1 Being Aggressive and Confident as You Market for Free
You can be a high-energy marketer, and you can do it for free. Your marketing can propel you to gloriously high profits, and you can do it for free. You can become well known for your nonstop, clearly visible marketing, and you can do it for free.
If you can produce a circular at the cost of a dime, that’s not free and has no place in this book. If you can run a newspaper ad for only five bucks, that’s not free either. So you won’t be reading about it in the upcoming pages.
In fact, the only money you’ll have to spend is money you’ve probably invested already. That means you’ll need a telephone, a computer, a printer, a supply of plain paper, access to the Internet, and business cards. If you have those, you can toss away your checks, file away your credit cards, put your cash into a piggy bank, and still market like a tiger. Or rather, a guerrilla.
You’re a guerrilla. That means you know what marketing can and cannot do. It means you realize the importance of marketing to your bottom line. It means you understand the vital need to maintain visibility and market with all your might. But not with all your money. Not with any of your money.
Guerrilla marketing for free is powerfully effective even though it costs you nary a cent. It can cause the competition to quake in their Nikes, even if they’re spending advertising money as though it’s going to expire. It wins customers, maintains their loyalty, builds a business, and increases never decreases your bank account.
Too good to be true, right? But it is true. Even more remarkable is the fact that the vast majority of your competitors haven’t a clue that they can market so formidably without spending money. Even when they become increasingly aware of your marketing and your success, they still won’t have a clue that you’re doing it all for free. Unless you tell them or they discover this book, they’ll remain clueless while you frolic about in clover. Well, not exactly frolic, because you don’t really get good stuff without hard work. But your entire opinion, degree of control, and satisfaction with the process of marketing will be transformed once you discoverthen cash in on the abundance of free marketing options in these pages and in your future.
You’re not going to learn any gimmicks or shady ways to attract customers and prospects. You’re not going to be given a cornucopia of complex tasks. You’re not going to be served up tactics that will make you feel like a pioneer. We all know that pioneers get arrows in the back of the neck, so your selection here of no-cost tactics is limited to those that have proven themselves in battle and can’t hurt anyone except those who would dare to compete with a guerrilla.
Because you can rely on tactics that have consistently earned profits in the past, you can feel optimistic about how they’ll work for you. Ideally, you’ll get into the habit of marketing, making it as much a part of your daily routine as flossing.
Some of the one hundred free tactics you can use are things, such as marketing plans and testimonials. Some are places, such as Internet chat rooms and community bulletin boards. Others are concepts, such as competitive advantages and sales training. Some are attitudes, like aggressiveness and flexibility. Still others are people, such as fusion marketing partners and satisfied customers. Many are hard to categorize, such as viral marketing and speeches for community clubs.
But they all have five things in common: They take your time.
They must be done right.
They require energymostly, but not exclusively, mental.
They are deceptively simple.
They earn profits for guerrillas. Always have. Always can.
Instead of making money your prime marketing asset, this book is devoted to using your marketing enlightenment, your intensity, your assertiveness, and your resourcefulness. None of those attributes cost you anything. But they give you marketing firepower that money can’t buy.
You can and should utilize many of these tactics at the same time. But you never should feel as though you’ve got too much going on. Guerrillas are rarely in a hurry and proceed at a pace that keeps them in total control even with a lot going on. Because their marketing efforts all follow a plan and a calendar, guerrilla marketing for free makes order out of chaos and profits out of effort.
Guerrillas strive for conventional goals and attain them through unconventional means. Guerrilla marketing sets profits as the goal and provides a plethora of overlooked yet industrial- strength strategies to attain them. You hold in your capitalistic hands an even more unconventional method of mmarketing going at it full bore without spending money.
Be assured, this is not your father’s marketing. This is marketing that will enable you to mmmmmake drastic reductions in your budget while developing a fiery aura as a business owner. I sure hope that all my own fire and enthusiasm is making you eager to get started. Getting started is half the battle. Continuing with it is the other half.
But take a deep breath and hang back a bit before you begin. I’ve devoted the entire next chapter to the tactics you must bring to life before you start to market for free. I want you to know where you’re heading and what you want to get for yourself. I want you to aim for both profits and balance in your life. These tactics are not presented solely to fill your vault. They are also designed to free up some of your time for things other than business, other than profits, other than marketing. Life comes first. Business, profits, and marketing are further down the list.
Now that we’re clear on priorities, let’s get back to what you must do before you flex your marketing muscles. As I demonstrate in chapter 2, knowing your destination is a crucial part of your marketing journey. Moving at the right pace is another. You must be clear on key marketing insights to be successful. Before taking one step into the fabled land of free marketing, you must know certain characteristics of your prospects and customers and of your businessbeyond what it says on your card. Just as a wagon needs four wheels to move forward, you’re going to need four wheels too. In guerrilla marketing the four wheels are a name, a niche, a theme, and a meme. Armed with the intellectual inventory you need to make before you launch your free foray, you’re poised for action. But wait! There’s more.
Chapter 3 tells you what you must know while you market for free. Besides the knowledge you need to acquire before you begin your marketing assault, you’ve got to conduct that assault knowing your goals, your market, and certainly some fundamental details about your customers.
As people are finding out, sometimes a bit too rudely, the age of the lone-wolf business owner is overgone with the wind and the innocence. A vast number of potential allies are waiting to combine forces with you. But where in the world will you find them? Look no further than chapter 4, whose pages are loaded for bear with allies who can help you market, who want to help you market, and who will help you market. Enlisting their aid is paramount. Paying them is unnecessary. Think of all your customers and you’ll begin to realize that there are allies all around you.
Once you’re armed to launch your program and know what to do while it’s under way, you must decide where all of this no-cost, high-energy marketing is going to take place. Chapter 5 is where you’ll survey the terrain, get a fix on the geography, and zero in on the bull’s-eyes. It’s reassuring to know there’s more than one. This chapter is chock-full of bull’s-eyes, along with weapons to help you score themzero-cost ways to market the right way in the right places.
With the basics in place, you’ll be ready to get into the nitty-gritty of marketing for free. Chapter 6 teems with fine points and details on just that topic. It shines a bright light on your community, your target audiences, the Internet, trade shows, and a whole lot more.
Just when you’re thinking it’s time to start engaging in serious guerrilla marketing for free, chapter 7 counsels and encourages you to give things away for free. Pretty astonishing that you can market for free while giving things away. Don’t the things you give away cost money to buy? Nope. This book is called Guerrilla Marketing for Free, so the tactics don’t cost you a penny, not even the tactics that call for you to be as generous as the rich uncle you wish you had. One of the most power-packed and effective tactics is free consultations. How much money does that cost you? None. Better question: How much money can that earn for you?
Chapter 8 is about youand the personality characteristics I’m hoping you already have that will help your marketing for free pay rich dividends. Truth be told, if you lack these traits, you may need a personality transplant.
Chapter 9 is about actions you must take to capitalize on the time you’ll spend reading this book. If you don’t take them, you probably shouldn’t be reading this.
Okay, let’s stop talking about you and talk instead about the people who will be your customers. This is the twenty-first century, and they are a more demanding lot than their predecessors. But if you’re a guerrilla, you can meet and exceed their demands by understanding what it is they want. One of those things is quality.
There are two crucial lessons to learn about quality right from the get-go. The first is that quality is the number-two reason people patronize a business, ranking just behind confidence in the business and just ahead of service. The second lesson is that quality is not what you put into your product or service, but what your customers get out of it.
You should also be aware t...