6 FREE MARKETING IDEAS THAT REALLY WORK!

Have you ever considered guesting on a radio show? This is just one of 6 great FREE marketing ideas.

Have you ever considered guesting on a radio show?

There are so many great inexpensive and even free marketing ideas out there. In books, magazines, the whole world wide web (seriously, you could lose DAYS searching the Internet looking for ideas), podcasts – all are valid resources. But you’re busy. You don’t have that kind of time and you also need ideas that are easy to execute and that will really, truly work for YOU and your business. We know what will work and what meaningful actions you can take that will truly work for your business. Here are 6 of the best FREE marketing ideas for you and your business.

 

Lounge About on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a major social media site that is often under-utilized. Don’t just add network connections and sign out – join groups, enter into dialogue with connections, and share your blog posts. There’s a ton happening on LinkedIn, and it can be a great place to promote your content, share ideas, build your brand, post jobs, recruit employees and so much more. The folks at socialmediaexaminer.com have some great tips about how to grow your connections on LinkedIn, and entrepreneur.com offers a terrific infographic to help you create the best LinkedIn profile possible. Both are worth your time.

Become a YouTube Star.

If you aren’t using YouTube to host videos (which you can link to from your website and virtually all social media platforms), there’s a very good chance you are missing out on huge opportunities to promote your business and share your professional knowledge essentially for FREE. Creating a video about your product or service and posting it on YouTube – or even launching your own YouTube channel can be quick and easy. There are, of course, tons of resources for how to make killer YouTube videos, but we especially like and recommend this post from thesaleslion.com. And if and when you are ready to move onto a dedicated YouTube channel, well, Mashable has solid tips and advice for you.

Become a Media Darling.

Become a radio guest. Or write a column or article for a local business paper or magazine. These may sound like pie-in-the-sky suggestions, but they really aren’t. It’s definitely easier than you think, and the payoff can be mighty. Your local AM radio stations likely have business programming you might be able to guest on; do your research and find a good match, make the call and pitch what you’ve got. Financial businesses are practically a given for guesting on radio programs, along with a host of other business types. And with a solid and effective pitch, your local publications may welcome your contributions in print and/or online. The value to you of providing a free article or column will significantly outweigh the return you would likely get by paying for advertising in the same publications, all while building your authority and brand recognition.

Learn How to Write a Killer Sales Letter.

Marketing studies show that sales letters consistently outperform other direct mail formats such as brochures and postcards. Do you think you are already have a handle on this? When was the last time you wrote and sent out a truly killer sales letter? Do you think maybe it’s time to brush up on your sales-letter writing? It couldn’t hurt, right? Check out thebalance.com’s simple HOPPP system; captureplanning.com also shares guidelines and recommendations that are straightforward and effective.

Network Via Your Local Chamber of Commerce.

This is a classic marketing idea for small businesses that can yield big dividends. Association with the Chamber will make your events more credible, and you can find new partners or clients, or discover opportunities to teach or speak. You’re all in it for the same reason, so get to networking with other local business people and potential clients and customers.

List Your Business in Local Business Directories.

Google My Business and Bing Places are completely free listing services for local businesses. Yahoo Localworks is a paid service that allows you to list your business in 50 directories (Yahoo Local, Yelp, WhitePages, Bing, Mapquest, etc.); it might be worth the cost ($29.99/month) to use this service. Once you’re listed, start taking advantage of local search results, and don’t forget to ask customers to leave reviews on your page.

 

So what do you think? Have you used any of the above ideas? How did they work out for you? Do you have any experience with other FREE marketing ideas to share? Would you like to write a blog post for us sharing your experience or expertise? Let us know in the comments, or contact us via phone (513-313-0501) or email (ttaylor@hr-elements.com).

 

6 WAYS TO CULTIVATE A MORE POSITIVE WORKPLACE CULTURE

A healthy and happy work environment is essential to the success of your business; building a strong sense of community is even more important. This is the perfect time to it’s a terrific opportunity to take a look at company’s culture and see if there are opportunities to cultivate a more positive workplace culture. Here are six steps to consider if your company culture needs to move to the next level.

Establish trust

Trust is essential in all relationships, both personal and professional. The best way to build trust is through active listening and open communication. But you have to truly listen, be willing to let your guard down, and really listen. Allow your team members to speak their minds without fear of reprisal. Do this and chances are that others will reciprocate.

Get to know your employees as individuals

No one wants to be treated as “just” an employee. If you treat your team as “just” employees, that is likely what you will get back in performance. Instead, ask and learn about their hobbies, families, and backgrounds.” Consider 2017 an opportunity to create deeper, more productive relationships with your work team. Trust and respect will ensue.

Foster mutual respect

Speaking of respect, we hope you treating your employees and their input and ideas and that they respect yours. Mutual respect is necessary for collaboration, and the growing success will be dependent upon collaboration.

Some of that collaboration may not even include you. That’s why it is equally important that you build a workplace environment in which employees like and respect each other as well. They need to feel respected by their colleagues and supported by you. If you can achieve this, you can expect increased productivity and success.

Show appreciation

Everyone wants to feel appreciated. So when someone does something well, offer a sincere compliment to show your gratitude. Doing so will lead to stronger relationships, and encourages continued productivity. Most people, after all, are wired to respond to incentives. Financial rewards are one well-known incentive. Simple and genuine appreciation is another—often underrated—incentive.

Positive Work Environment

Studies have shown that a positive work environment affects the brain, increases employee engagement. Is it not obvious that people will be generally happier while at work if the work environment is positive?  Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work and a positive psychology expert, says that “when we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive at work.” Isn’t that exactly what you want from and for your team?

And while you are at it, don’t underestimate the importance of fun in the workplace. Leaders who share laughter with staff members and team members who genuinely enjoy their work are simply more pleasant to be around. Are you the kind of boss you would like to work for? What would including fun in the workplace look like for your business? It might be as simple as a surprise pizza party, office Olympics, or sports team appreciation days. Better yet, why not ask your team what that fun would like to them?

Clear Goals and Regular, Timely Feedback

People like—no, people need—to know where they stand, how their performance stacks up, and how their contributions impact the whole. Achievable goals are the first part of the equation, and if you and your employees work together to set the goals, there can be no question about what is expected. (Do both of you a favor, and include measurable steps or milestones in your planning so that progress and performance can routinely be assessed.) Provide consistent encouragement and feedback in support of the achievement of agreed upon goals.

Speaking of feedback, to most impactful, feedback should be timely. You don’t want to wait until an annual or semi-annual review to discuss that your employee is struggling. That’s too long for changes or improvements to be made. On the other hand, recognizing a significant contribution as soon as it happens (rather than waiting for any period of time) will have a more positive impact on the individual. And success begets success.