People always say you have to spend money to make money. It might be true in some cases. But I don’t think it’s true about the internet. Sure you can spend a ton of money with Adwords, Facebook and others. You’ll spend about $3 per click for a ton of people hunting for the best price. If you want to compete on price and you have a huge marketing budget this is your ball game.
There is an alternative. It doesn’t take much money, but it requires a lot of time. It’s called social media. Social media is much harder than traditional advertising, but it’s free and (in my opinion) it works better. You’ll still spend some money, but it will be on discounts and free offers for your customers. Your biggest expense will be your time.
Social media should be used with a pull and stay strategy. You pull people in and get their contact info or get them to follow you. Then you send them updates to keep them thinking about you.
Advertising works, if you have a good strategy, but it costs a lot more and you have to pray a lot harder. Advertising is a push and pray strategy. You push a bunch of ads out and pray that people buy from you.
Now this isn’t to say you can’t use advertising with a pull and stay strategy. You can do that, but it doesn’t work as well.
The biggest gap between you and your customers is TRUST. It isn’t price. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking price is the only thing that matters. Yes, price is a factor. It’s usually the first thing we think about when looking for a service. But we are only looking for that service because we don’t TRUST anyone that offers it. If we already knew someone that offered that service we wouldn’t be looking for it in the first place. Think about that for a while.
So how do you get people to TRUST you? One great way is word of mouth. People will take a recommendation from someone they know. Another great way is to teach people. This is where social media, email marketing and a blog come in handy.
Jason Fried talks about teaching people to trust you in his book, REWORK. I’ve read this book 5 times. Seriously. According to Jason Fried, the more you teach, the more people will come back to learn more. The more they learn from you, the more they will trust you. And, here’s the best part, the more they trust you, the more they will buy from you.
Now how do you get started? The best social media book I’ve ever read is UnMarketing by Scott Stratten. I would read that first. Then if you still need help send me an email.