Perhaps the biggest frustration when starting a new business is when you hit the point where you feel you’ve exhausted all sources of new customers and income. You’ve followed a set map of ‘how to market’ and you feel that it’s let you down.
The truth is marketing is an ever-changing animal and nothing is completely fool-proof. To keep on top of marketing you have to go to ‘Selling 101’ and ‘Marketing in the New Century’ seminars, right?
I mean, if they’re free and you’ve got the time, sure go to those – but you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to increase your marketing savvy and refresh your inspiration.
Ted Talks – If you aren’t familiar with what Ted Talks are, I highly recommend looking into a few talks. I only recently learned about them myself and have been entranced with the ideas, enthusiasm and inspiration speakers from around the world have to offer. Chances are very high there are Ted Talks on YouTube or other video sites that will be of great use to you.
Libraries – When I first started wanting to develop more as a marketer I felt that I had to have a lot of money to afford the epic ton of books there were to read. It turns out a lot of these books are available on my local library and those that aren’t can be requested, for free, through the InterLibrary Loan service at your local library. Literally you have access to all the books all across the United States and beyond. Not just physical books either. There are audio books and Kindle books too, if you’re so lucky as to have a MP3 player, CD Player and/or Kindle.
A library card is free; do you have one?
The Internet – Again one of the reasons a computer will be your biggest most effective investment is the seemingly unending free resources online. Famous marketers and marketing writers have blogs that offer free daily advice. You can have all that information automatically sent to your email every morning to start the day off right or search through the information for a solution to a current problem.
Mentors – There are people who would love to help you out. A friend of mine received a state grant for small business advice. Other organizations offer it regularly with mentorship or counseling on business related issues. Look into business associations in your area, talk to other people you know who run businesses. Maybe you could set up your own seminar where each person in your group gives a talk on something they know a lot about. Maybe you just take some established business person out for lunch or dinner and pick their brain for help. This may feel difficult to ask for but think about how you would react if someone asked you for that sort of assistance, especially a friend of colleague. You’d love to help them out, right? It’s ok to ask, the worse they can do is say no.
You Can Read the Whole Series Here:
Part One: Your Greatest Tool
Part One (And a Half): Camera & Printer
Part Two: Free Software
Part Three: Design, Design, Design
Part Four: Start Up Printing
Part Five: Website!
Part Six: Out of Money?
Part Seven: Out of Ideas?
Part Eight: Back Up