Internet Marketing – All About Free Marketing

When it comes to free marketing, a double-edged sword exists. On one side of things, for every sale that you get, you earn 100% profits on it. On the other side, it takes a lot of work to get a lot of leads with free marketing. You have to implement a ton of strategies, and for some, this may prove to be not worth it at all.

But I beg to differ. Free marketing helps to diminish your overall cost of advertising online. The more free sales you get, the lower your paid advertising expense will be. Now some people who sell $200 products and above simply have their business on autopilot and never really think to do free marketing. And it kind of makes sense.

They’re in a high transaction value business, so the profits that they make on the frontend (initial sale) will more than likely cover the costs of the initial advertising expense. Plus you have to understand that these people earn multiple backend sales from their customers.

This means that they are STILL getting more $200 and above sales from their existing customers. Which makes sense, especially when you consider that 80% of your online business income will come from sales from your existing customer.

I want to share with you some great free marketing strategies that I feel will to enhance and advance your business sales online. They’re not difficult.

The only thing that I will say is that, the more free marketing that you do everyday, the more of your “time” will be spent doing it. So if you want to work incredibly LESS everyday while still profiting more… you will have to limit the amount of strategies that you do on a daily basis.

Here’s the first free marketing strategy that I like to use:

1) Article marketing

Article marketing is very good for getting you great leads and customers who buy. But I will admit, nowadays article marketing and submitting to the article directories doesn’t bring in the large amount of clicks that I used to for me. But the clicks that I do get, are absolutely wonderful.

The leads and traffic from article marketing make it all worth it. Conversion rates are amazingly high, and my customers get a good experience when they buy my product. It’s a win-win situation for all. The article directory gets more traffic to their website, and I get qualified, highly-interested prospects to my site. I still love this strategy. Here’s another strategy that you can use:

2) Facebook marketing

This wouldn’t exactly be a free marketing discussion if we didn’t involve social media. Perhaps the most recognizable and well-known social media site is Facebook. A lot of my friends and family are on there, and a lot of your prospective customers are on there too. You will want to do a few things while on Facebook.

I’ve found that starting a “group” is more effective than starting a Facebook fan page. That’s just from testing, and a lot of other marketers feel the same way too. It’s a place to discuss things and build a bond with the people in your group. This will in turn inspire your followers to trust your recommendations, and will lead to more sales for you.

Facebook and article marketing are excellent ways to drive traffic to your site, and to get really good and high-quality leads to your business. Be sure to use them now so that you can get the maximum potential out of them.

If I Gave You a $100,000 Marketing Budget What Would You Do With It?

Let’s face it. Developing a marketing budget for a small business is usually not a very big priority. Typically we just don’t have enough money to warrant having a formal marketing budget. Sometimes we even ignore doing one because it’s depressing. After all if you don’t have any money to put towards a marketing budget, what’s the point of creating one?

Why bother? The answer is quite simple. If you don’t create a marketing budget, chances are you’re being reactive with your marketing instead of proactive. In other words you may be choosing what to spend your marketing on in the moment vs. a consistent strategic approach over the year.

Don’t be too hard on yourself if this is ringing true. Chances are what’s stopping you is that you feel you don’t have the money to do what you would like to do with your marketing.

So that’s why for today’s exercise I’d like you to embrace a philosophy I learned over 20 years ago. It was at a time when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. One of the thought leaders at the time talked about taking your limitations out of the picture so that you can clearly see what it is you want to achieve. He suggested that to take out the limitation of finances, you pretend you have a huge amount of money. That way you can focus on your dreams and aspirations instead of limiting yourself by financial constraints.

It’s actually this little exercise that I want you to think about applying to your marketing budget today.

By doing so I believe you will arrive at three major benefits:

  1. You will finally formalize a marketing budget for your company.
  2. You will have clarity on what it is you really want to accomplish with your marketing.
  3. You will be more proactive with your marketing instead of reactive.

Allocating Your $100,000 Budget

In order to start our exercise, the first thing you have to do is to think about where you want to apply your imaginary $100,000 (feel free to make this number higher if it makes even more sense) budget. Below I’ve listed the main components that should be part of any good marketing system. Have a look at the elements below, feel free to tweak it and then allocate your $100,000 in a way that would make some sense for your business over the next year.

Marketing Strategy

Campaign Development

  • Content Creation
  • Graphic Design
  • Landing Pages
  • Follow Up Steps
  • Measurement

Promotional Channels

  • Advertising
  • Promotions
  • PR
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Referral Strategies

Audience Engagement

  • Social Media
  • Engagement
  • Blogging
  • Email Marketing
  • Website Updates

Credibility Elements

  • Reviews, Testimonials, Case Studies
  • Award Submissions
  • eBooks & Books

Selling Tools

  • Proposal Development
  • Product/Service Packaging
  • Cross Selling/Upselling Promotions
  • eCommerce

Making Sense of the Numbers

Now I want you to notice where you weighted the money. These heavily weights areas probably hold more importance to you. So take note of them.

Next notice where you allocate the least amount of money. It would make sense that these areas hold either the least amount of importance or you feel that you can tackle these areas on your own with little or no cost.

Finally remove the areas where you have allocated nothing because they either don’t apply or they aren’t a priority in the next year.

What’s Your REAL Number?

It should now be clear where you would focus your dollars if you had the budget. Now let’s take our marketing budget down to reality. To start, I want you to come up with a figure that you feel you can reasonably spend within the year. If you’re having trouble discovering what this number should be here’s a few realistic (vs theoretical) ways to calculate your marketing budget.

The simplest way is to take a percentage of your net sales or net profit – a percentage you feel you can afford to put towards marketing.

Another approach is to look at what you spent last year on your marketing and determine whether or not you could afford to spend the same amount or perhaps a little bit more this year.

A third technique is to look at what your monthly sales are and then to allocate an amount that you feel you can affordably handle month to month, knowing that some months are busier than others during the year.

Finding a budget for a small business usually means some sacrifice. It could come from nixing the cliché “daily latte,” skimming from other outgoing costs, reducing your income or borrowing. Just make sure the sacrifice doesn’t cause you to lose sleep at night!

Remember that investing in your marketing budget is like investing in a company’s stock. The difference is you have insight into this business.

Defining Your Real Budget

Now that you have your number. I want to go back and look at your budget. Let’s say your annual budget is $10,000 vs $100,000. Can you reduce each number to 10% or are some now ridiculously too small? Are the areas that you identified as important still weighted more heavily? Can you reduce the least important areas to gain more budget in other areas?

In reordering your budget you probably discovered some areas that you can do yourself to save money. Be very careful that these elements don’t end up putting so much on your plate that there’s just no way you could actually get around to doing them all without jeopardizing other elements of your business.

Review your new to-do list. Now prioritize it by importance as well as your skill level. If they aren’t important and you don’t have skill with them, can you put them on hold for now?

You still may find you need to take some things off of your marketing budget for now. Keep a “parking lot” budget document and review it when you have more money to spend. It will give you new ideas to implement going forward and a budget number to strive for.

Have a look at what you’ve created! Do you find that you now have a clear idea on where you want to go with your marketing? Do you feel like you have created an affordable, realistic marketing budget? Are you excited about doing something a little different now with your marketing?

Having a formal marketing budget gives you an important guideline to measure your marketing activity. It will help you grow your business and give you sound advice on where to focus your marketing activity.

Traffic Generation – Offline Marketing To Get More Web Visitors

Do you know what I like most about internet marketing? The fact that I can even get leads and customers to my website via offline marketing – that’s what I like. And it’s so easy! But you should know, I’ve dabbled in offline marketing before, and at first, I failed horribly.

I used to work at Walmart at the time, and I poured virtually 90% of my entire paycheck every 2 weeks to fund my offline business. Would you like to know what I was doing to try and make money offline? Well, I was trying to sell products via direct mail. Nothing wrong with the strategy… the marketing plan that I had was just terrible.

I bought VERY bad lists from disreputable brokers. I was being sold to and spoken to as if a used car salesman was trying to convince me to buy a lemon. And as each month passed by, I still didn’t make ANY money! Now I was at Walmart for a while, and while I was there, all I did was offline marketing. And the best result that I achieved was a phone call from a bakery inquiring about my consulting services. And that didn’t even pan out.

But now that I have a successful website, and now that I do a lot of successful direct mail and offline marketing in general… I see where I went wrong. But I wasn’t off by too much. The thing is, when I discovered the internet, even though I didn’t know what I was doing, the concept just made sense.

This was a new “venue” that I could use – because I was great with computers. So I understood it immediately. As years passed, my sales count started to grow and grow, and eventually, I grew it into the internet business that I have today. Targeted traffic is still the backbone of my business, and it’s something I have virtually automated really.

Once I started seeing great results, I figured I’d revisit offline marketing and direct mail to try and increase my sales and profits. And guess what? This time, it WORKED! But I must admit, most of my offline marketing came from doing campaigns to my current customers. So obviously they would be the most ideal people to market to – because they already bought my products before – and they like them.

If you’re going to do offline marketing to drive traffic to your website, you will need to know a few things. The first thing you need to know is that this is a great idea. The conversion rates will be higher, but… it may cost you a bit more than just regular email marketing.

Next you have to understand the different kinds of ways that you can market your website offline. You can do direct mail, postcard marketing, newspaper advertising, classified advertising, purchasing ad space inside of magazines in your niche, advertorials, television advertising, and etc. There are a slew of options available to you.

You should make it a point to test out offline marketing in your business today. It can only do nothing but good for you and your sales, just make sure you know what you’re doing when you begin. That’s the most important step when doing offline marketing.

Good luck with your offline marketing efforts.