How do I get help with marketing when I can't afford to pay someone?
I just opened a yoga studio and I can't afford to pay someone to go business to business to leave materials. I currently own, operate and teach at the studio and I work another job. I have little to no time for that kind of marketing and I'm looking to grow my business.
That' when you start calling in favors from friends. Do you have a linkedin account or facebook friends that you can reach out to?
One thought I had that I haven't seen anyone suggest is that you could do a Groupon. The odds are you would have all the new customers you could handle, maybe more than you could handle with very little time invested in promotion.
Read Read read!
lots of amazing materials out there, buy books or read articles.
not a good reader, hire someone.
The minimum that you can and should do is start a website, and add helpful contents in them. Plus open social media accounts - especially Twitter and Facebook.
I guess you have heard these suggestions before, so in a way there's nothing new in them. Except that you have a good chance to succeed. And that's because you're dealing in a lifestyle business. You have a ready market for you and the comment by Kyle Alm is just an example of that.
One additional suggestion is to ask your current students to market for you. By this I mean, as them to "like" your Face book page and refer you to their friends. Ask them if they would put your flyers at their offices, churches, coffee shops.
You can offer a referral program to your current students based on the number of new student you get from them.
Make use of the followers you currently have.
Richard Stern- suggest writing a Sales and Marketing Plan first
Second contact local universities and hire interns from the Business Department to help you execute your Plan.
Third-Contact State and Government programs that pay the salary of employees for a period of time.
There is a lot of tremendous advice here. You can feel comfortable that you are not alone with this challenge, but of course that does not solve it.
I do not have the perfect solution, but given this consistent need of small business owners, I put on a webinar entitled "NO COST Ways to Increase Sales and Profit". Not all the techniques will likely work in your situation, but I think it would be worth your time to take a look. http://www.screencast.com/t/DffAlPPX
If you don't have time to market your business you obviously need someone else to do it. Intern is a popular answer, but that requires, training, supervision, and probably a report back to the college. If time is your biggest constraint you should turn your existing students into sales people.
I would give your existing students a free week, or maybe even a free month, for every new student they bring to a free class who signs up for lessons.
Half of for spouses/significant other for the same class seems like it might get some interest.
Also, you should giveaway a free month of lessons on each of your social media channels to one of your followers. If you have the room in class it costs you nothing and it guarantees you that your followers are interested in getting lessons.
Let' s make this very simple. Leave flyers everywhere you go. Leave business cards everywhere you go. Talk to everyone you see and tell them what you do. You are going out to buy food and other stuff, market while doing those things.
Go to the post office, see if they have a place for you to post a flyer or business cards. You can also hire kids to deliver them throughout the neighborhood. Step out of the box and think creatively. This is just a small base of free ideas.
when you cannot afford to pay or you hv little time, then you should franchise or profit sharing. You have to part money.. nothing comes free
Marketing, Marketing, Marketing. You need to. There are several cost effective easy marketing "campaigns" you can create by using the social media. If you have time to chat with friends on social media or apps you will find some time (even when you're having lunch) to do some work for your business. Health and Wellness are critical pillars for society, you will see that your business will grow and pay you more than your job! if only you put in the effort of marketing -
You can have the best idea in the world. If you do not market it no one will know. Marketing is usually an afterthought for most small businesses. Not the right approach. It should be a major part of the budget. If no one knows you are there you will not succeed. You put money into other parts of your life and business. How important is marketing, very important, so get the priority right and put effort and budget into one of the most important parts of your business
I do like some of the ideas in social networking and getting your name out with word of mouth and a rewords programs that are mentioned here. Free class is another good one. Low student and untrained marketing is a tough one as they will be new like you are to the ways in witch you need to market. Learning together can help get more heads around ideas and that is good. A professional is really your best way. You could see if you can make a student pro relationship and help really give the students or juniors some education.
If you go cheep you will get cheep results. If I used cheep untrained yoga instructors. Chances are I would get a unsatisfying yoga experience. Now you do not have to put all your eggs in one basket. I think ongoing marketing in small flyers or print ads can pay off on a ongoing bases rather that one giant campaign. This also lets you know your ongoing budget for marketing. Not one big bill and then nothing. You want to continually keep your business in the mind of people. If they do not think of you today, when they do it will be a no brainer because they see your marketing consistently. You will be in there mind even to recommend to others as the need arises.
Social media can be inexpensive also networking is free. If you are looking to b2b then pick a niche market say corporates with a busy life style their employers could run regular classes as a way of increasing productivity and attendance. Also open a wordpress account and start a blog.
Just an idea, perhaps you can enlist your customers to help spread your marketing materials to other locations. Reward them for referrals. Leverage your friends and family to do the same.
The barter system has been around for centuries. Are any of your students Marketing pros in their day jobs?
Also, you can try low cost digital marketing tactics to support your business goals. Social Media and e-mails are possible with little to no budget. It will require a time investment on your part to learn some best practices and create the campaigns (posts and emails), but would be a good place to start.
Feel free to ask me for more ideas :)
I completely sympathize and there are some great ideas here.
The number one issue for small business owners can often be time management and finding time to be truly productive. I consult many of my clients to plan out there week - every day of the week. For instance, if Mondays are quiet make it "Marketing Monday". Close the door and focus on the simple things you can do using social media, setting up a Yelp page and/or coupon program, hiring an intern, or building cross-promotional partnerships with other local businesses, like a hotel.
The most important thing is to focus and don't let yourself become distracted. Once you lay the ground work than the rest will become easier. Definitely let your students speak for you! Get them involved. We yogis are loyalists!!!
Hope this helps.
You can go online to learn how to do SEO and Google adwords and stuff like that. This will give you control over cost and to make sure it is actually set up properly. I'll be glad to teach you if you don't have time to go learn it on your own.
It's what I do.
Teaching Adwords since 2006