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My near-zero marketing strategies by Chioma Ifeanyi-Eze

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No marketing budget? No problem with this list of low budget marketing ideas by the Founder/CEO of AccountingHub.ng, Chioma Ifeanyi-Eze; a professional accounting support to keep you in charge of your numbers – accounting, bookkeeping and financial services for Nigerian small businesses.

We at TechEconomy.ng believe this masterpiece will help you as an entrepreneur to get the word out about your small business to the public out there.

You need to follow Chioma on Facebook to draw ideas from her outflowing well of knowledge. Let’s not bore you with her profile…Please, read:

 Dear small business owner, selling is probably the hardest part of your business. To close a sale, you might have to talk and talk, and convince and convince. Worse still, some people do not even get the customers to talk to, they just don’t come. 

It therefore means that marketing should become a huge, huge part of your business.

… but wait, I am a small business owner, I don’t have money to pay for massive bill-boards like Jumia and Konga. 

I am glad that you realize you do not have money to spend on huge marketing efforts, so, lets get real.

The real truth: You have to learn to use the most of near-zero-cost marketing. You have to learn to put your brain to work and think of ways to make sales; without necessarily rolling out a budget for it.

This post does not intend to downplay the role of paid marketing. However, I find that small business owners do not even attempt to use their free channels before activating their paid channels.

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Also, most paid marketing efforts require that we learn and understand how they work. For example: You have printed 1000 flyers; if only you knew that the conversion rate is less than 2% (meaning, when you distribute 1000 flyers, less than 20 people will respond), you would probably print and distribute 5000 flyers, instead of 1000; and that’s more cost.

Again, on social media marketing, you need to have some knowledge about your target market, what time to run ads, the optimal daily spend and all sorts. Most of us know nothing about all these; including me.

So, its safe to start with your free channels and then, gradually learn to activate paid marketing options.

My business will be 3 years old on the 21st of January 2019, I still have not learnt to spend money on marketing. I am still unclear about how to deploy my paid options. People send me Proposals almost every week, asking me to pay from them 400k to 600k; they scare me more about paid marketing; so, I run back into my shell and continue using my free options.

Today, I will be sharing with you, only 3, out of my several, near-zero-cost marketing strategies that I deployed. I want you to think too, that’s why I am only sharing 3.

1. Think very deeply and make a list of channels or places that allow you sell in bulk. 

Example: You teach children to read, pronounce, write English and communicate beautifully. You charge monthly rates and target children of the middle class. Sister, go to Lekki Gardens estate, they have about 400 units. Go and see the Chairman of the estate with a simple Proposal. Out of 400 units, if you get 6 homes with an average of 2 kids each, that’s 12 kids paying 20k a month, that’s 240k (good money), from one marketing effort.

Please don’t tell me how hard it is, to see the Chairman of the estate, were you thinking it would be easy? 

Where there is a will, there is a way. 

If you see the way that people who seek government contract, sit for days at the gate house of an influential person, you will understand that business is not for the faint-hearted.  

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If you need to be nice to the estate facility manager, be nice. If you need to offer the Chairman, 3 free classes for his kids, do it. Stop giving excuses, life is not easy.

2. Master your pitch and say it quickly to as many people as you meet, in the right places. 

“Hello, my name is Chioma, I do bookkeeping for small businesses. I help them organize their monies, so they understand how their business is doing. I also help with taxes. My tax fee monthly is just 21k.” 

I have probably said this over 1 million times. I mastered it, I say it everywhere.

I told my neighbour’s sister when I came out to move the car for her. I told about 20 ladies at the alumni meeting. At an event, if I am asked to introduce myself, I say it. I tell all the bankers who come to market to me. I tell and tell. I never shut my mouth. 

Don’t we all know what they say about a closed mouth and how it links to a closed destiny?

My greatest sales have come from referrals. Referrals, fling mighty doors open. I walk into offices and I am ushered in like I know the CEO; meanwhile, it was a referral.

3. Understand customer retention and make your own strategies.

Since we all agree that getting new customers is hard, why don’t we try, as much as possible, to keep the existing ones and get them to keep buying and buying from us. 

Customer retention is a whole topic I could teach for one day. So, I wouldn’t get started with it today. 

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My advise on it: Task your brain and think of ways to get existing customers to come back and keep buying from you.

Oh, don’t tell, I will be nice to them and all those mushy reasons. Yes, be nice, but please, give me tangible customer retention strategies.

Here’s an example: If I owned an auto workshop, for every car I service, I would place a sticker on the door (a hidden place), showing the next service date. I would also have a software that I will enter the onwer and car details; the software will remind me when the car is due for another servicing. Everyday when I get to work, I will open the system, check all cars due for servicing and send SMS messages to the owners.

Diva Cakes in Ikeja, Lagos, calls me 2 days before my birthday each year to ask if I want a cake. My colleagues bought me a cake from them in 2014. It’s been 4 years now, they have gotten me to keep buying their cakes every year. That’s a beautiful customer retention strategy.

Oya, let me stop here.

The post is getting too long.

For me, I need you to learn in bits and implement quickly. I am careful not to overload you.

Remember our goal: If I could teach 1000, and you teach another 1000, and each one teaches another 1000, in a few years, we would transform our Nigeria, using the power of entrepreneurship. 

I love you all!

#chiomasbusinessschool

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Copyright: This article was first published on Chioma’s Facebook wall. 

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