Mindful Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

As I launch eSelfHelp, and now also give serious consideration to marketing eMoms at Home, I have come to the nearly inevitable moment for every start up:: I need revenue and I have little capital to invest in marketing!

It’s particularly challenging with an online business, because when cash flow is tight, there are simply going to be days when nothing can be IMMEDIATELY done to bring in business (such as in sales, by making more cold calls). This doesn’t mean that things can’t be done, of course, and there will even be days when initiatives will have immediate results. But not every time.

Online Marketing is like building a strong foundation (a good site or blog) and then layering and building resources for growth - some will produce instant results, some will take months to come to fruition. All must be done for a healthy site to grow.

I’ve already mentioned my email marketing efforts here and here. This is my longer-term growth strategy - and the one that I know will be one of the biggest sources of income in the future. I have a small list now, but it’s my highest priority to grow it, even though it’s not generating any revenue yet. If the reasons for having a large mailing list aren’t obvious, read what Rosalind Gardner has to say about it.

My second highest priority is clarifying and executing my Word of Mouth (WOM) marketing plan. To be clear, maintaing a blog is a HUGE part of this plan - and has singly been the number-one traffic driver to both of my sites. My WOM efforts are crucial to my success for two very big reasons:

  1. They work
  2. They are super cheap or free to implement

Things to accomplish include building the eMoms Community and attracting members, viral campaigns, and actively social networking. Yet there are some interesting facts to consider behind the scenes as to why this is all so important in the first place. I found this, of all places, on Marc Freedman’s P2P File Sharing Blog in a post entitled “Word of Mouth Marketing: Who is Listening?” in which he quotes a Lucid Marketing Study.

Key to my own WOM efforts are the following excerpts from the study:

“Although the men surveyed made more daily contacts than the women, women were more likely to share a positive experience with a business (91% to 83%) or recommend an enjoyable product (95% to 89%).”

“Marketers should consider employment status when allocating resources for targeting consumers. Full time employees make as many daily contacts as part time employees and stay-at-homers combined!”

“Stay-at-homers tend to make more daily visits to chat rooms and message boards. Including web site addresses and promotion codes in marketing efforts, making it easy to pass this information along online…”

“Those with household earnings of more than $100,000 were more likely to make recommendations than those earning less.”

This kind of research is really important to any business, home based or not. For example, here is an interesting fact from the same study for any business that targets “SilverBirds” (pre-Boomer generation)::

“An overlooked and interesting area for marketers is reaching SilverBirds through message boards and chat rooms. They have more activity in those areas than Boomers and nearly equal activity to Gen X. This is likely due to their desire to reconnect with family and friends, and to discuss health, medical and other issues of aging with peers and professionals.”

Finally to the Mindful part of “Mindful Marketing”. Knowing your audience is crucial to a having successful business. To me, it’s also crucial to having a successful life. I’m never going to be happy with my work if I am not adding value to the lives of others. It may sound oovy-groovy, but I’ve been put on this planet to make a difference, and I plan on living up to that.

As a business owner, I have an obligation to know who my audience is, because if I don’t understand who I am speaking to, how the heck can I ensure that what I am doing is going to be of value?!

So to tie this all together, cheap marketing is really only valuable if I am

  1. Marketing something I believe in
  2. Marketing something of value to others
  3. Taking action and living up to my obligation to deliver the value of my product/content/services to others

To take it one last step further, I take a page from my own coach, who frames his sales training in the following light:

If I am in front of a prospect, and my product or service is of high value to them, I am actually screwing them over if I DON’T sell them on my product or service. This is because my product or service will actually save their money, or create new ways for them to earn money, or perhaps even create a happier relationship or enable someone to live their dreams. If they DON’T do business with me, it will actually COST them money, LOSE their relationsip, or DESTROY their dreams.

Interesting, huh? :)

Add to Technorati Favorites

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Explore posts in the same categories: Online Marketing, Business Tips, Success Thinking, Blogging + Business

One Comment on “Mindful Marketing on a Shoestring Budget”

  1. Marketing Strategies to Market your Home Business - Carnival of Home Business second edition at Start a Side Business Says:

    […] When you get started, cash is not something you can spend left and right. Wendy, from eMons at home explains how she does Mindful Marketing on a Shoestring Budget. She has some very interesting ideas you can implement yourself! […]