Before I dive into affordable marketing tactics for solopreneurs, let’s get one thing clear: none of the recommendations below matter if you don’t truly know who your target audience is. That is the #1 driver behind all of your marketing efforts (or all business efforts for that matter).
Spend ample time to truly understand who these people are. What are their pain points? How do they like to be spoken to? What forms of content do they prefer? Are they primarily mobile or desktop users? The list goes on.
Do not take this lightly. If you do, you risk wasting tons of time that, let’s be honest, you don’t have as a solopreneur.
Phew, OK, now that I got that out of my system, let’s get to the good stuff below. While the topics may seem obvious, I’ve included some success secrets that aren’t always so clear. Take a look!
Affordable Marketing Tactics for Solopreneurs
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
We all want to get found on the first page of Google and SEO efforts are the way to do that. SEO tactics aren’t difficult, per se, but there is a lot you can be doing to get in good with Google, so start with the low-hanging fruits and go from there as your time/schedule allows. Here are a few places to start:
Learn how to do keyword and search intent research.
Become familiar with on-page SEO. Once you have the keywords you want to target, you need to know where to put them! These include:
Title tags - Up to 60 characters
Meta descriptions - 155-160 characters
Content - first 100 words of copy
Learn how to organize your content. My best advice is to break your content up into bite-sized sections so that Google can crawl each individual section of a page and give you more chances of being ranked as well as being selected for featured snippets. Bullet points and short paragraphs are your friends.
Also, how you connect your pages can play a huge role in SEO. Have you heard of pillar pages? If not, educate yourself right now.
Focus on attention-getters. Google wants people to stay on your site and you have 3 seconds tops to leave a good first impression.
Work on your reputation. Guest blog. Be a podcast guest. Work on building relationships and generating backlinks to your site. SEO is basically a popularity contest so when Google sees that other sites are sending traffic your way, they really like it :).
Now, if you’re a local business, there are even more things that you can be focusing on than what I mentioned above. You should strive to:
- Optimize your Google Business Profile listing
- Get reviews
- Get added to local directory listings
- Embed Google Maps on your website an
- Include local keywords in your content
- Be active in your community
- Include name, address, and phone number in a place that's easy to find on your site.
I just gave a presentation to a bunch of solopreneurs covering SEO. If you want more solopreneur insights, and to be in the know for upcoming events, be sure to join our community.
2. Email Marketing
This tactic is an oldie but a goodie. The key to email marketing, in order to make it successful, is to ensure you are doing things to build a targeted email list. Create gated content, host contests, host events, etc. Build that list so that you can expand your email reach.
I know your time is limited, so to make your life easier, schedule emails for the month at once (aka batch them) so that you can plan out the strategy, write them, and then schedule them in advance so that you can free up your mind to focus on other things..
Also, there are a bunch of email automation platforms out there. Set up workflows that trigger emails when a certain action is made.
Lastly, respond to emails. Customer service is more important than ever these days. If a person has a question, make sure the “respond to” email actually goes somewhere that can be responded to, and promptly (ideally within 24 hours).
3. Content Marketing
Content marketing may seem daunting for solopreneurs because it can take time and effort to put great content together.
When it comes to content marketing, you don’t have to do things just because everybody else is doing them. Create content that will help solve your audience’s pain points. That’s really all you need to think about. How can you provide the most value in a way that they’ll consume it?
Figuring out what to create is the hard part. Creating it can be relatively easy! To save time, consider batching content so that you can crank a bunch of it out and then not worry about it for a bit. Additionally, contract with other solopreneurs or virtual assistants who can help turn your content idea into reality.
Lastly, don’t reinvent the wheel every time you come up with a piece of content. Think of the number of ways you can use one idea. If you’re writing a blog, for example, record the content for a video as well. Then, take pieces of that video and turn them into short clips for social media. One idea can go a long way in the content world.
4. Social Media Marketing
Here’s my warning about social media marketing. While it is free, it can also take a lot of time and effort to see results if you’re approaching it incorrectly.
Gone are the days when you can just post a piece of content and thousands of people will see it. Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple anymore. Instead of just posting things hoping something will stick, think of unique ways to use these tools.
- Engage with your audience. Comment on their posts. Ask them questions. Make their social media interactions with your company a personal experience.
- Use social media as a customer service tool. Make your audience feel heard and respond to their needs quickly.
- Consider creating a community. We've done this with LifeStarr and have seen wonderful results. People want to know they aren't alone in their efforts and creating a safe space for your audience to become a part of something can go a long way,
- Only post things your audience cares about. Don't just go with what's trendy today. Post things that matter to them and on the platforms that matter to them. At the end of the day, that's where social media will really be effective.
5. Strategic Partnerships
Last, but certainly not least, consider investing time into building strategic partnerships. You can cross promote offerings and use each other's audiences to expand reach. The key here is to ensure you and your partner have the same audience and that the agreeement is mutually beneficial.
There are a plethora of inexpensice tactics that marketers can tap into, but in my opinion, these are the best places to start! Good luck!
Navigating the world of solopreneurship can be difficult but it doesn't have to be. The Solopreneur Success Cycle has helped countless people going it alone in business. You can find it for free here!