The #1 Strategy to Market Your Small Business on a Shoestring Budget

Does size matter?

Talking about your business, of course!

As marketers, we constantly hear about the need for growth.

More clicks. More leads. More conversions. More money in our pockets.

Because a bigger budget means a bigger, better business, right?

Well, not necessarily.

Here’s some food for thought:

Would you rather support your local mom-and-pop diner or spend your hard-earned cash at a predictable chain restaurant?

How about homemade apple pie versus frozen fare from a box?

Not much of a choice, is it?

Times are changing

We now live in an era where the pendulum is swinging in favor of smaller businesses versus big box brands.

People are hungrier than ever to support “the little guy,” even if it means paying a premium.

And if you’re running a small business, this is great news.

Today, being the little guy on a shoestring budget comes with some big-time benefits.

In fact, many marketers today actually thrive on being in a sort of “David versus Goliath” situation with their competition.

People love a good underdog story, don’t they?

So if you feel like you’re staring up at giants when marketing against your competitors, don’t freak out.

Overcoming the odds doesn’t require a bloated budget or a “brute force” advertising attack.

Instead, embrace being the smaller dog in the fight and use your size (or lack thereof) to your advantage.

Speaking of which, click here to learn how we turned a $10 test campaign into $141,246.30 in sales.

Why you shouldn’t worry about being “the little guy”

Here’s the deal: we live in unprecedented times as far as marketing goes.

There are more tools at our fingertips than ever before to make even the smallest business look like a million bucks on the surface.

Think about it…

Epic blog posts and killer emails cost little more than an investment of your time and creativity.

Meanwhile, advertising has gotten so laser-targeted today that you can practically hand pick your prospects when it comes time to place an ad.

No more “spray and pray,” no more guessing games.

Simply put, there’s no better time to be a marketer or entrepreneur than now.

I mean that.

It’s funny, though.

People love to ramble on about “the good ol’ days” of Google AdWords.

You know, that mythical time, years ago, when clicks and “Likes” were dirt cheap and Internet marketing was a sort of wild, wild west where anyone could make a quick buck.

However, these sort of “back in my day” reflections aren’t much more than mere nostalgia.

It’s honestly NEVER been easier to build a brand, win over an audience, and attract hot prospects.

I mean, c’mon…who would have ever thought 10 years ago that ANYONE with a smart phone could broadcast video, LIVE, almost anywhere?

It’s insane.

So take full advantage of the tools and techniques available to you today.

And the single most valuable asset for smaller marketers is authenticity.

The value of your personality is something you just can’t put a price tag on.

In fact, it’s perhaps the important differentiator between you and your big-name competitors.

The tale of David versus “Yo-Goliath”

Many brands have learned the hard way just how powerful authenticity can be.

Actually, one of my favorite examples in recent memory comes from the likes of Yoplait.

Yes, the yogurt people.

Believe it not, yogurt is a multi-billion dollar industry.

There aren’t many household names in the world of yogurt, but Yoplait is certainly one of them.

Well, according to journalist Charles Duhigg, Yoplait had their backs against the wall when Greek yogurt exploded in popularity a few years back.

To put it plainly, Yoplait’s sales took a nosedive.

Fresh competitors like Chobani suddenly broke into the space and dominated the yogurt scene, despite being a significantly younger company with a seemingly unfamiliar, exotic product.

Following a freak-out, Yoplait pooled their resources together to figure out exactly why people were so damn interested in Greek yogurt.

Upon running a study to get the bottom of it, their findings were fascinating.

Firstly, it was discovered that the silky, sweet style of yogurt traditionally sold by Yoplait blew away the tangy, thicker Greek yogurt when put head-to-head in a consumer taste tests.

People liked Yoplait’s product better on paper (or on their spoon); however, those same consumers were buying Greek yogurt by the boatload.

Doesn’t make sense, does it?

It was the second part of Yoplait’s surveyed that clued them in on why their sales had slumped so much.

During an interview portion of their study…

They discovered that consumers were hungry “artisan” yogurt

In other words, they wanted something different.

For example, Chobani offers a variety of off-the-wall flavors such as honey whole milk, pumpkin spice and maple, a stark contrast to likes of Yoplait who were playing it a safe at the time.

Furthermore, Yoplait found that consumers were attracted to Chobani as a brand because their story was compelling.

Their founder was a Turkish immigrant who fled to the United States as a refugee.

In addition, Chobani as a company is known for supplying jobs to refugees, tugging at the heartstrings of consumers as a result.

Despite being a significantly smaller company with a less popular product, Chobani took over about one third of the yogurt market.

Yoplait still has some catching up to do despite being backed by General Mills with 40+ years on their competition.

Crazy, right?

The takeaway here is that you have the power to make your competitors sweat even if you’re considered a smaller fish in the proverbial pond.

It’s all about having the differentiator, that ace in the hole.

And harnessing that sort of personalized power is especially easy if you’re a small business or “solopreneur.”

Applying the “small batch” effect to your business

Before we get into the nitty gritty of how to reap the rewards of being the little guy, we need to take a look at what the good people at Yoplait are doing to save their yogurt empire.

You see, they tried to score some points with Greek yogurt fans by releasing their own “Yoplait Greek” line to compete with Chobani.

And guess what?

It was a flop.

Yoplait effectively tried to put a Band-Aid on their problem, but consumers ripped it right off.

After all, people could see right through their effort to imitate instead of innovate.

So it was back to the drawing board for Yoplait, who are now rolling out something entirely new in an attempt to bounce back.

Their latest product known as “Oui” is the sort of new wave of artisan “French” yogurt (dubbed by foodies as the “new” Greek yogurt).

“Oui” is to be sold in little glass jars, emulating how the French historically fermented fruit yogurts on their countertops (going back hundreds of years).

Fancy, huh?

Yoplait is betting the premium, small-batch feel of their new product is going to score points with consumers who crave that personal, hand-made experience.

Back in the day, people wanted to buy from the established conglomerates and sort of “Acme” brands.

Fast forward to present day where people are boycotting big box stores like Wal-Mart and Target; meanwhile, the millennial crowd is supposedly “killing” chain restaurants like Applebee’s in lieu of local fare.

The more intimate and personal we can get with our prospects and customers, the better.

This rings true even if you don’t necessarily believe that big box = bad.

Time will tell whether or not Yoplait’s experiment will succeed, but I have a feeling that it’s a step in the right direction.

Regardless, their story speaks to a larger point about marketing itself:

The importance of testing and putting yourself out there.

Yoplait’s had to do a lot of stumbling and falling to hopefully get this one right, just as we often have to test like crazy to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

How to make authenticity work in your favor

Okay, so how do can you take these principles beyond the world of artisan yogurt and apply them to your own business?

Whether you’re in networking marketing, direct sales or anywhere in between, consider how you can inject your personality in just about anything that you do.

  • Personal anecdotes in your blog posts
  • Sharing hardships in your emails
  • Storytelling and vulnerability in your ads

These are the sort of high-touch, hands-on value that you can deliver to your clients unlike your big-name competitors out there.

Your personal experiences are arguably your most powerful marketing firepower.

Ao don’t be afraid to use them.

Again, you can’t put a price tag on personality.

Small marketers should feel empowered by the fact that they have a not-so-secret weapon that companies with even the biggest budgets can’t buy.

You have life experiences that can help you connect with your audience which are truly unique to you.

For example, we at Elite Marketing Pro regularly try to inspire and enlighten our fans with words of marketing wisdom through our “Daily Dose of Awesome” series via Facebook Live.

These live videos are raw, off-the-cuff and aren’t exactly polished; however, they are personal.

I love the opportunity to chat with our audience and have a conversation in what feels like a one-on-one setting.

You have the opportunity to be vulnerable and open up to your audience

But it’s on your shoulders to take that chance and put yourself out there.

You don’t have to be perfect.

Heck, our imperfections are exactly what makes us compelling.

It’s the same principle that makes us want to buy the beat-up, bruised vegetables from the farmer’s market versus homogenous, lab-tested veggies from a name-brand store.

At the risk of sounding like an after-school special:

Don’t be afraid to be yourself.

Put your personality out there and inject it into everything you do from a marketing perspective.

You have a “secret spice” that can’t be replicated, so why not use it to your business’ benefit?

How to keep up with the big dogs (on a teacup Pomeranian budget)

As you’ve learned, bigger isn’t better when it comes to marketing your business.

And now that you understand the positioning power of being an underdog or up-and-comer, it’ll be so much easier to carve out a niche in the face of your competition.

And despite popular belief, you don’t need a massive budget to get massive targeted exposure to keep up with the “household names” in your space.

In fact, here at Elite Marketing Pro, we thrive on helping smaller marketers in our space stretch their budgets to advertise just like the “big boys.”

Want to learn more about how we do it?

Then you’re in luck!

Because we put together a FREE, step-by-step tutorial that reveals our exact advertising process in a 100% FREE online workshop, hosted by none other than Tim Erway, our co-founder and CEO here at Elite Marketing Pro, who’s responsible for generating over 30 million dollars in revenue online (and counting).

Simply pick a time and register right here.

You’ll discover how you can put together a profitable ad campaign in just 10 minutes a day with as little as $10 in initial ad spend.

In fact…

We’ve used the exact formula to turn a $10 test campaign into $141,246.30 in sales.

And Tim will show exactly how we did it.

So if you haven’t registered yet, what are you waiting for?

Pick a time that works for you to attend Tim’s traffic workshop right here.

 

Until next time,

Andrew Draughon
Director of Content
Elite Marketing Pro

 

Andrew T Draughon

Andrew Draughon is the Director of Content at Elite Marketing Pro. Yet not long ago Andrew was hauling shingles and hanging drywall for paltry wages in the frigid winters of upstate Pennsylvania. Making the decision to never wake up before sunrise in sub-zero weather again, Andrew moved to Florida, discovered his passion for marketing, and has been working via his laptop ever since.

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