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5 ways to get more leads without spending a penny

The headlines are making things a little scary for some business owners: “There are growing fears that 2023 could see a wave of company collapses as the cost-of-living crisis continues.”

“Rising costs and bills are major 2023 concerns for SMEs.”

“UK expected to be only major economy to shrink in 2023.”

Usually these sorts of headlines result in business owners reviewing their finances and looking for areas to cut costs. Typically one of the first places to see cuts is marketing. I could go on to explain how marketing done well is an investment in your business growth, not a cost... but instead lets focus on ways to market that don't cost a penny! 1) People love to talk

If you don't have a referral scheme in place already, then now's the time to start! People love to talk, satisfy your current customers and encourage your happy customers to talk, talk, talk.

If you want to accelerate the results from referrals then you could simply mention to them that if there is anyone they can think of that may benefit from their services to send them your way, put it at the bottom of your invoices or to really supercharge responses you can offer a reward for any business you receive from that person.... chocolates, cakes, gift cards, money off their next purchase with you. 2) Untapped Potential

The possibility of selling more to an existing customer is 50-70% vs selling to a lead is between 5-20%.

People are far more comfortable talking to, and buying from people they already know (or have been referred to!) than they are speaking to someone they don't.

So, if you aren't currently tapped into the all the potential work that sits in your existing customer database... then go, go, go!

3) Emails are back in!

There was certainly a time where the effectiveness of email marketing went downhill... but stats are showing the results from plain text emails, from trusted sources, are more powerful than ever.

If you don't want to invest in email sending tech, you don't have to. There are free options to look at such as MailChimp (lots of others!) and if you have a small customer base you can send emails manually so you can also control the potential inbound enquiries better.

Create a template and send 20 emails to an existing or lapsed customer or your prospect list per day... and look at the difference it makes to your sales pipeline.

4) "Wow"... tell google about it then

It's not possible to make everyone happy all of the time, but spending time making sure your customer experience is as high as it can be, will pay off in the long-term. Focus on creating that "wow" moment for your customers and then ask them for a review.

Google reviews are hugely underrated by businesses. The more positive google reviews you have the higher google will rank you in their search engine and the more people will see your business. Review algorithms work similarly on Facebook, and other social media sites too. 5) Everyone has an opinion

Particularly when it comes to marketing, everyone will have an opinion.

"You must post on social media every week" "You must have blogs or thought leadership" "You don't have videos - you need to make them"

I could go on... its easy to see why some businesses end up making marketing the bottom of their priority list. Whilst, all of the above may be true, the questions you need to ask are:

1) Is it essential I do this now?

2) Does it work for me?

If the answer is "no" to either or both and even if the answer is "I don't know", then don't do it now. Don't get distracted by what people are telling you works for them or that you "should" be doing.

Focus on what you know works for you and your business and do more of it.

So, when times get tough you don't need to start cutting marketing budgets (not right away anyway). Start focusing on these 5 free essential ways to grow through effective and free marketing. It might be this is all you need to get your business through these difficult times or to the next level of growth. When you're ready to take more of a detailed view of your marketing, its ROI, the key KPI's and the ways to make the money you spend yield the greatest returns, get in touch with Sian Smith MCIM at BAS Consultancy Services Ltd.


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