I'm all for paid marketing campaigns but let's be honest – free marketing that works is always more exciting! So today I'm sharing my top three free marketing tactics that can help you get more people to your events, purchasing more of your products and services, and building relationships that stand the test of time.
So what are these three key free marketing strategies that I've been using for years? Well obviously my business is called The Connection Exchange. And one of my if not the main core value of the business is obviously connection. And so these three marketing strategies absolutely are based on connection and relationships.
So the first one is relationship marketing. It's where you build genuine, note the key word there. Genuine relationships with people. Whether it's through networking, events, online. But you know them. You have conversations with them. You have a relationship with them. And through that, you're building trust. They're wanting to either buy what you have, share what you have, support what you have. And that is where the community comes in as well. So really thinking about how you are building real relationships, not just superficial relationships to help you build your business. But where you're genuinely supporting other people.
Relationship marketing is one of the best ways to grow and build your business. And it's been amazing for me over the last three years. I've got people that actively share what I have. They buy everything that I have. And I take care of them. You know I make sure that they are happy with what's happening. That those who have bought a lot of the different things that I've put out in the business, I give kickbacks as well wherever I can. And that's something I'm really looking to do a lot more of in a more strategic way next year too. Using my CRM to take a look at who opens my emails. Who buys tickets to my workshop. Who buys my online products. And allocating points towards that so that you can easily see who your most loyal customers are as well. And then rewarding that wherever you can because if you can build brand ambassadors, then you really will take your business so much further.
The next marketing strategy that I have used really successfully is invitation marketing. Now I kind of feel like relationship marketing and invitation marketing kind of go hand in hand. Because if you've got really good relationships, then you know what people need. What they really want from you. What are the key things in their business they're wanting to grow?
So if you're creating products that your customers and your community really want, then you can literally go to them and say, “hey there Sarah, I've got this content workshop coming up. I know that was something that was really key for you, and I wanted to let you know that it's happening on this day, did you want to come along?” And I do that all the time. This is not just an email through my email management system which is active campaign. This is individual emails, Facebook Messengers, Instagram DMs where I'm literally saying “hey there, I know that this was something that you were interested in and I just wanted to let you know that it's happening.”
If you've got really solid relationships where you've had genuine conversations, then invitation marketing is just a really natural progression for you to be able to then speak to exactly what your community and your customers want and need. And obviously that's if you're creating products through listening which is something that I am really really focused on. You know as they say you don't want to be creating products that people don't want. It's been through me understanding what some of the challenges are for my community and for women in business in general that have really directed me as to what my products and services have been.
The third one is collaboration marketing or co-marketing which my friend Jess Ruhfus talks about this all the time through her business Collabosaurus. Taking a look at where there is a similar opportunity for you and someone else when you may have different products and services, but the same audience to be able to come together, work together and think of something that you can do where you can then access each other's audiences across social as well as email lists as well.
So those are three free marketing techniques that have worked really well for me. Based on my core value in the business which is connection.
Now the one thing I do want to say that whether it is relationship marketing. Whether it's invitation marketing. People can smell fake coming from a mile away. So this is about genuine, honest, really authentic connections that you're making. So if you connect with somebody and you haven't connected with them for a really long time, and then you ask for something really quickly. They know straight away that this is really disingenuous. And it can actually have the opposite effect where now they are not indifferent to you, but now they feel really icky about the relationship. So I think it's really important to make sure that when you are building community, you're giving in a really genuine way. You're actually interested in people. And that you're building longer term relationships and not just relationships for when you need something. So hopefully that's helpful. Those are three key things, three key marketing techniques that I would really recommend that you use in your business. And you take a look at how you can not only ask people if they're interested in what you've got. You can genuinely be helping them through their business journey as well.
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