If being a small business owner was easy, everyone would do it. And if everyone did it, the competition would be even greater than it currently is for you. But it’s not easy. At least it’s not easy to be a successful small business owner.
We recently surveyed thousands of small business owners about what they needed most help with when it comes to marketing their business. What we heard most often was ways I can market my business for free or really cheaply. The problem with free and cheap marketing ideas is that everyone can do them. And when everyone can do the same thing you are doing to market your business, the impact you have on potential clients is nil. Your business doesn’t stand out. You don’t look different from the competition (well maybe you look like a lower priced version of the competition). Your message is ignored. Your efforts, time and money are wasted. And more importantly, you don’t create value for your products and services so that you can charge more than your competition. When it comes to operating a boutique business, it’s key to create a product, service and experience that isn’t easy to replicate. And your marketing has to communicate that in a consistent, creative way.
Are there tools you can use as a part of your overall marketing campaigns that are free? Absolutely! Facebook, Linked In, Twitter and Hootsuite are great free tools you can use as a small portion of your marketing campaign. But you should not plan on using only free tools for your marketing efforts if you want to be a successful small business owner of a boutique business.
It’s impossible to build a boutique brand and business on a zero dollar marketing budget. As it should be. Because if it was possible, everyone would be doing it. And then it wouldn’t be boutique anymore.