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9 Ways To Do Super Effective Marketing Without Spending A Lot

9 Ways To Do Super Effective Marketing Without Spending A Lot

Are you overspending on marketing?

Most entrepreneurs and companies know they can significantly cut their marketing costs by implementing a few smart marketing strategies. With so many marketing tools to choose from, and self-proclaimed marketing gurus telling you different things, it’s hard to know what to do.

With years of experience in the marketing realm, from helping run Kickstarter campaigns that generated over $600,000 to being acting president of San Diego Digital Marketing Experts, I know the ins and outs of effective marketing. I didn’t start with a huge budget; in fact, I started with zero and worked my way up.

Here are the nine more effective strategies I used to be a marketing baller on a budget:

1. Run a Facebook sweepstakes.

hidrateme facebook sweepstake

    Facebook sweepstakes are an easy way to capture leads while creating a viral effect. They are my go-to for attracting new business. It doesn’t take much time to set up an effective sweepstakes, and if you partner with another business to give away prizes, you can take your marketing results up a couple of notches. The best part of running a Facebook sweepstakes is that it promotes word-of-mouth referrals to help increase brand awareness.

    If you’re looking for a more exciting way to grow your company, I suggest 22Social for your sweepstakes. 22Social is the all-in-one solution for tight budgets because it enables you to sell digital products, implement a referral process, create digital courses, hold podcasts, and integrate Facebook live Hangouts all for under $29/month.

    2. Encourage user-generated content.

    Promoting a hashtag on Instagram or Twitter can do wonders for your brand. This strategy helps build community, gives you great content to re-post, and generates more followers. To get a head start on seeing what hashtags you should be implementing, check out Topsy. The software allows you to analyze almost any term on Twitter while giving you detailed analytics on trends.

    Be aware that your followers won’t just use your hashtag because it looks cool. You need to give them something in return. This is why syncing user-generated content with a giveaway can be quite powerful. If not a giveaway, then you can re-post your followers’ content as a reward.

    3. Implement an easy referral process.

    One of the best marketing tactics that costs almost nothing is implementing a referral process. Instead of spending money on ads to acquire new customers, why not get your current customers to acquire new customers for you?

    By setting up a quick “Terms & Services” document and using a simple plugin like WordPress Affiliate or 22Social, creating a referral process can take less than a couple of hours. Moreover, your customers will be excited because it’s a way they can get something in return for sharing a brand they already love.

    4. Don’t spread yourself too thin.

    I see marketers lose most of their money because they spread themselves too thin. Instead of conquering Facebook, then Instagram, then YouTube, they try to dominate every social media channel at once. The truth is that each channel requires careful calculation and precision marketing.

    All you need is one steady channel of traffic that converts into paying customers for you to have a successful business. Social media is a complex world, and it’s much easier to understand when you approach it one channel at a time.

    5. Utilize brand ambassadors.

    Brand ambassadors can shoulder some of the marketing. By giving your ambassadors special bonuses to encourage them to advertise your company, you can acquire not only more customers but create an incredible community.

    Be selective when hiring brand ambassadors because they are the face of your company. A bad brand ambassador can turn even the most profitable company upside down. A great example of brand ambassadors is Apple Store employees. They are the Apple know-it-alls and live and die by the brand.

    6. Find your voice.

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    Chubbies shorts

      The biggest problem facing most companies is that they can’t differentiate themselves. In other words, they can’t find their unique voice. Instead of setting their brand apart, they copy what others do. Copying is easier, but it doesn’t leave a positive or memorable impression of your brand. Best part: being unique is free.

      Chubbies does an excellent job at making their advertisements stand out. Take a look at how the Facebook Ad above speaks directly to their audience.

      7. Use low-cost tools.

      There are many inexpensive and even free tools out there that can effectively run your marketing like an expert. Some of the best tools include a free MailChimp account for email marketing, a free SumoMe account for collecting email addresses, and a 60-day free trial with Basecamp, a project management software.

      If you’re interested in putting together beautiful images to post on social media, take advantage of using a free Canva account. Moreover, my favorite resource to find free stock photos is at AllTheFreeStock.com. A couple of more free tools include Grammarly, an editing tool that can clean up most of your writing mistakes, and CoSchedule, a top-notch headline analyzer for blog posts and email optins.

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      8. Don’t focus on too many metrics.

      If you’re focusing all your time on analyzing each and every metric, you’re losing out on serious business. The more time you spend analyzing numbers, the less time you devote to landing clients and creating value. To minimize your time analyzing, keep the metrics you concentrate on to just the click-through rates and conversions. Anything more, and you should probably add another team member to help you with your workload.

      9. Reach out to relevant influencers.

      Reaching out to relevant influencers to get them to promote your product in exchange for a gift can give you a boost in both credibility and customers. It’s as simple as sending a message on Instagram to an influencer in your niche to get them to use your product in an upcoming picture. They get the product for free, and you get an influx of traffic.
      Remember, never reach out with a what-you-can-do-for-me attitude. Always start with what’s in it for them. If you take this approach, you’re more likely to get responses. Two great tools for finding influencers are Topsy (mentioned earlier) and BuzzSumo. BuzzSumo has a free version that allows for limited search; the tool focuses on analyzing content, what’s trending, and what’s highly shared.
      Ready to start marketing on a budget like an expert?

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      Last Updated on April 9, 2020

      5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

      5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

      It takes great leadership skills to build great teams.

      The best leaders have distinctive leadership styles and are not afraid to make the difficult decisions. They course-correct when mistakes happen, manage the egos of team members and set performance standards that are constantly being met and improved upon.

      With a population of more than 327 million, there are literally scores of leadership styles in the world today. In this article, I will talk about the most common types of leadership and how you can determine which works best for you.

      5 Types of Leadership Styles

      I will focus on 5 common styles that I’ve encountered in my career: democratic, autocratic, transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership.

      The Democratic Style

      The democratic style seeks collaboration and consensus. Team members are a part of decision-making processes and communication flows up, down and across the organizational chart.

      The democratic style is collaborative. Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek is an example of a leader who appears to have a democratic leadership style.

        The Autocratic Style

        The autocratic style, on the other hand, centers the preferences, comfort and direction of the organization’s leader. In many instances, the leader makes decisions without soliciting agreement or input from their team.

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        The autocratic style is not appropriate in all situations at all times, but it can be especially useful in certain careers, such as military service, and in certain instances, such as times of crisis. Steve Jobs was said to have had an autocratic leadership style.

        While the democratic style seeks consensus, the autocratic style is less interested in consensus and more interested in adherence to orders. The latter advises what needs to be done and expects close adherence to orders.

          The Transformational Style

          Transformational leaders drive change. They are either brought into organizations to turn things around, restore profitability or improve the culture.

          Alternatively, transformational leaders may have a vision for what customers, stakeholders or constituents may need in the future and work to achieve those goals. They are change agents who are focused on the future.

          Examples of transformational leader are Oprah and Robert C. Smith, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has offered to pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.

            The Transactional Style

            Transactional leaders further the immediate agenda. They are concerned about accomplishing a task and doing what they’ve said they’d do. They are less interested in changing the status quo and more focused on ensuring that people do the specific task they have been hired to do.

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            The transactional leadership style is centered on short-term planning. This style can stifle creativity and keep employees stuck in their present roles.

            The Laissez-Faire Style

            The fifth common leadership style is laissez-faire, where team members are invited to help lead the organization.

            In companies with a laissez-faire leadership style, the management structure tends to be flat, meaning it lacks hierarchy. With laissez-faire leadership, team members might wonder who the final decision maker is or can complain about a lack of leadership, which can translate to lack of direction.

            Which Leadership Style do You Practice?

            You can learn a lot about your leadership style by observing your family of origin and your formative working experiences.

            Whether you realize it, from the time you were born up until the time you went to school, you were receiving information on how to lead yourself and others. From the way your parents and siblings interacted with one another, to unspoken and spoken communication norms, you were a sponge for learning what constitutes leadership.

            The same is true of our formative work experiences. When I started my communications career, I worked for a faith-based organization and then a labor union. The style of communication varied from one organization to the other. The leadership required to be successful in each organization was also miles apart. At Lutheran social services, we used language such as “supporting people in need.” At the labor union, we used language such as “supporting the leadership of workers” as they fought for what they needed.

            Many in the media were more than happy to accept my pitch calls when I worked for the faith-based organization, but the same was not true when I worked for a labor union. The quest for media attention that was fair and balanced became more difficult and my approach and style changed from being light-hearted to being more direct with the labor union.

            I didn’t realize the impact those experiences had on how I thought about my leadership until much later in my career.

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            In my early experience, it was not uncommon for team members to have direct, brash and tough conversations with one another as a matter of course. It was the norm, not the exception. I learned to challenge people, boldly state my desires and preferences, and give tough feedback, but I didn’t account for the actions of others fit for me, as a black woman. I didn’t account for gender biases and racial biases.

            What worked well for my white male bosses, did not work well for me as an African American woman. People experienced my directness as being rude and insensitive. While I needed to be more forceful in advancing the organization’s agenda when I worked for labor, that style did not bode well for faith-based social justice organizations who wanted to use the love of Christ to challenge injustice.

            Whereas I received feedback that I needed to develop more gravitas in the workplace when I worked for labor, when I worked for other organizations after the labor union, I was often told to dial it back. This taught me two important lessons about leadership:

            1. Context Matters

            Your leadership style must adjust to each workplace you are employed. The challenges and norms of an organization will shape your leadership style significantly.

            2. Not All Leadership Styles Are Appropriate for the Teams You’re Leading

            When I worked on political campaigns, we worked nonstop. We started at dawn and worked late into the evening. I couldn’t expect that level of round-the-clock work for people at the average nonprofit. Not only couldn’t I expect it, it was actually unhealthy. My habit of consistently waking up at 4 am to work was profoundly unhealthy for me and harmful for the teams I was leading.

            As life coach and spiritual healer Iyanla Vanzant has said,

            “We learn a lot from what is seen, sensed and shared.”

            The message I was sending to my team was ‘I will value you if you work the way that I work, and if you respond to my 4 am, 5 am and 6 am emails.’ I was essentially telling my employees that I expect you to follow my process and practice.

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            As I advanced in my career and began managing more people, I questioned everything I thought I knew about leadership. It was tough. What worked for me in one professional setting did not work in other settings. What worked at one phase of my life didn’t necessarily serve me at later stages.

            When I began managing millennials, I learned that while committed to the work, they had active interests and passions outside of the office. They were not willing to abandon their lives and happiness for the work, regardless of how fulfilling it might have been.

            The Way Forward

            To be an effective leader, you must know yourself incredibly well. You must be self-reflective and also receptive to feedback.

            As fellow Lifehack contributor Mike Bundrant wrote in the article 10 Essential Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Leader:

            “Those who lead must understand human nature, and they start by fully understanding themselves…They know their strengths, and are equally aware of their weaknesses and thus understand the need for team work and the sharing of responsibility.”

            The way to determine your leadership style is to get to know yourself and to be mindful of the feedback you receive from others. Think about the leadership lessons that were seen, sensed and shared in your family of origin. Then think about what feels right for you. Where do you gravitate and what do you tend to avoid in the context of leadership styles?

            If you are really stuck, think about using a personality assessment to shed light on your work patterns and preferences.

            Finally, the path for determining your leadership style is to think about not only what you need, or what your company values, but also what your team needs. They will give you cues on what works for them and you need to respond accordingly.

            Leadership requires flexibility and attentiveness. Contrary to unrealistic notions of leadership, being a leader is less about being served and more about being of service.

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            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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