Free Marketing, 101 Low & No-Cost Ways, Part II
In his book, Free Marketing: 101 Low and No-Cost Ways to Grow Your Business Online and Off, Jim Cockrum offers 102 chapters of marketing tips. These tips include ideas for free marketing or low-budget marketing for the do-it-yourself business owner. Early in his book, he explains that it is divided into three parts: Internet Marketing (Chapters 1-32), Building Trust and Growing Your Circle of Influence (Chapters 33-77), Stay Relevant, Interesting and Potent (Chapters 78-102). However, he continues to mention internet marketing beyond chapter 32. The bulk of this post will summarize chapters 33-77. For an even briefer summary, read the last two paragraphs. Here is a summary of his 101 Free Marketing Ideas (Part II):
- Think inch-wide, mile-deep marketing, the more focused the better (Part 9)
- Become a leader in your niche, become an author and expert, use “world’s foremost expert” in your titles and bylines (Part 9, Chapter 33, 39)
- Add digital how-to products to your business (Part 9)
- Use eBay listings to generate followers and leads (Part 9)
- Attract followers with quality content (Part 9)
- Find your niche in forums and participate in those forums to gain a following (Chapter 34)
- Viral Video Marketing (Chapter 34, Part 10, Chapter 35)
- Direct your YouTube followers to a lead capture page
- Use a creative name when naming your YouTube channel
- 24 marketing videos you should have, the 10x10x4 formula, 10 frequently asked questions, 10 questions a buyer should be asking, 4 short videos (Chapter 36)
- Upload your videos to as many video sharing, social bookmarking, podcast directories, social networks and blogs as possible (Chapter 36)
- Deliver current content constantly (Part 11)
- Add “author” to your list of titles/credentials, even if you haven’t written a book yet
- Write a book, there are many resources to help you do this easily
- Give a printed version of your book away instead of business cards
- You can use a print-on-demand service to have your books printed, you could have them dropshipped
- You can distribute the book electronically as an ebook in PDF, add digital products to your business, you can sell them online while you sleep
- Don’t design the book cover yourself, get a graphic artist
- Don’t fill books with fluff, don’t make it a sales pitch, don’t have a “protect-my-ideas mindset” which works against you
- Use books as a lead generation tool, not the finish line, include links to your website, blogs, etc within the book that it is still a good marketing tool even when it’s pirated.
- Sell your book through affiliate marketing
- You can update ebooks anytime and redistribute them, an advantage over printed books
- Ebooks also have higher profit margin for the author over commercially-published printed books
- Use a regularly published email newsletter to keep in contact with your following
- Ask two questions to measure the effectiveness of your newsletters: Are your readers happy to get it and eagerly pass it on to others? AND Is it generating quality leads and sales for your business with a high ROI for your efforts? If not, then change it.
- Newsletters should invite people to forward and share
- Email newsletters can be automated and scheduled, so you can do it all at once and let it run by itself
- Quality is better than frequency when delivering newsletters or any content
- Offer free services, downloads and information for customer satisfaction and lead generation
- Make “powerful” titles for your content
- Publish/archive all your newsletters online so the search engines can see them
- Publish your content on multiple distribution channels, not just one
- Create a content distribution strategy
- Articles can be submitted to article directories
- Invite your friends and followers in social media to share with their friends and circles of influence
- Don’t pitch to people on social media, use it to be social online, talk to people like you’d talk to them at a party
- Offer free stuff as an incentive for people to “like” you on Facebook
- Follow Facebook rules to avoid deletion of your business page
- Experiment with Facebook advertising and adapt it for improvement
- Use Twitter as a marketing tool, although the Author admits that email has worked better for him
- Retweet as often as you tweet
- use Twitter search engines to find recent tweets related to your business and respond to them
- Use TwitScoop.com to monitor trends and keyword topics
- Use pictures on Twitter
- If you happen to experience anything that is interesting, shocking or garners the interest of the masses then share it, try to make it viral
- Be authentic when creating content, don’t go over-the-top just to try to get viral
- You can try social media sites that are specialized for your niche, for most social media try Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn for professionals
- Use automated email marketing (Part 13, Chapters 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55)
- Most marketing tasks can be outsourced or crowd-sourced
- Use social media for a crowd-sourced brain tank
- Do not purchase email lists or use software to extract email addresses from the web (scraping). Use opt-in lead generation to create targeted lists legally.
- It takes multiple points of personal contact with prospects before they begin to trust a business or organization.
- Grow your audience, ask them what they want, give them what they want, repeat (Part 14, Chapters 56, 57)
- Use a survey as a marketing tool (Chapter 56)
- If you are too busy running your business to find time to market your business, then something is wrong. You should be working on your business, not in your business.
- Inspiration can often come when you’re not working. Take a break. Add exercise and entertainment to your daily routine for increased productivity while you work.
- Use twitalyzer.com, klout.com or twittergrader.com to measure the level of influence of anyone on your contact list, spoil the ones with the most influence.
- It is easier to sell to an existing customer than a new one. Touch base with past customers frequently.
- Provide speedy and over-the-top solutions to the issues that customers bring to your attention.
- Use automated greeting cards to stay in touch with your clients and customers.
- Have an open forum on your website where people can interact, leave comments and review your business. Give your customers a voice, listen to them, interact with them, and your business will benefit.
- Especially membership websites should have an active online discussion area.
- If you already have an established audience, then the next step is a membership website, one where only those with access privileges are allowed to see all of the content that is stored on the site. (Chapter 64)
- Offer plenty of valuable information and free content in the non-members area to attract others.
- Reward the most faithful members with additional membership benefits.
- Hold a contest to boost exposure. (Chapter 65)
- Form mutually beneficial partnerships with other businesses that have large followings. (Chapter 66). Leverage the power of joint ventures (Chapter 67). Find good partners for marketing synergy (Chapter 68). You’re more than the sum of your parts, 1+1=3, synergy
- Create win/win/win situations that benefit the community, the community leader and you. Do this by supporting a community leader. With your support the community leader does his job for the community and you get access to that community.
- Only work with community leaders that have the best interests of the community in mind. If the community leader treats the community abusively, then that will tarnish your reputation.
- Start a relationship with a potential influential partner by dropping a handwritten heartfelt letter of admiration and thanks. Praise their work in a personal way.
- Your happy customers can sell you better than you can (Chapter 70)
- Give people an incentive to promote you. Offer a “refer-a-friend” program, or offer commissions through affiliate programs.
- Cross promotions are marketing synergy (Chapter 71). Find a product like yours that serves a similar demographic and partner with the owner of the other product to promote both together.
- Use guest article swaps for easy exposure to targeted audiences (Chapter 72)
- Interview other experts for powerful marketing content (Chapter 73) Use the bottom-up approach when getting started – interview the least influential and most eager experts, then you can work your way up as your level of influence increases. You can use a transcription service to transform any recording into a written transcript.
- Offer a testimonial to products you’ve tried. They might use it in their marketing efforts and that’s marketing for you too. (Chapter 74)
- Make your story powerful, know how to make your story include the customer. Create your unique selling proposition (USP) based on your story (Part 17, Chapter 75, 76).
- You are selling you (Part 18). The only way to distinguish yourself in an environment where prospects are already hypereducated is to be the most helpful and authentic company and individual that you can be. Being authentic goes a long way towards establishing trust.
- Use humor. Laugh at yourself (Chapter 77).
- People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
- People don’t care how much you know until you are willing to poke fun at yourself.
- You should not run an expensive ad campaign without testing it first. That’s one of the reasons why its good to have a following online because you have an immediate test group.
You may have noticed a couple of repeat tips from the Part I Summary, such as eBay listings and Viral Video Marketing. That’s how the book is written. Although there are 102 chapters, it’s more like 25 marketing ideas repeated four times. This could be beneficial for many who are interested in free marketing since “repetition is the mother of learning.” (However, it could be annoying for obsessive-list people). The Part I Summary does have quite a few items that are not on this list or the next one. The list above also has some items that were exclusive to Chapters 33-77.
The strategies and resources that the author likes to repeat over and over again are building a reputation, building opt-in lists, viral video marketing, free giveaways, adding digital products to your business, automated email marketing, and leveraging the popularity of Ebay to name a few. The book was published in 2011. Some tips in the book may already be outdated since the internet changes so rapidly. Yet, a lot of the principles mentioned in the book will always be the same.
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