Frugal marketing is the low-cost, creative, ready to turn disadvantages into opportunities type of marketing bootstrapping entrepreneurs turn to when they realize they’ve wasted too much energy, time, and money on vanity metrics. Like in all things, there’s a learning curve to marketing your business, and frugal marketing is rarely the first option because it’s not glamorous or flashy like the expensive type. When you turn to frugal marketing, it’s usually after you’ve burned through a big chunk of your budget and got nothing or almost nothing in return.
You shouldn’t beat yourself up, though. All entrepreneurs make a few wrong steps, and it’s ridiculously easy to make these mistakes when there’s so much buzz around some social media experts and internet marketers, about how much freedom and money your own startup would bring you if you just start, about how easy it’s to handle all things yourself with software automation.
To be effective, marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, but it has to be smart.
At Nollar, we don’t recommend the same old things “experts” recommend when talking about frugal marketing like giveaways, volunteering your time, networking, using your email signature to promote your business. These are indeed free or low-cost, but they’re rarely effective. They’re not helping you differentiate yourself from your competitors. They’re not delivering results as fast or as often as the marketing specialists have you believe. Just because it’s low-cost, it doesn’t mean it has to be half-cocked.
Putting something on the internet is not the same as getting people to see something you’ve put on the internet, and that is something business owners turning to social media without a plan realize as soon as they are confronted with their actual sales.
For us, frugal marketing is about knowing where to display your message as much as what that message is. Some channels are effective, others are just machines designed to scam business owners. Knowing the difference takes effort – examining assumptions against delivered results, running multiple tests, paying attention to what data becomes available and integrating new insights into the process used for making decisions. There are hundreds of websites where you can waste hundreds or thousands of dollars and get 1-2 clicks in return, there are channels that deliver 0 results because they’re not used correctly. There are tricks one can take advantage of to cut the PPC costs on Facebook adverts. There are many solutions business owners can choose, they just need to be open to giving something else a try, something like frugal marketing.