot CRM allows you to store contacts and companies, track deals, and manage tasks all in one place. You can connect with your leads easily and quickly and find new prospects all with this one tool.
With HubSpot Sales, you can see who opens your email, how many times your email has been opened, when, and from where. You receive live notifications and can choose which emails are tracked. You also have access to information about the recipient of an email while you're composing it, and can schedule emails to be sent later.
HubSpot Marketing Free
HubSpot Marketing Free lets you start capturing information from your leads on your website, tracking them, and converting them into customers. From these forms you can then optimize the pages on your site and see what's working and where you can improve your conversion rates.