We all know that advertising can be expensive, and many small businesses cut their marketing budgets first because of tight budgets.  Especially as you are trying to grow your business, it's important to keep your brand front and center.  



You want to be intentional about making sure that your brand stays at the front of your customer's mind, even though you may not have a huge budget.  Social media is undoubtedly one of the most effective and affordable ways to engage your customers, but it’s not the only way. Here are a few other strategies that can help you build your brand, without going broke:

1. Marketing 24-7 You should be marketing all the time — wherever you are.  You only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention so it is wise to come up with a killer elevator pitch. Use your pitch to create business opportunities, anywhere and everywhere.

2. Networking. There's a saying that building a brand requires either a lot of money, a lot of time, or a lot of luck.  Networking definitely falls into the "requires a lot of time," but I’m a huge fan.  For many businesses, there's no better way to build a business than to get out there and get to know people.  A strong network is one of the greatest assets any business can have.

3. Build Relationships It is a lot less expensive to keep a customer than it is to get a new one. It is crucial to establish strong relationships with your customers. Building strong relationships with your customers means they are more likely to refer you to their network.  The more you focus on creating exceptional experiences for your existing customers, the more they will want to return the favor - and talk about that experience with others. 

4. Co-Marketing.  Chances are, there are other businesses in your community, that offer different types of products and services to the same types of customers your business serves.  Often, you can create a win-win situation by developing a strategic co-marketing partnership by providing each other access to each others customers.  When the products or services are a natural fit, this can provide a great opportunity to increase your brand awareness. 

5. Get Involved Sponsor local events or get involved in charity efforts. Get to know your ideal customer and think about how and where they spend their time and then search for opportunities to get in front of them. These easy and inexpensive marketing strategies will help you engage your customers, build relationships, and keep your brand top-of-mind. 

What do you think?  What are some ways you have found to build your brand, without spending a lot of money?  Leave a comment below!