Many small business owners and entrepreneurs are frustrated and bewildered by the ‘Marketing Paradox’. We all recognize the critical need to do more and better marketing of our products or services to survive and thrive. But, few of us have the knowledge and skills to do it ourselves. Yet, we hesitate to – or can’t – invest the money to have other people do it for us. The result is that we often do nothing. Bad idea.
If you have more money than time, find a pro – or several – who can help you figure out your marketing plan and carry it out. If you have more time than money, consider some ‘No-Budget Marketing’ strategies that need little if any investment. One that I have found very useful for sustaining my business over the last 25 years is Harnessing the Power of the Pen … and getting free ink.
Why get free ink?
Writing articles in industry, association & business publications – both printed and electronic – can:
* Create positive exposure and name recognition for you and your business.
* Enhance your credibility and image. Readers generally assume people who write articles must be experts. Not necessarily true, but their perception is your reality.
* Provide no-cost marketing support tools you can send to prospects and customers.
Where do you get the ink?
There are lots of publications to consider. Be creative and strategic:
* Start simple with those from the local professional or business associations you’re active with.
* What other groups do you – or your key customers – belong to? Many of them have web sites and newsletters. They’re usually desperate for worthy content and have no budget for freelancers.
* Most industries you work in or serve have trade publications at the national and even local level. Many are willing to consider freebies that add value to their readers, since they have limited budgets for freelancer writers.
* Larger markets also have local weekly or monthly business publications besides the business section of the newspaper. The worst thing that can happen is a polite turndown note.
How do you get it?
* Write about what you know and know about what you write. Start small and simple. Do some articles on “speculation” so you have something to show the editors.
* Call them to discuss their current editorial needs. Send them some clips or spec articles with your credential summary.
* Follow-up with a call or email. Be persistent but interact with uncommon courtesy.
* Meet or beat their deadlines. Give them a better article than they expect. Make them look good.
So, Harness the Power of the Pen by writing for industry, business or association publications. It’s a relatively easy and no-cost way to get free ink and support your ‘No-Budget Marketing’ plan.