I don’t blog here very often, I usually wait until I’ve had a flash of inspiration or have something I really want to share. Today I read a brilliant post by Ivan Walsh on using blog comments effectively. I really learned something from the post, enjoyed the writing style and felt an overwhelming urge to give a little something in return. You know that feeling? Where you feel like you’ve really gained so you want to share the wealth. So, I thought to myself what can people use and get value from? What makes people happy? The answer: saving dosh! This blog post therefore is an overview of some low cost marketing tips that get results adapted from our Tiny Pocket Marketing workshop. Start your own Awards It doesn’t have to be a costly exercise. For example, you could give a ‘Customer of the Year’ award for the customer who uses your product/service in the best way. The award could consist of a free bundle of your products/services. If you wanted to enhance the prize you could approach a non-competitive business to co-sponsor the award (it’s win-win they’ll benefit from publicity too). This will give you publicity and will send the message that your business gives back. By the same token you should absolutely enter your business in any relevant awards-even making the shortlist is a good news story! Get your face out and about People do business with people so it is important that you get out and meet people regularly. Profile your customers so you know what they look like. Then find out where people who look like your customer profile go and follow the profile. Attend meetings where you will have an opportunity to meet these people. This may be a Chamber event or a conference, it may be a trade show or it may be a BNI event, the point is to find out where your customers and prospects go and meet them there. Gather business cards and begin to phone and email to follow up with a one to one over coffee. Do this immediately while you are still fresh in their mind. If they cannot use your services, ask them if they know of someone who can and get their contact information. Be helpful, is there anything you can do for them? That will make asking for a referral a lot easier. Leave business cards If you’re staying in a hotel, leave some cards, if you’re in your local barber/beauticians/hairdressers/gym ask if you can leave some cards. Target related businesses and ask can you leave some cards and take some of theirs in return. Go to your local library and leave some cards near the section for your business. We do it and it works! You could also celebrate a wacky holiday. Look at the success of Arthur Guinness Day if you doubt me on this! You can invite all your customers to celebrate a day with you that is in some way related to your business. Because it’s different and newsworthy you should aim to get publicity with a press release and photo. So, for example, if you run an a cafe you could celebrate National Donut Day or if you run a beauty shop you could celebrate National Soft Skin Day, you get the idea! This is a website with some really different holidays that might inspire you http://holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/october.htm Get your customers involved You can do things like product of the week/month, where your customers choose their favourite product and in return you put it on special for the week/month. The customer then features in your promotional material. As well as creating a buzz, it gives you credible testimonials that prospects and other customers can relate to. Do you have any other low cost ideas that have worked for you? I’d love to hear them!