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My Top 8 Free Marketing Tips for New Entrepreneurs

01/21/2016 02:56 pm ET
  • Neil Patel is the co-founder of QuickSprout, Crazy Egg, and Hello Bar

Marketing can get real crazy, real fast. There is a large stock of tactics to try, rules to follow, and social media platforms to engage on.

For the new entrepreneur, it can be overwhelming.

I remember my first few years as an entrepreneur. I thought I was good at selling, but in reality, I didn't know the first thing about it. My experience was in person-to-person sales.

Suddenly, I found myself building an online business, instead of pawning car parts to my highschool classmates. The principles of marketing remained the same, but the tactics were totally different.

If I could sum up my school-of-hard-knocks marketing lessons and Eureka moments into 8 concise tips, I'd do it. And here they are.

1. Know what you're trying to accomplish.

Your exact marketing tactics will vary based on what you're trying to accomplish. For example, if you're trying to gain new B2B leads or build a mailing list, then you may want to try webinars first. If, however, you're selling a B2C product, then Facebook ads may be a better starting point.

2. Hone your unique selling proposition.

The unique selling proposition (USP) is one of the most powerful, but least-used marketing tactics of all time.

Your unique selling proposition, also called a value proposition, is a single sentence that explains why customers should buy from you rather than your competitors. Your proposition sums up a single promise of value that differentiates you.

Here's the catch, though. Most people don't view the USP as a fertile marketing method. Usually, it's destined for the cabinets, doomed to keep the company of a file labeled "Mission and Vision Statement".

It's time to unearth the USP!

Your value proposition demonstrates why your product or service is superior, the problems it solves, and the benefits it delivers. Use it in your website headline, your subheadlines, your bullet points, your video, your message, your calls to action, and anywhere else you can.

3. Build your list.

Online marketing operates by this simple phrase:

"The money is in the list."

What does this mean? Simply, it means the better and longer your list of email addresses, the more successful your business will be.

Why is this true? Because email marketing remains the digital channel with the highest ROI. You simply cannot argue with its effectiveness.

Savvy entrepreneurs know that building an email list as quickly as possible is the fastest route to growth and revenue. The tips included in this article will help you to build that list. Make sure that you're using opt-in forms and subscription options everywhere you can.

4. Create content that is better than the other guy.

By now, you probably realize that content marketing is the method of choice for marketing today.

But there's a slight problem with content marketing. Everyone is doing it. In order to stand out from the crowd, you'll have to create content that is a touch better than the other guy.

Here's how to do it:

  • Identify your top 3 competitors in the industry.
  • Examine their content.
  • Identify the top methods that each competitor is deploying and use them in your content.
  • Add more visuals to your content. Infographics are still a great idea.
  • Create higher-quality visuals in your content.
  • Develop longer articles in your content.
  • Produce more focused and attention-grabbing titles in your content.
  • Be more authentic or transparent in your content.

By improving your content quality, you can oust your competitors and gain serious market share.

5. Recruit affiliates to help you grow.

Affiliate marketing helps to grow your business by outsourcing your marketing to partners or affiliates.

Affiliate marketing is a process that any business can use to expand its reach. Setting up an affiliate program is simple and straightforward. It also offers a clear win-win for both you, the business, and your affiliates. They earn money. You earn customers. You both succeed.

One of the biggest benefits of affiliate marketing is being able to access new groups of customers in a market that you don't already have access to. Your affiliates have done the work of building lists, engaging an audience, and attracting visibility. You benefit from the work that they've done.

6. Ask your customers for feedback.

All your marketing efforts might be completely useless, falling on deaf ears, turning people off, or simply wasting time. If you don't ask your customers, you won't know.

Reviewing customer feedback helps you achieve those Aha! moments in marketing that spark new ideas, sharpen your focus, and improve your value.

Ultimately, it's about your customer, not you. Your customer knows what they want better than you do. Most of the time, if you ask, they are willing to tell you.

7. Hold webinars.

Webinars are the highest-converting method for turning leads into customers -- a whopping 20% according to some.

Some of the most successful internet marketers have relied on webinars to produce buckets of customers. My webinars fill up instantly with raving attendees.

It's hard to overstate the power of a webinar.

8. Offer your best stuff for free.

You will never go wrong by giving away free stuff. In fact, I would go so far as to say that you should give away all your best stuff for free.

This is counterintuitive, of course, but hear me out.

If you give away your best stuff for free, your audience will be drawn irresistibly to get more. The higher value you provide upfront, the greater their perception and appreciation of the value they'll receive once they become a customer.

I spent years creating a comprehensive online course. Eventually, I opened this entire course up, entirely free. When this happened, my income skyrocketed and my list exploded.

The method of giving away my best stuff for free was so effective that I produced a library of comprehensive guides on some of the most essential information in digital marketing.

I couldn't be more pleased with the results. Giving away stuff for free is such a powerful technique that I can't imagine building a business without it.

Conclusion

As I mentioned above, marketing can get crazy. Why? Because of the endless supply of methods, tactics, secrets, platforms, tips, techniques, hacks, and strategies.

At some point, you need to say, "I'm going to do these five things, and no more."

I applaud this approach.

In marketing, it's easy to chase shiny objects. The chase might lead to a dead-end, leaving us more frustrated than we started. That's why you should keep it simple.

Entrepreneurs deserve marketing tactics that work.

What free marketing tips helped you as an entrepreneur?

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