2FD 106: How to Market Your Business on a Budget

On this episode of 2 Frugal Dudes, we’re talking to Zack Miller, marketing expert and author of Anomaly. Zack joins us with valuable lessons on how to get attention for your business or career while being frugal. Visit Zack at zackmillersays.com!

Zack’s Journey

Zack graduated in 2007 from West Virginia University with a journalism degree. He had every intention to become a reporter.  He lucked into an interview near his hometown in Virginia and landed the job, successfully launching his career.

Unfortunately, Zack started falling out of love with tv news rather quickly but had too far debt to navigate a breakup.

Zack met previous 2 Frugal Dudes guest Brennan Dunn and joined his startup efforts. During this time, he realized that there are a lot of small businesses that need help with marketing to grow but have a limited budget to work with. He decided to pursue this opportunity and immersed himself in networking and continuous education.

Where Our Money Went

Kevin’s uses the Honey app, a Chrome extension used to track items over time and automatically apply discounts when purchasing online. You can also set alerts on favored items to receive a notification when the price drops. Kevin used this to save on his favorite notebooks and bought in bulk.

Sean discovered that his apartment in Gulf Shores is on a golf course and that you can get a set of golf clubs at the local thrift shop for around $20. So Sean will be hitting the green with his thrifty find.

How to Get Attention to Your Business

The average person sees over 5000 ads a day. So the first thing you need to do is find a way to stand out. Zack works in an area where suits and ties are the norm, so he started attending events in a jean and t-shirts. You have to be willing to do something that makes you slightly uncomfortable to market yourself. Reach out and say hello to someone. Ask someone to come on your podcast. The worst thing that can happen is that someone says no and you move on.

Broaden Your Circle of Influence

The key to marketing on a budget is networking and building connections. For example, if you want to be on a podcast look at the other guests and find a way to leverage this connection. See how many similar podcasts you’ve been on and reach out and ask to join in a complimentary way.

When you reach out, it’s important to make it personal. Don’t use a canned message that you’re sending to multiple people, especially over social media. People are becoming more aware of inauthenticity; being genuine is essential.

There’s a lot of automation on social media as well, so a personal touch stands out when marketing on a budget. Sure, use that automatic notification from Facebook or LinkedIn to congratulate someone on their birthday or work anniversary, but take the time to craft a message that stands out from the canned responses.

Video Messaging

Sean recommends using an app like Loom to stand out when approaching someone to cultivate a relationship. For the upcoming FI Summit, Sean approached the guests with a brief personalized video message that stood out above the chatter and endless abyss of emails.

In standard online marketing and influencer marketing efforts, the use of videos and personalization to craft a conversation via social media has become one of the most effective ways to connect.

Small Business Marketing: When and How to Invest

One of the challenges Sean has identified through his entrepreneurial efforts is developing the skills for effective marketing. So how do you know when to invest and how?

Outsourcing vs. In-House Marketing Strategy

One of the main components of small business marketing is viewing your time as an asset. For many small businesses, it makes more sense to outsource to a specialized contractor who is very good at one task rather than hiring someone full-time to handle all things.

Paying a contractor to help with digital marketing efforts, creating a marketing strategy, or managing your social media channels gives you both the expert approach to these tasks while freeing up your time for growing your business.

Kevin recommends hiring a VA for something that adds value to the business, like following up with contacts, writing blog posts that reaches your target audience, or writing show notes (Hi guys– that’s me!) that would otherwise be overlooked.

Time Management

Time management is a significant part of being a successful small business owner. Tracking your time and identifying how you spend it will identify if you’re getting caught up in low-value tasks that could be dedicated to furthering your marketing efforts. Is it realistic to spend ten minutes a day pitching podcasts that reach your target audience? It is if you’re not scrolling through social media instead.

How to Stand Out to Your Target Audience

When creating a marketing strategy, think about what you hate as a consumer. What are your negative experiences and why they make you feel that way? Once you’ve identified these marketing strategies, don’t do them.

Find ways to stand out while networking. Rather than asking what they do, ask them what they’re watching on Netflix. Ask them about the sports team on their hat or comment on something you’ve noticed about them. This helps break the ice before you start getting into the “what do you do” topics.

Anomaly

Zack decided to turn his business efforts into a book, presented in the form of Anomaly. This book is meant to answer the burning question: “How Do I Stand Out?”

This book is for small business owners and career builders who need marketing on a budget. It focuses on leveraging your time and focusing on free tasks that will have a great return. The book is designed to give actionable tasks to create a road map to success. Check it out!

Show Links & Related Episodes

Music: https://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music

Disclaimer: Kevin and Sean are not professional financial advisors. Do not take any advice they give without first speaking with a professional and performing your own due diligence.