The end of 2009 and into 2010 was proving to be a very difficult year for my company, Taz Solutions, Inc. a web marketing, strategy, PR and design firm. I discovered that the old ways of doing business were just not working in the "new economy. " I was used to charging $5000 or more a month on retainer without anyone batting an eye as they saw the massive value we provided. This, however, seemed to turn overnight. $5000 a month turned into $3000 which turned into $2000.
Rather than simply lowering the prices, I knew I needed to think outside the box. I decided to turn to the most well known marketing brand in history -- Guerrilla Marketing. I've been familiar with Guerrilla Marketing for years, but I had never really fully utilized its power. The whole essence behind Guerrilla Marketing is using time, energy and imagination rather then money, which was simply perfect as I was strapped for cash! Instead of just reading some more of the materials, I decided to take some massive action -- I fly out to Orlando and spent several days with Jay Conrad Levinson to become a Guerrilla Marketing Master Trainer. They were so impressed with my style and commitment, they made me the Chief Marketing Officer for their whole company! Check them out!
When I started delving deeper into the concepts of Guerrilla Marketing, I found that there were over 200 Guerrilla Marketing weapons that I could put into action. Rather then test out all 200, I tested about 30 of them. The following are my top five favorites that produced the best return.
1) Designated Guerrilla
To keep our strategies organized and streamlined, I decided to make one person at my company the designated guerrilla. This person was responsible for the marketing calendar, and making sure that the Guerrilla Marketing weapons we were putting into place were being done correctly and tracked to the nth degree.
2) Extra Value
I've never been a fan of dropping prices, especially since I never compete on price. Therefore, in order to make sure we started winning more deals, we began increasing the amount of value provided for clients. Here are some examples of what our clients now receive: a client-only event once a year (educational in nature), access to our training portal, and even a virtual assistant for ten hours a week at no cost.
I had testimonials all over the place, but I wasn't leveraging them. I also discovered that using video testimonials, as opposed to just text, worked much better. Rather then just letting the testimonials sit dormant on the web site; I integrated them into the marketing materials as well as the sales process. This took the social proof factor up to a whole new level.
4) Authoring a Book
A book is the best possible business card you can ever have. It took a lot more work than I expected, but the results have proven to be invaluable.
5) Free Public Talks
My favorite Guerrilla Marketing weapon is free public talks. I contacted various chamber of commerce organizations as well as some local business groups and offered to come and speak on various topics relating to web marketing, monetizing social media and web 3.0 marketing. They were thrilled because they were used to paying speakers, and I was happy because I was able to practice education-based marketing and contribute to the local business community. I did not even have to "pitch" my business to the crowd, which would have been a little tacky. People simply came up to me afterwards asking for my business card.
If you're looking to generate some business without spending a lot of money, Guerrilla Marketing has worked wonders for me and my businesses.
© 2010 Michael Tasner, author of Marketing in the Moment: The Practical Guide to Using Web 3.0 Marketing to Reach Your Customers First