Trust me, “marketing” is a word that makes us all a little clammy. There’s something about it that makes us want to turn from a normal human being to a screaming car salesman at the drop of a hat (and we don’t even know where that comes from.) Over the years we’ve watched marketing continue to evolve and grow and we as entrepreneurs we are often forced to pivot as the platforms change and our reach is affected. Today I want to walk you through a few ways that you can be marketing yourself for FREE and help get your marketing working for you and not against ya!
Leveraging social media:
Social media is the fastest, easiest way to market yourself for free. Each platform gives you a unique opportunity to reach and grow your audience and each one holds unique ways to grow and share. Before you write off social media and believe the lie that you have to “pay to play” take a note from many of us who use social media as our sole marketing machine successfully and take a few hints!
The true power comes from knowing your audience on each platform and serving them content they will enjoy. From blog posts to personal photos, images of your work to client stories, questions or articles that help solve a problem, there are so many ways to reach your dream clients on social media.
Starting and growing an email list:
You know I am a GIANT believer in email lists and getting started is entirely free (and honestly, the cost of running a more complex system one you get going is worth every single penny!) When you can grow an email list you are able to reach your ideal clients in a more intimate way and deliver them content you KNOW they will love.
Growing an email list and serving it weekly has been one of THE best ways to advertise and market in a more personal way and I am able to serve specific segments of my audience in ways that make their lives simpler/better/or more enjoyable. It’s free to start and you just need to give them a reason to WANT to opt in which you can create for free. If you need help on this, I have a full free training at: growanemaillist.com that will walk you through why email lists are the #1 way to market your business and how they can work in your business.
Sharing your resources and getting published:
Early on in my photography career I realized I had two options: paid for advertising on my favorite blogs or publications OR work hard enough to get my work featured in them. I chose the second route because it was free and honestly more effective in terms of advertising. We submit articles, weddings, and interviews often because of the power of getting your work in front of other audiences and at a cost of $0, it’s a great way to spend your time.
Each year I focus efforts on getting my content in front of more audiences (free of charge!) How do you do this? Submit to publications, openly create articles for others audiences, watch for needs that platforms might have and offer to fill them, give VALUE for free, be a guest on a podcast, and share, share, share. When you focus on serving others and coming at it from a place of “what can I do for you?” people will be happy to take the extra help!
Encourage your past clients to do the talking:
Testimonials can be one of THE most important and strongest pieces of your marketing arsenal and guess what? They don’t cost you a single penny. How can you reach back out to your old clients to ask them to share about their experience with you (and remind them of how awesome you are… ahem, staying front of mind for referrals is FREE.) Using others words to describe your work is one of the most effective ways to advertise, so give them the resources they need in order to share their experience in a way that will speak to potential clients about why they MUST hire you.
Trust me, when you get a good testimonial, post it EVERYWHERE. Use it on social media, share it in your email copy, include it on your website, and plaster it everywhere. Sometimes the best way to share is to let your clients do the talking.
Marketing doesn’t have to cost you money, it just has to be backed with a sound strategy and a clear end goal. Every single piece of content you publish or share is considered marketing, so how are you sharing your value, getting your work out there, and helping people to fall in love with YOU.
I truly believe that people buy into people before they buy into products or services, so if you’re looking at a marketing budget of $0, challenge yourself to start with creating intentional content and sharing YOU more confidently with the people who have already chosen to follow you, trust me, if you serve them well, they will come back with friends.