Being good doesn't have to cost you a bomb. 

A few minutes of your time, a special offer for local businesses, checking up on your customers... all cheaper than traditional advertising and probably more effective. 

Special Offers for Local Companies

Restricting some extra special offers to your local area can be an effective way to grow your client base whilst helping out other small companies in your locality  

It also gives you a solid hook for press releases, promotions and advertisements in your area. 

Help Out Other Companies

Andrea, my partner, is a photographer who does a lot of commercial and wedding work.

She frequently provides commercial quality photographs - at no charge - to the venue after a wedding shoot, so they can use them in their promotional and marketing materials. They may or may not provide her with a credit.

But guess who they recommend when one of their wedding couples mention that they're looking for a photographer?

Post Sales Support / Well-being Checks

Does your relationship with the customer have to end the minute they buy your product?

You can make a very positive impression on recent buyers by sending an email or giving them a call to ask: "I just wondered how you are getting on with X, and if you had any questions?"

I can't believe more companies don't take this approach!

Existing customers can be a valuable group of people to you. Might they use you again? Or know other people who need your services?

Put Yourself Out There

We needed a plumber urgently.  We were new to the area so we put a call out on our local Facebook group asking for recommendations. We got about 30. 

The guy we used was friendly, efficient and priced very reasonably. We've recommended him to others at least 4 times since. 

My point is this: 

Lots and lots and lots of business gets done on the basis of recommendations. It's human nature. We're social animals. Etc.

  • Look for opportunities to help out with your expertise / skills
  • You can offer to help neighbours, friends, other local companies, local groups, charities, etc
  • Look for opportunies to meet and connect with new people
  • Don't be shy about telling people what you do for a living, and specific ways that you have helped your clients

The more people who know what you do, and know that you're GOOD at what you do, the more you will get recommended when opportunities come up. 

The Freemium Model

Freemium means offering you product or service for free, and then charging for extras or upgrades. 

It obviously won't work for all businesses. But if you can tie it in to your sales model, it's a lovely way to grow your company and raise awareness of your product.

Those with less resources get to try you out risk-free. Those with more resources won't hesitate to upgrade if they need the additional features or service you're offering.  

Freemium is perfect for those products where the creation cost is a one off and the variable cost per user is very, very low. That is why this model is so popular for web-based services and software - e.g. MailChimp, Zendesk Live Chat, etc.  

Offer Advice on Social Media

Offering free advice on social media can be a cost effective way to establish yourself as an expert in your field and build your professional reputation.

3 caveats if you want this to go well:

  • Your advice better be good! And your advice should be impartial.
  • For now at least, don't try and sell anything! Nothing will ruin your reputation more quickly.

Trust us. Offer your professional advice freely, and if it is good enough, the sales will come to you.

Getting started can be the hardest part. So how should you do it?

We'd recommend researching topics that your potential clients might be interested in.

Initially, you may want to simply browse and become acquainted with the content that is already there. Maybe you can drop a few comments, even if it's only praising somebody else for providing good advice.

Once you have begun to establish yourself, you will gain the confidence to answer questions directly and get more involved with discussions and people there.

Eventually you could even start a Facebook or LinkedIn group to expand your reach.

Offer Advice in Person

Offering free advice sessions once a month can put you in touch with locals who may need your service in the future.

If your product or service is niche, and there are not enough locals to target, you could hold a webinar instead. Or advertise a time slot when you will be available to take phone calls.

“That's a wrap!“

My name is Martin and I've been your host for this article.

I am by no means a strong writer, but I hope you found it of value.

If so, why not sign up to our newsletter?

It's sent once a month with our latest tips and advice. We don't spam, share your info, or any such sort thing.

Small Business Website Help

I also run a Facebook group called Small Business Website Help. It does what it says on the tin.

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