Facebook Video – Getting Over Your Fears

Facebook Video – Getting Over Your Fears

If you’ve been putting off doing Facebook video because it’s way too scary, this is for you.

In my last blog I shared Facebook expert Mari Smith’s excellent blog post about the changes going on at Facebook and the top things we can do to get Facebook working for us. She was very clear it was all about video and I shared her top 10 tips along with my own input and explanations on using video in your Facebook marketing and business.

I’m going to take those Facebook video tips one by one and show you how you could use them in your business. So, in this blog we’re going to tackle number 1 – focus on video but this is a HUGE topic in itself, so I’ll cover some today and the rest over the next couple of weeks. This is going to be a mammoth FACEBOOK VIDEO MASTERY series, I think you’re going to love it!

Video already takes priority in Facebook’s newsfeed. It’s only going to get bigger.

If you have tried putting videos on your Facebook page you’ll hopefully have found they get much better engagement than other posts? Obviously it depends on what’s IN the video, but if you can crack this, you will get lots of video views, which improves your Facebook page engagement, which in turn helps your page get seen by more people. At a time when it’s harder than ever to get seen on Facebook, it’s definitely worth grabbing video with both hands while its working well.

So, why might you NOT be using videos yet?

Let me take a guess…

Oooh, maybe you feel like you’re not ‘right’ for video. You might think you’d like to lose a bit of weight before going on screen? Maybe you keep telling yourself it would be better if your hair was tidier, or your voice was different or you had a more photogenic ‘look’. Hmm?

Or maybe you’re using the ‘I’m not techie enough’ excuse? I can’t ‘do’ videos! What about the editing? What do I use to record ON? Do I need a tripod? It’s all too scary!

Maybe you’re up for it but you’ve got video block – whenever you think about doing a video, you get stuck on what to make a video about? I mean what could you say that your customers and page fans would want to hear and watch? And what if they don’t like it? Oh heck, what if they laugh at me?

Blimey, what a lot of reasons NOT to do video! If you’ve talked yourself out of it before you recorded a single second  of video I’m not surprised!

But let me share something with you. I’m going to tell you how to work with and around all those reasons and excuses above.

GETTING PAST VIDEO FEARS AND OVERCOMING THE EXCUSES

Creating videos for your business, whether for your website or social media can be a nerve-wracking experience. It triggers all sorts of insecurities within in us about our appearance, our self-worth, our value – so why on EARTH would you want to drag all that up?

What if people laugh at me? What if they think I’m too fat/thin/ugly? What if I sound stupid? What if they think I’m unprofessional? What if my friends / old boss / mother-in-law see it? What will they think? What if people realise I’m just winging it and don’t really know what I’m talking about?

Run away! Run away! Why would you even want to go there? Even I had a wobble with those as I wrote them but do you know what? We all feel like that. Even people who are on TV every day!

But wouldn’t it be great to NOT worry about all those things? I mean, if they are holding you back from doing videos, imagine what else they are stopping you doing?

What if I told you these fears are not important and definitely not worth worrying about? What if I told you nobody really cares what you look like or sound like, as long as there is something for them in the video? What if I told you there are some things you can do to make Facebook video MUCH easier? It’s true!

Remember, it’s not about you

The first thing you have to realise is, it’s not about you.

People don’t watch videos ABOUT YOU unless you are a celebrity (sorry!) unless it’s an ‘about me’ video on your website (which is an awesome idea) but generally in our world, as small business owners (with big ambitions) people watch our videos to get help. They watch our videos to learn something they need to know or to see if they are missing something.

As long as you are sharing something interesting, relevant and of value TO THEM they don’t care what you look like or sound like, as long as they can understand what you’re saying. Occasionally you might get a nasty comment because Facebook does have trolls. I’ll tell you how to deal with them in a mo.

They want to know wiifm

What’s in it for me? Why are you reading this email? To see if I share something that could help you in your business, right? A tip, an idea, a new way of looking at something. Well, that’s the same for your Facebook fans, email subscribers, in fact anyone you come into contact with in your business.

Once you realise that, the whole Facebook video ‘thing’ gets much easier. What do your fans and customers want to know? What could you share that would help them in their life? What would make them take notice? What words or phrases could you use that would grab their attention? What are they thinking about or worrying about that you can help with? What would make them happy? What would they find intriguing?

“Why does my dog eat grass?”
“How long should my baby nap for?”
“Should I send e-newsletters to my customers?”
“How do I deal with email overload?”
“Why aren’t people visiting my website?”
“Why has my silver jewellery gone black?”
“How can cheese help my concentration?”*

*I have no idea how cheese could help your concentration, but if you know the answer then I know a load of people who would love an excuse to eat more cheese!

Think about what your customers and Facebook fans might be putting into Google. Think about what YOU put into Google! I know, right? Weird and random things (if you’re anything like me) but if you can figure out what your fans are bothered about, then YOU can be the person showing up on Facebook videos in their newsfeed with the answers!

What if I get a nasty comment?

It might happen, it might not. Depending on what you’re sharing, you might ‘trigger’ someone who then feels hurt or upset or angry or jealous and makes a nasty comment. The more controversial you are, the more likely this is to happen.

If you’re not controversial and you’re just sharing how you painted your latest picture of a puppy, it probably won’t happen. If you’re talking about vaccinations, politics, parenting, money, anything that people are likely to have strong feelings about, you’re probably going to get all sorts of comments, good and bad.

So what do you do? Well, understand first of all that people are very brave when they are on Facebook and will say things they would NEVER say in real life so they are unlikely to be a real threat. Don’t reply. Don’t bite. Don’t engage. Ban. Delete. Move on. No matter how hurtful a comment might be, don’t let it get to you. Don’t let it hurt you because then they win. Let it slide off and have a way of dealing with it so it doesn’t ruin your day.

As someone who has had ALL sorts of nastiness happen on my Facebook page I can tell you this is easier said than done – but for your own sanity you have to just ban (so they can’t comment any more), THEN delete the comment, then do something that requires you to focus so you can get them out of your head. Whenever you catch yourself dwelling on it, STOP IT. DON’T LET THEM WIN. Focus your precious time and energy on making your business stronger.

If you can’t BEAR the thought (yet) of putting your lovely face on a video, in my next blog (coming soon) I’m going to show you that you don’t have to be ON video to make a video.

And in the following blog  I’m going to give you some great ideas for Facebook videos.

And that’s just part 1! After that we’ll cover video production tips, technology tips, different types and sizes and lengths of video, monetising video, captions, and more! You’ll be a Facebook video pro before you know it.

The Facebook Feed Rumours Are True! (Sort Of)

The Facebook Feed Rumours Are True! (Sort Of)

The Facebook Newsfeed Rumours

OK so for AGES rumours have been flying around that very soon the only way we will get our business posts seen in the Facebook newsfeed will be to pay for ads. So is it true?

Well, sort of.

Very simply put, Facebook has so much content, paid and organic, that it’s impossible to show every user every post that’s targeted at them. And although Facebook has shareholders and advertisers to keep happy, they also have to keep their USERS happy, otherwise they will stop using Facebook.

This article by Facebook expert Mari Smith explains LOADS about what’s going on and what we can do about it.

I’ve pulled out some of the key things I think will help you. Firstly this video from Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s Head of News Feed where he explains how the newsfeed works. I found it really interesting. Here is the link to his article.

Secondly, here are Mari’s top 10 tips on what businesses can do to keep getting seen. Not unsurprisingly, it’s all about VIDEO. We’ve known for ages that videos, especially FB live videos take top priority in our newsfeed – this is just the start!  Mari’s version has a lot more technical detail that might feel a little overwhelming so I’ll leave you to read the tips in full on Mari’s blog here but here is my ‘translated for small business owners with big ambitions’ summary. 

Over the next few weeks I’ll take each of these tips and give you LOADS of ideas on what you could do, and how you can use them in your business, so make sure my emails aren’t going into your spam folder!

1. Focus On Video

Video already takes priority in Facebook’s newsfeed. It’s only going to get bigger. Facebook is putting even more things into place to make it a viable alternative to your TV, after all I tend to get my news via Facebook these day, THEN see it on TV later. How about you? If you’re not already doing videos then you need to start embracing the idea. They don’t have to have you talking to the camera, there are loads of alternative ways to create fantastic videos. Don’t worry, there will be a way that works for you.

2. Do More LIVE Videos

OK so the novelty of Facebook live videos has worn off a bit. To start with we watched all of them. Then we realised that some aren’t as good as others. Now we’re being more selective and picky about which we watch and there are certain things that DEFINITELY make your live videos MUCH more likely to be watched. I’ll share those with you in next week’s newsletter. Even though the novelty has worn off, Facebook Live videos are still top of the newsfeed priority list so it’s definitely worth doing them (but the RIGHT way). 

“We’ve seen that people comment more than 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than on regular videos. ~Facebook”

3. Do more short, punchy videos

According to Mari, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook chief operating officer recommends creating ‘snackable’ video content. That is, between 6-15 seconds. This is the ideal length to be used as ad breaks. Now, I’m sure Sheryl was referring to the big brands when she mentioned this but how can we, as small businesses with big ambitions use it in our marketing? Well, 6-15 seconds is not a lot of time – what could you do as a teaser? What could you demonstrate in 6-15 seconds? What could you share that your fans would love? I’ll give you some ideas in one of my newsletters very soon.

4. Create longer videos too

OK so the short videos I just mentioned are what you’ll already be seeing while you watch longer videos – the longer video stops while a short video ad plays. Yes, I find it intensely annoying too.

But Facebook still needs longer videos in which to insert the ad breaks. Also, your fans won’t just want short videos, if you have something awesome to share with them. So, how long is longer? Well, according to Mari anywhere from 90 seconds to 30+ minutes for your regular Facebook videos. And, for your Live video broadcasts, a minimum of five minutes and up to four hours. And for Instagram, 60 seconds. Phew!

5. Add captions to your videos

According to Mari’s research 85 percent of videos are watched with sound off. It’s not surprising when you think how often you’re somewhere that makes listening tricky. Also, sometimes you just want to watch the story and read what’s being said – it’s definitely how I prefer to watch videos.  Adding captions is easy and lots of the work is done for you. I’ll show you how to do this in one of my newsletters very soon!

6. Create highly shareable videos

According to Mari ‘Share is the ‘holy grail’ on your Facebook business content. It’s free viral marketing, when you can get it. According to Facebook, “Recommendations from friends are powerful: in fact, 48% of video watch time on Facebook comes from shares. ~Facebook” So, how can you create videos that are sharable? Well there are lots of ways and obviously I’ll be sharing a load with you very soon in one of my newsletters but to get you started, think about sharing stories about your business. Think about sharing those time lapse videos of work in progress. Think about sharing videos of magical things in your business – I sat yesterday and watched a wax melt melting. I watched it 3 times. It was mesmerising. More ideas coming soon!

7. Create square videos

According to Mari’s research  “square videos perform better on Facebook, resulting in 28% more views, more likes, and shares, while leading to a 67% greater view-completion rate.” Wow! That matters when you’re trying to make an impression and build relationships. Also, you get more space in the newsfeed with a square video as opposed to a landscape one, which is a good thing.

Adobe Spark is great for creating square videos and it’s free! I’ll share some more apps and software very soon. Remember if you make your videos 60 seconds or under, you can use them on Instagram too.

8. Monetise your own videos

According to Mari, there are three primary ways to monetise:

  1. Your own offer. This is probably the most relevant to us as small business owners. It’s where you put a link to your offer in the video, or the post, or both.
  2. Sponsors. Worth a look but probably not your best option.
  3. Ad breaks. You need at least 2,000 followers and your live broadcast needs to have more than 300 people watching at the same time. Then, you’d qualify for ad breaks after you’ve been live for at least 4 minutes. You can take additional ad breaks every 5 minutes after your first break. But they are really annoying for your viewers. Just saying…

9. Stay away from the Boost button

According to Mari Smith, “most savvy marketers on Facebook have long known that the Boost button is a ‘lightweight’ ad interface. The Facebook ad algorithms know that you are a somewhat novice advertiser if all you do is boost your posts…” It’s time to get familiar with the Facebook Ads Manager and start looking at proper targeting and custom audiences. Luckily, I can help you with this – there will be a newsletter about it very soon!

10. Be a more sophisticated advertiser

According to Mari, if you “Use Ads Manager + install the Facebook Pixel + Standard Event tracking + use Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences + do retargeting + choose Traffic, Conversions, Products or Leads for your ad objective. This combo shows the Facebook ad algorithms that you are a much more sophisticated advertiser, compared to a business that only hits the Boost button.”

OK if that sounded like a very scary foreign language to you, I’m not surprised! What Mari is saying is that if you start to use the Facebook Ad Manager tools properly, your ads will perform better and you MIGHT get better organic reach too. Hmm. I don’t doubt it’s true but it feels like hard going! Try the first few options first, I reckon!

So, in my next few newsletters and blogs I’ll be taking Mari’s excellent advice and translating it into ideas you can use in your business. Don’t worry, you’ll be using Facebook like a pro very soon.

I’d love to know what you think of this. Does it make you excited? Worried? Scared? Are you already using videos on Facebook? How are they working for you? Tell me! 🙂

 

Facebook Live Tips For Nervous Business Owners

Facebook Live Tips For Nervous Business Owners

Videos are easily the best way to get seen on social media. Most of the social media platforms are putting a big focus on video and live streaming and if you’re brave enough you could really benefit from this. Facebook in particular gives its Facebook Live videos priority over other types of content so, if you post a video, it is more likely to be seen than anything else on your page. It’s a quick and easy way to get more engagement and it’s so simple to do, if you can get over yourself and give it a go.

If you do decide to try them, here are a few tips to help your Facebook live videos be the best they can be, for free!

1. Make sure you have a good internet connection because any sort of live streaming takes up LOADS of bandwidth. If you have a poor signal, your videos won’t load for your viewers and if you DO manage to get one to play, it will usually cut you off in your prime. Ouch! If you don’t have good internet, opt to record a video on your webcam or phone/tablet and upload to Facebook instead of live streaming.

2. Have a point to each video and keep it short. You don’t need to waffle for ages just to fill space. A 15 second video that shows us something interesting is better than a 5 minute one that sends us to sleep.

3. Make good lighting a priority. You don’t have to spend money – a couple of desk lamps with daylight bulbs, positioned in front of you while you are recording, can make your video look much more professional. Alternatively, sit with a window in front of you (not behind you, or you’ll look like a silhouette) and choose an overcast day. If you’re trying to record in bright sunlight, you’ll squint, your eyes will water and you’ll get a runny nose. That’s not quite the look you’re aiming for. Also, bright sunlight on your face will bleach out your features. Natural but not too bright light is best.

4. Look at the camera, NOT at yourself on screen. I know it’s tempting, but you will look as though you’re talking to someone else and you need the viewer to feel you are talking directly to them. If in doubt, stick a little sticker next to your camera to remind you (you can put some bullet points on there too, to keep yourself on track).

5. SMILE! From the minute you reach to hit the record button until after you’ve pressed ‘stop’. You’re on camera as soon as you hit ‘record’, so even if you’re sitting back down again or haven’t started talking yet, smile and engage with us. It will make you look and feel more relaxed and you won’t have that ‘rabbit in the headlights’ look you see on so many videos.

Remember, when you create any videos for your social media accounts but particularly live ones, it really helps to build a relationship between you and your viewers. When they can see and hear and even talk with you via chat in real time, they feel a part of the business and they feel like you’re no longer a stranger. Marketing is all about people and relationship – people buy people, as the saying goes and it’s true! We are much more likely to buy from someone we ‘know’ than a total stranger, even if we only virtually know them from videos.

People aren’t watching to judge you or laugh at you (unless that’s your aim) but instead, they want to get to know you and hear what you have to say so ditch the nerves and give it a go. After all, if you fluff it or forget what you wanted to say, you can always delete and start again!

How To Get Sales From YouTube

How To Get Sales From YouTube

 

Did you know, YouTube is the world’s third biggest search engine after Google and Baidu (wait, what? China’s biggest search engine, that’s what!) which means that, more often or not, when you put a search into Google for how to do certain things, quite often it’s a video on YouTube that comes up in the top 10 search results.

Let me give you some statistics from YouTube’s site.

  • YouTube has more than 1 billion users
  • There are 4 BILLION video views on YouTube per day
  • 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • 50% of YouTube views are on mobile devices

Hmm, interesting huh?

That’s a lot of video views and a big chunk of them will have come about as a result of a Google search.

So, if you’re NOT using YouTube how many searches COULD you have appeared in but didn’t, because you’re not on YouTube?

I can hear the penny dropping right now.

This is a really useful thing to know because:

  • Most business ARE NOT on YouTube.
  • Most of your competitors are not on YouTube.
  • But most of your customers are searching Google and getting YouTube ‘how to’ videos coming up in their search results.
  • You need to be there.

So let’s start thinking like a business owner.

How To Use YouTube To Drive Sales

How can you capitalise on this, now that you are ‘in the know’? How can you use YouTube to sell more stuff?

  • Well, you can use videos to showcase your products and services for starters.
  • You can share your results.
  • You can show work in progress.
  • You can show happy customers benefitting from your work.
  • You can show sale items and whet people’s appetite.
  • You can share trade secrets and tips.
  • The more you share, the more people will take notice.
  • The more people take notice, the more you will sell.

People buy people. Relationships matter in marketing and in business. Videos showcase you as a person and allow your viewers and potential customers to begin building a relationship with you, even though you’re not there in person.

Creating Videos Is Easier Than You Think

It’s so easy to create videos. It doesn’t have to be you talking on camera (cue: huge sigh of relief from you) but we’ll talk about this more in a moment.

You can make a video of you demonstrating things with your hands, so if you’re a maker, crafter or an artist you can just have a camera focussed on your hands and demonstrate techniques and how tos.

You can share teaching slides and create teaching videos where you explain how to do something and walk people through it, narrating the slides – you can use www.screencast-o-matic to do this very cheaply and easily).

You can create videos where you share your screen and again, using Screencast-o-Matic you can demonstrate how to use software or social media, if that’s relevant to your business and audience.

So, you see videos don’t have to be you! But… it would be REALLY good if you could create some of you talking to camera. Why? Because they:

  • Help to position you as an expert,
  • Build relationships with your potential buyers,
  • Showcase your expertise,
  • Build your credibility and
  • Generally short-cut the learning process so if you’re trying to get a message across it’s much easier to get that across on video than it is on a page full of words.
  • Show off your awesome stuff

You, being yourself, talking to camera does more to build trust and shorten the buying cycle than any amount of sales pages on your website.

People love to hear from business owners; they love to know that behind this website there’s a real person who is passionate about what she does.

How Can You Use YouTube In Your Marketing?

I want you to think about how you could use YouTube in your marketing.

  • What kind of videos could you put together that your super customers would love?
  • What could you showcase in your business?
  • What could you teach in your business?
  • What could you shortcut in your business?
  • Is there something that loads of people struggle with?
  • Are there certain questions that you always get asked in your business that you could answer in one quick video and help people without having to get in touch with them?
  • How could you use videos in your frequently asked questions section, if you have one, on your website, if you don’t have one on your website, do you need one?
  • Are there certain things that customers and clients always struggle with when they’re deciding to buy or when they’re getting started with you?
  • Are there things you always end up explaining?

Create Once, Use Loads Of Times

The thing is, just because they’re on YouTube doesn’t mean you can’t use them elsewhere. You can embed them in your website. You can use them on other social media platforms such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter or LinkedIn. You can link to them in your e-newsletters and send them out to your subscribers and customers. You could get a LOT of use out of one little video.

Who Can See My Videos On YouTube?

There are three different privacy settings on YouTube videos; you can have private videos which only you can see, unlisted videos which only people with a link to the video can see, and you can have public videos that everyone can see and that appear in search results.

For profile building, relationship building, positioning yourself as an expert, building your credibility and getting known, you would create public videos.

If you are delivering these videos as part of a programme or teaching series or you only want people on your website to be able to see them, you might make them unlisted so that only people with the link can see them and then you might email out to the people who need them with the links.

If there are videos you want to keep for reference but you don’t want anyone to see them, or maybe you are going to make them public at a certain time you would set them to private.

Getting My Videos Found On Google

This is how you’ll appear in Google search results so there are a few things you can do to make this even more effective:

  1. Call your video something ‘searchable’. By that I mean think about what your customers will be putting into Google – what they will be typing in the search box and try to call your videos something that will match that. If you are demonstrating how to ice a cupcake like a rose then call your video ‘How To Create A Cupcake Rose’ or ‘How To Ice Your Cupcake Like A Rose’ because this is what people will be typing into Google
  2. Fill out the description box. Most people don’t do this and yet it’s probably the biggest reason your video will appear in Google searches. Remember, Google doesn’t know what you are saying in the video. All it can use is the title and description so you need to make sure your title and video description describe what the video is about
  3. Add a link to your website and other social media accounts in your video descriptions so people can easily find your website and shop – make it easy for them to buy

Video Tips

  1. Remember your videos could be seen by anyone in the world so speak clearly (while being yourself, don’t turn into a robot!)
  2. If you are talking on camera have your lighting in front of you, not behind you or you’ll look like a silhouette
  3. Stick a post-it note to your computer screen if you’re recording on your webcam, with prompts and reminders about what you want to say
  4. Don’t get hung up on your voice and appearance – your viewers just want to learn from you

Video Ideas

Here are some ideas that could work for you. You don’t need all of them, you just need one or two that work for your business and do them as best you can.

  • Client testimonials
  • Case Studies
  • ‘How To’ demonstration videos
  • Hands-on demonstration videos
  • You, explaining a concept
  • You, answering frequently asked questions, one at a time (you’ll have a little collection of really useful videos before you know it)
  • You, showcasing new stock that’s just arrived
  • Reviews (book reviews, equipment reviews, website reviews). This going to help your customers because you’re helping them to short cut the research process and give them YOUR expert recommendations.
  • There are loads more, just see what everyone else is doing inside and outside of your industry

How To Get Started On YouTube

The best thing to do is set up a YouTube channel for your business. This is fairly simple but can be baffling to the uninitiated – we’ve got a video here that will help.

Remember:

Your customers and clients would rather you got the videos done and out there and helped them, than sat worrying about whether you look ‘right’ and never getting your video out there.

Just get the videos done, get over yourself and start to benefit from the amazing massive search engine that is YouTube. You’ll find that if you do the right videos (you’ll learn what works, the more you do) and give them the right titles your videos will start to show up in your potential customers’ Google searches. This will drive enquiries, drive traffic to your website and ultimately (if you’ve got your targeting right) drive sales.

What’s not to love?

12 Free Marketing Ideas You Can Use In Your Business Today

12 Free Marketing Ideas You Can Use In Your Business Today

When you’re in business it can feel like you’re shelling out money, hand over fist. Finding money for marketing can be tough on top of all your other business costs but you know you need to keep marketing to grow your business. What’s a girl to do?

Well, let me share some of my favourite free marketing ideas. They won’t cost you a penny but some will need you to spend a bit of time to get them working.

 1. Video

Videos are one of my FAVOURITE free marketing tools. They are so easy to make on your phone or tablet and let’s face it, most of us have one of them. I also use my webcam to film me talking or screen capture software called www.screencast-o-matic.com if I want to share how something works. Videos are brilliant for lots of reasons, from helping your customers to get to know you (building relationships) to helping you stand out from the competition (they can’t copy you on video!) and letting you demonstrate your products and services right there and then. They are super quick to make too, especially if you can get over your fears (I’m too fat, my voice sounds weird, I have bad hair etc) and understand your viewers and fans just want to LEARN. They are not there to judge you, they want to learn from you. That’s all. I challenge you to start making videos for your business today – you can share them on social media, on blogs or on your website and if pictures are worth a thousand words then videos must be worth a million.

2. List Building

You might have heard people talk about subscriber lists or mailing lists and not given them much thought but they are actually a brilliant free marketing tool that you could be using to grow your business. Why? Because if people sign up to hear from you regularly, that means you can use e-newsletters to grow your business.

The key thing here is that they MUST sign up, you must get their permission and you must NOT include people who haven’t given you their explicit permission to email them or you’re breaking a ton of spam laws.

This could include:

  • People who once gave you their business card (that’s not the same as giving you permission to email them)
  • People on lists you have bought/scraped off the internet
  • Basically, anyone who has not signed up to your list!

Apart from anything else, if people haven’t signed up they are not going to be interested. You only want people on your list who WANT to be on your list, who have signed up and who have ASKED to receive e-newsletters and offers for you – otherwise you’re just going to generate a lot of spam complaints and get your account shut down. Ack.

You can build your list using Mailchimp (www.mailchimp.com) – it has a great free package which is more than enough for most small businesses. It has great help files and videos to walk you through what you need to do.

How do you get people onto your list?

Well, you tempt them on! You give them a great reason to sign up and that usually means offering them an irresistible freebie. It could be a discount coupon or voucher, a free sample, a free e-book or cheat sheet, a free checklist or guide – anything that will attract the right people onto your list. Remember, you don’t want just anyone, you want the people who are most likely to buy from you – your Super Customers (I have a blog about that here) so create a freebie your Super Customers will love and you’ll build a list that’s responsive and full of lovely people who will buy.

3. E-marketing

Once you’ve got people onto your list, what do you do with them? Well, using Mailchimp again you can create beautiful e-newsletters that your Super Customer subscribers will love.

You can share tips, advice, articles, offers, videos, inspirational quotes – anything that adds value for your subscribers and keeps them wanting more.

Don’t sell, sell, sell though – that’s a sure fire way to get lots of people unsubscribing. Instead, think about what your subscribers would love to read.

E-newsletters are great free marketing tools because they help to build relationships with potential customers, they position you as an expert, they showcase your products and services, they keep you top of mind – all important aspects of marketing. E-newsletters also drive sales.

If you get the right people onto your subscriber list and you make them the right offers (in between giving them tons of value the rest of the time) you will find that people will buy. It happens for me and it could happen for you. It’s all about putting in the time to build your subscriber list and create engaging newsletters your subscribers will love.

4. Jungle Grapevine

This used to be one of the main ways businesses got customers – via word of mouth. These days it’s still a valuable free marketing tool but often gets overlooked in favour of techie solutions.

Does everyone in your network know what you do?

  • The mums at the school gate?
  • Your children’s teachers?
  • The post office counter staff?
  • The lollipop lady?

You never know who knows who. And even if your immediate network doesn’t need you right now, you never know who THEY know and who they might mention you to, in passing. Never pass up on an opportunity to let people know what you do (just don’t go overboard and pester people to buy – it’s not about that and you’ll soon find your network shrinking alarmingly…)

5. PR

PR is when you get featured in the media (magazines, trade press, websites, on radio, TV, newspaper) without paying for it. It’s not advertising or advertorials. It’s free coverage because you have a story worth covering and the media in question feels it’s a good fit for their audience.

You could pay someone to help with this OR you could make a shortlist of the media where you’d love to be featured (remember, you’re looking for the things your Super Customers read/watch/listen to), put on your big girl knickers and approach them. Twitter is a great place to find the journalists you need, you’ll find most magazines, sites, TV stations will show the journalist’s Twitter handle next to their name so it’s easy to follow them and get to know them.

Tip: Don’t harass/bombard them! I know you’re passionate about your business but they will just think you’re a weird stalky person and will hit the block button before you know what’s hit you.

No, instead think about building a relationship with them- help them out, answer their questions, retweet their requests, offer opinions. Get to know what kind of things they are looking for and then, when you feel like you are on their radar, ask them if they think your idea might work for their publication/channel. And if they say no, leave it a while and try again, their needs will change all the time depending on their content schedule.

6. Social Media

Social media is still free, despite what you might think with ad options appearing everywhere. Good content aimed at your Super Customers will always get people chatting and engaging, and the more engagement you can create, the more your business page will appear in people’s timelines.

It doesn’t matter which social media platform you use, always keep your Super Customer in mind and write posts and tweets that they will find useful, valuable and interesting. The more time and effort you put into this, the more you’ll get out of it. Don’t discount it, just adjust your focus and stop trying to attract everyone.

7. Competitions

Competitions are a great free way to market your business. Your only costs are whatever stock you are offering as a price or your time if you’re offering a service. The key with competitions is to offer a prize that will attract the RIGHT people, you don’t want just anyone, you want those people who are most likely to buy from you. Your Super Customers. Make sure your prize will attract them and filter out people who aren’t such a good fit.

In my business, I might offer a VIP coaching session with me – it will only attract people who want to work with me. Most people in the world will have absolutely no interest in winning it so I’m only going to attract those lovely people who would value a coaching session with me. They are the people who if they don’t win, are still likely to buy products or services from me – they are my Super Customers.

You can promote your competition at your premises if you have them, on your website, on social media or via your e-newsletter. Give yourself 2 weeks of solid promotion and market it like you mean it – the aim is to grow your list (people must sign up with their best email to enter) and make people aware of what you do. See what might work for your business.

8. Postcards In Shops!

Sometimes the old fashioned ways are the best! Depending on whom you’re trying to attract and whether you’re a local business, putting postcards or mini-posters in your neighbourhood or town can bring in loads of business. This will work well if your Super Customers are out and about during the day (think mums of pre-school children or retired people) or are fellow business owners. Postcard in the Post Office, local shops, supermarkets, library, leisure centre or community centres can get you in front of potential customers for free (or maybe a teeny payment) and if you’ve hit the spot with your marketing message, can bring lots of new business. The same goes for letterboxing – putting fliers through letterboxes, except you need to invest in fliers for that one and if the message, service or neighbourhood isn’t right, you could waste a chunk of cash.

9. Speaking gigs

Lots of people need regular speakers, from the Women’s Institute, local community groups, business networks and the business team at your local council to name but a few. Speaking about or teaching your topic is a great way to get in front of groups of potential buyers (again, choose your groups to focus on Super Customers rather than just anyone) and costs nothing other than perhaps a little for travel. If you think nobody would be interested, have a look at your local paper in the events section and see what groups are featuring speakers – you’ll be amazed at the broad range of topics covered. The easiest way to do this is to get in touch with a few groups that are a good fit for you and ask them if they need speakers. They can only say no, but they might say yes – so be prepared with one or two things you could easily speak about.

10. Networking

If speaking gigs aren’t your thing then why not try networking? Not all networking groups make you pay a monthly fee, some groups are simply informal get togethers where you meet and chat, cover your own cuppa and a cake or a glass of wine and do business. Easy peasy. Look for those options – search on Google and Facebook for networking events, ask around and see if anyone knows of any and if there aren’t any, how about starting one?

11. Email Signature

This is so easy but hardly anyone does it. How many emails do you send out each week? If it’s more then one or two then you’re missing out if you don’t have an email signature, it’s like stealth marketing . It’s easy to do with most email packages – just add your social media links plus a line saying what you do, you can even put time sensitive offers on there as long as you remember to take them off when they expire!

12. Blogs

My BEST free marketing tip is blogging. I love blogging. It works brilliantly for lots of reasons, not least because the search engines love blogs so you are helping your business to be found on the internet.

Think about what you could easily write about, pick 2 or 3 topics you know your Super Customers are interested in and that you can easily write about then brainstorm how many sub-topics you could make from those 2 or 3 – if your business was hypnotherapy then your big topics might be ‘what hypnotherapy is’ and ‘what it treats’. Each of those could give you a good few blogs if you go into detail and your Super Customers would find them really useful.

If your business is in fashion or accessories you could talk about trends, about looks and how to achieve them and give fashion tips

Blogs, especially if you can get yours embedded in your website like mine, help to drive traffic to your site. You can share blogs on social media and via your newsletter (my blog IS my weekly e-newsletter, I don’t write new content I just add an introduction and a few little gems of information to add more value). Blogs showcase your expertise, they help you build relationships with your readers and they can be turned into loads of different things, from videos to social media posts, newsletters to e-books.

 There’s No Excuse Not To Market Your Business!

So, you see there are loads of free marketing ideas out there, you just need to use your imagination and keep your Super Customers in mind at all times so you attract those people who are most likely to buy from you. Having no money is no excuse not to market your business if you can find just a little time, instead.

 

What are YOUR best free marketing tips? Why not share them in the comments?