EP368: How To Market Beyond Your Network With A Small Marketing Budget
If you’re a business owner with a really small marketing budget, you’re probably wondering, “How do I grow beyond my friends and family network?”
Someone recently asked this question in one of our Laying The Foundation Q&A sessions, and I know she’s not the only one who has this problem.
Most people get their business off the ground with the help of a few supportive friends and family. And that’s awesome.
In fact, your personal network will always be one of your greatest sales tools as a jewelry designer.
But in order to grow, you need to eventually expand beyond that and reach people who’ve never heard of you before.
Let’s talk about a few strategies that, with time, can be super effective for growing a loyal audience of raving fans.
Build a Network of Referrals
People ask me, “Tracy, how do you run a multiple six figure jewelry business only working part time?”
The answer is I’ve built my business to run on referrals.
Obviously, it took years to get to that point. I had to build a strong network of friends, family, and previous customers.
But that effort set my business up for success, and I highly recommend any designer – especially fine jewelers – dedicate their time and energy to getting referrals.
How do you build a strong referral network as an independent jewelry designer?
- Start with friends and family who want to support you. Tell them, “I run my business on referrals, so if you know anyone who would love what I do, I would really appreciate it if you gave them my card!” Find a way to make it exciting for them.
- Ask for referrals from previous customers. Check in on your past customers, and offer a referral incentive to encourage them to share your work.
- Talk about what you do everywhere. I’ve landed some of my biggest clients by simply striking up a conversation with a complete stranger. Practice your “cocktail line” so you’re ready for those serendipitous encounters that could lead to a sale.
At the end of the day, creating a great experience for people is what will lead to exponential growth in your business, because they’ll want to share what you do.
Use Social Media Wisely
The first thing I want you to think about is what are you doing on a daily basis to market your business?
I ask because I see a lot of designers who think social media is going to be this magic magnet that draws customers to their business without ever lifting a finger.
While social media can be really amazing for growing a small business, it takes intentional effort and a lot of patience.
How do you make the most of social media as a small business owner?
- Engage with your audience. Spend time following accounts, liking posts, and leaving comments on posts from people you want to collab with or who you know will love your brand.
- Reply to everything. When you get a comment, a DM, or tagged in a post, reply to it! Share the content. Show Instagram and your audience that you’re a real person who cares.
- Be consistent. Social media is a long-game. Be consistent in your efforts and regularly post content that’s relevant to your dream clients’ interests.
And don’t forget to plug your social accounts while you’re networking with people in-person.
Don’t Neglect Email and SMS Marketing
As you’re growing your audience, use that momentum to grow your email/SMS list, too. It’s all part of your active marketing strategy.
How do you use email and SMS marketing as a small business owner?
- Grow your list from all channels. Use social media, in-person events, your referral network, and any other audience-building channel to get people onto your list.
- Contact your list at least once a week. I know it can be intimidating, but sending out a marketing email and text once a week, minimum, is one of the best things you can do to drive sales on your website.
All these things feed into building a desired brand. Something that people know about something that people consistently buy from, and something that you are inspiring people to share, creating a cycle of repeat customers.
Listen to the full episode above for a deeper dive into each of these topics and tips for drawing new customers to your brand.