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Wanted: Marketing advice on a shoe string for the complete novice #marketing #blogging

Marketing adviceMany of the Birds are brilliant at social media, blogging, SEO, marketing etc, and I’ve learned a lot from them. But this is all new to me – I’m learning from scratch. So this blog is my take on what I’ve picked up so far, for those of us who have no clue what RSS means, and wouldn’t know a feed burner if it bit us on the nose.

As a small non-profit in a niche market with no budget, Evenbreak (www.evenbreak.co.uk) needs to find every cheap and effective way it can of getting its name in front of our small target market (in this case, HR Directors of large companies). When I started a training company in 1990 marketing was a real challenge. No computers (I borrowed an electric typewriter from my husband’s business in the evenings and weekends). No internet. No desk top publishing. I had a printer make up some brochures and delivered them on foot around the local trading estates.

The opportunities are very different now.

My aspiration is for John Doe, HR Director of Big Corporate plc to be exposed to Evenbreak through:

  •  A hard copy letter passed to him by the Chief Executive (he’s more likely to act on a letter passed on by his CEO than a telephone enquiry passed on by his PA – this has been the single most effective marketing activity so far!);
  • Reading one or more articles about Evenbreak in the professional journals he reads (e.g. HR Zone, Recruitment International, HR Magazine etc – this costs nothing, but takes a bit of time, persuading editors to let you write an article they are happy to publish);
  • Seeing an interview on television about Evenbreak on a local news item about employment (through a press release sent to local BBC and independent television stations resulting in a piece on Midlands Today);
  • Hearing a news item about Evenbreak on local radio (ditto above on Radio WM and Bridge Radio);
  • Either John following Evenbreak on Twitter, or maybe people he is following retweeting our news;
  • Being connected with us on LinkedIn, and accepting an invitation to join the group on Employing Disabled People;
  • Perhaps being on the Evenbreak page on Facebook (although this is more likely for candidates than employers);
  • One of the above, or a search on google sending John to the Evenbreak website and blog;
  • Reading the two blogs a week on the Evenbreak site (mostly by me and with some guest bloggers);
  • Reading guest blogs on other sites;
  • Buying an e-book on a relevant subject from the site;
  • Signing up to the e-bulletin and receiving regular updates, links to useful articles/blogs, some handy tips/hints;
  • John attending an event where either I am speaking, or there are Evenbreak leaflets in the delegate packs;
  • John attending or hearing about the high profile launch at the House of Commons.

If John comes across us in just four or five of the above, hopefully that will be enough for him to have confidence in trying the service out to see if it works for his company.

Many of these are already in place and the rest are imminent. Most cost nothing but time and imagination. Some will have a cost attached (a direct mailshot, SEO [if it’s done properly – see Nikki], setting up a WordPress blog [see Babs], writing good blogs [see Sarah], writing good e-books [see Suzie], producing marketing materials and paying for a launch event) but the majority are free.

I don’t yet have the budget for paid advertising (which I’m not convinced would be a good investment anyway) or pay per click advertising (which might well be).

What cheap but effective marketing tactics do you use in your businesses and what else could/should I be thinking about?

Jane