Our expert: Sean Jackson (BA 1997), marketing director
Marketing budgets are great. Believe me, they are. But if you don’t have one, don’t worry; there are some key things you can do to promote your business without it costing the earth.
We live in the digital age so you need a website. But don’t feel that you need to engage a web design agency. There are a number of cost-effective solutions out there. One of the key things to do is populate the website with as many terms and keywords that reflect your business as possible.
Again, PR isn’t all about expensive PR agencies. It’s just a question of knowing the right people and building good relationships with them. It is far better to focus on targeting three or four key journalists and engaging with them regularly than trying to hit every journalist out there. Send them Christmas cards. Invite them out to lunch now and again. Write letters to the local press on issues to do with the business you are in. Start a blog. You never know who might read it.
If you can’t afford an advert in the paper, try an insert instead. Create pamphlets and have them distributed in the free local press. Make sure your company is listed in as many free directories as possible. Your company vehicles should shout about your business.
If you cannot afford to exhibit your products at a tradeshow or seminar, go along as a delegate and network. You might meet good prospects or some key contacts with whom you can partner.
Your staff are the most valuable asset you have. Look after them and make sure that all customer-facing staff act professionally. Every time a member of staff speaks with a prospect or indeed a client, they are marketing the company.