“I’m a small business. I don’t have a marketing budget.”

wallet, no money, marketing

Marketing dollars?

I get this often when I’m dealing with small business owners. First off – you should have money to market your business.

Do you have a sales budget aka how much revenue do you expect to make this year? Good. You have that number. Now – at a bare minimum – take 2% of that number. There’s your marketing budget. It would be best to have 10%, but let’s start with 2%.

So you have a budget now. What do you do with it? Whether it’s $500 or $500,000, find as many things as possible that you can own. What do I mean? Marketing dollars are often spent throwing money at this thing, and that thing. IT’S BETTER TO OWN SOMETHING! Take your $100, print some sales letter or brochures you did up in Word, and deliver them to every single apartment in the complex beside your business (or to every house on a street located near your business). Then do it again a week or two later. You need to hit as many people over the head with your message. The tricky part is ensuring the message MATTERS TO THEM. More on that here…

(Remember – I don’t give a shit about you, until you can do something for me. Whether it’s nourish me, allow me to keep an extra bit of jingle in my jeans, or help me out in some way, shape or form.)

You need to do this repeatedly. SOOOO many of you try something out once, don’t see results, and then say, “Well, that didn’t work.” Of course it didn’t work. Repetition Repetition Repetition.

Remember how you were taught in school? It probably went something like this… At the beginning of the class (or semester) your teacher would tell you what they were going to teach you, then teach you it, then review what they taught you. Repetition Repetition Repetition.

This is how our brains have been programmed since kindergarten, so start using the philosophy in your marketing. Find something you can own. Then repeat repeat repeat.

It sometimes takes me 12 – 15 contacts until I make a sale. I repeat, repeat, repeat my process. And you know what, when I call, walk into an appointment or see one of my prospects at an event…they immediately KNOW WHO I AM. It should be the same way with you and your business.

If you’re buying radio ads (for example), and you don’t have money to throw around like the ‘big guys’, again find something you can own. Maybe it’s an hour every Monday over the next few weeks. Maybe it’s an entire week. Whatever it is, find something you can own, then repeat repeat repeat.

1) Find money or find time to focus on marketing
2) Find something you can own
3) Repeat Repeat Repeat

As a gift (because I love you), tell me ONE marketing opportunity you have at the moment (print, direct mail, radio, tv, social media, whatever…) and leave it in the comments below (or email me or tweet me). The gift – I’ll tell you how to EXPLOIT that opportunity with repetition. I’ve bought nearly every type of media, and used as many media channels as possible to further the brands I work with, and myself. For being a loyal reader it’s the least I can do.

Love you,



11 thoughts on ““I’m a small business. I don’t have a marketing budget.”

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    • Hi Shara,
      What can you own with Social Media? Anything? SM isn’t an opportunity until you tell people to go to your page, website, blog whatever. How are you generating traffic to your social media feeds? Feel free to provide links.

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  6. Jordan, im an android specialist by hobby, though i know i can provide better customer service, tips, tricks, money saving and efficiency methods to owning or investing in
    android products. Im stuck with not readily knowing if people wallaby to learn or have a tech situation handheld for them. Until then, the only option i see with a 50$ budget is craigslist. Or cell phone shops ( by way of them offering my services as part of a sales) you claim your giving one back, so let me have the honesty so lacking in the ny mentality i am running against. Thanks, Zamon

    • Thanks for the comment. Have you tried promoting yourself on Craigslist? Have you reached out to cell phone shops? I’m still not 100% sure what it is that you do. Seeing as this is a side job for you, do you have any existing customers?

      • I provide one on one assistance to those who want their phone customized, rooted,solve battery drain issues, operating system fixes, in the go to guy among my crowd for anything android. I also help client sort out buying a new smartphone do the research for best deals for them, i have no quota or incentive to any company so my assistance is unbiased. Does that give you s better idea. Everyone I’ve helped had been at no charge yet I’ve been professional and they’ve written letters of recommendation. I need to come up with copy that doesn’t exist yet, it’s a niche market.

      • Thank you Zamon. I have a clear idea of what it is you do now. Until you get paid – even a $1 – you’re not a business nor do you have any marketing ground to stand on. Use those recommendation letters to your advantage, and start getting paying customers through referrals. Go back to those friends, and say, “Hey, I’m thinking about charging for my services. Who do you know that could benefit from what I do?” I also believe you have a great opportunity to market yourself through your own media company. More on that here: http://effumarketing.com/2015/04/05/journey-of-the-do-stage-10-your-own-media-company/. First – see what happens when you put yourself out there to your past non-paying customers. Ask for people who they may know who could use your help, and I would even ask them how much they would pay for your services. You could be on to something here. Also, feel free to email me at effUmarketing@gmail.com to carry on this conversation.

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