With the bad economy, marketing budgets are getting slashed says Saivian. In fact it’s a common scenario now that when a small business owner or manager is looking for help with their marketing efforts, one of the first questions asked is “What can you do for me for free?” So what can you do?

Here are a few tips to make your business not only survive in a tough economy but thrive:

1. Be seen and heard before people have an inclination to buy from you –

This means being on social media channels or starting your own blog! You don’t need to be everywhere all at once, just choose one online area where you can build a valuable community. This is an example of being seen before being sold to.

2. Focus on the people who have shown interest in your brand –

When someone visits your website, they probably aren’t ready to purchase from you yet. You can influence them with great content and more importantly by providing some sort of valuable resource that won’t cost you anything extra! They would have never known about it if you didn’t get their attention on Facebook or list it on your blog.

3. Make sure every “touch” counts –

It’s not enough to make a post or two on social media channels and think that will be good enough for your business, not every person seeing them will be able to buy from you. You need to spend time interacting with them and building a rapport by asking questions or taking the conversation from where it is to another level.

4. Make friends in your industry –

This doesn’t mean being their best friend, but befriending someone who has a similar audience will help you get seen more often because they have followers that are interested in what you have to say about a particular area of business. Saivian says this could be at a conference or trade show, through an email introduction or on LinkedIn. The time you spend networking can result in thousands of dollars worth of exposure for your business!

5. Don’t forget traditional marketing (because some people do!) –

Even though online marketing is new and great at reaching certain demographics, not everyone has a computer or access to the internet. But there are more people who have televisions and read newspapers than you think, so make sure you continue to buy TV and radio spots in your area at least once a month.

6. Connect with customers on social media –

Offer them promotions and discounts through social channels like Facebook and Twitter! These customers will appreciate that you’re giving them something they can use and remember your business for next time they want to purchase from you.

7. Share valuable content often –

Just because someone may not be looking for what you have to offer right now doesn’t mean they won’t put it into their search engine later on when the time is right for them! Provide information and resources on your blog and social media channels that will help people become more knowledgeable about what you do.

8. Try new things –

The bad economy can be a great opportunity to try new marketing tactics that you may not have considered before. This could be using Google Adwords, starting a podcast or even creating an eBook! If it’s something you’re interested in, go for it – just make sure you track the results so you can see if it was worth your time and money explains Saivian.

9. Give stuff away (that’s related to your business) –

This is similar to tip number two, but instead of giving away a white paper or e-book, give away a free trial or a coupon for a discount on your services. This will show people that you’re generous and that you value their business, which can go a long way in the future.

10. Stay positive! –

This is probably the most important tip of all. No one wants to do business with someone who’s negative and always complaining about the economy explains Saivian. Be upbeat and positive in your social media posts, blog articles and even conversations with customers – it will reflect well on your brand!

Conclusion:

Saivian says the bad economy can be tough for businesses of all sizes, but by using some or all of the tips above you’ll be able to increase your exposure, connect with more customers and make more sales – no matter what industry are in!

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