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 discover—then 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 energy—mostly, 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 business—beyond 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 over—gone 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 ...