Following your dream of a freelance life comes with a whole host of testing responsibilities, and marketing strategies for solo entrepreneurs fit firmly into that category. When you’re competing against large corporations with far greater resources, finding budget-friendly ways to stand out amongst the crowd can be a daunting prospect.
But at Bitrix24, we’ve seen thousands of solo entrepreneurs take on the big guns by carving out a niche and enjoying a steady stream of clients coming from their marketing strategies.
In this article, we’re going to reveal tactics to help you reach your target audience, build brand awareness, and drive sales. So whether you’re just starting out or looking to take your campaigns to the next level, these marketing strategies for entrepreneurs will accelerate your journey to success.
If you’re not on social media, do you really exist? That’s a glimpse into the mindset of a large and increasing demographic who equate trust with a brand’s presence and voice on social media platforms. It’s a place where you can create a direct connection with your audience by posting valuable content, responding to comments, and engaging in conversations.
But the best part of social media marketing strategies for solo entrepreneurs is that they’re ultra-low-cost! For example, you can upload engaging content for free on your website and share links on social media to drive traffic to your website. Similarly, you can post organic content on your social media feed and use hashtags to get noticed by potential clients outside your follower list.
For an even more direct approach, you can use paid advertising to sell directly from the social media platform. You’d be surprised how budget-friendly paid advertising can be, and it increases your visibility to demographics of your choosing.
But social media is nothing without a strategy. Using a content calendar, you can plan what you post for months in advance and use scheduling tools to automate your posting. Then, look at analytics to measure the success of different kinds of posts and refine your marketing strategies based on the data.
A relative newcomer to the scene, influencer partnerships are a powerful tool for breaking into untapped audiences, building brand awareness, and getting a boost in traffic to your website.
In terms of budgets, there are as many price points as there are influencers, so you have a lot of financial freedom. The most expensive names aren’t always the best for your business. The smart choice is to go for an influencer who shares your target audience, whether that is in terms of interest or geographical presence.
Once you’ve stuck a deal with an influencer, you’ll need to get to work on a content calendar, just like you would for social media campaigns. Make sure to engage with the influencer’s audience to capitalize on your new reach. With a simple, attractive call to action, you can count on a brand-new stream of customers at a relatively low budget.
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Email marketing is nothing new, but it is still one of the most effective marketing strategies for solo entrepreneurs. Inexpensive and easy to set up, you don’t need a master’s degree in digital transformation to get the best out of your campaign.
In its simplest form, you can leverage email marketing to stay in touch with your audience, share valuable content, and promote your products or services. Whether it's newsletters, promotional offers, or personalized recommendations, email marketing allows you to create a direct connection with your audience and encourage them to take action.
However, a customer relationship management (CRM) system with automations allows you to take your email marketing to the next level. The best CRMs allow you to segment your audience by interests, behavior, demographics, or familiarity with your products. Therefore, you can aim different messages to each group for a more personalized experience. Personalize your messages even further by using CRM data to automatically fill in their name, send birthday messages, and anything else your creative brain can think of.
Email marketing campaigns let you keep your business relevant, nudge your customers down your sales funnel, and build long-lasting relationships without breaking the bank.
While established companies can rely on their name to bring in customers, solo entrepreneurs face the challenge of being taken seriously by people who haven’t heard of them. To win this battle, they need authority. And to earn authority, content marketing strategies are the way to go.
Content that is valuable and relevant for your target audience helps you build a name for yourself in your industry. The secret is to answer questions that your customers are asking. Take a travel company, for example. People in your town could be asking “What are the best places for a winter break?” or “How to travel on a budget?”, so answer those questions for increased traffic.
Don’t feel limited to written articles, either. A video tutorial is often far clearer, more engaging, and more shareable than a text version. At the same time, videos allow you to show off your personality, which is one of the best marketing strategies for solo entrepreneurs looking to take on their corporate competition.
When you understand what your customers need, you’re well on the way to winning the content marketing game. Of course, you don’t want to be too helpful and lose customers, so leave a call to action within your content to drive business.
At the heart of all marketing strategies for solo entrepreneurs is the need to be seen by a wider audience, and search engine optimization (SEO) does exactly that. Essentially, it involves designing your website and crafting your content in a way that appeals to search engines. Optimized pages rank higher on the search results page, meaning potential customers will be drawn to your website more often than your competitors.
Delving into more detail, SEO goes hand-in-hand with your content marketing strategy. Each article should be based on a specific keyword or keyphrase, answering essential questions about the topic. For instance, an online shoe shop might target “women’s sports shoes” or “shoes for kids”. To improve your position, your SEO content should be of high quality with relevant backlinks for more information. This helps the search engine algorithms to recognize your authority in your sector, making it more useful for your audience.
On the technical side, your pages should be optimized to work seamlessly on mobile devices, feature the latest security certificates, load quickly, and much more to further improve your user experience.
This may sound like a lot of work, but if you incorporate SEO strategies into your work from day one, you’ll soon have a robust, budget-friendly marketing strategy that improves your visibility among fresh new audiences.
While SEO strategies might be at the more work-intensive end of the spectrum, referral programs are not only among the most low-budget marketing strategies for solo entrepreneurs but also an excellent way of generating customer loyalty.
The concept is simple enough: Offer incentives to your existing customers to refer new customers to your business. New companies often have difficulty building trust with potential clients, but the peer-to-peer nature of a referral program means your current customers will bridge the trust gap on your behalf.
Regarding the practicalities, you can send out personalized invitations through an email marketing campaign or app notifications, encouraging your customers to sign up for the scheme. The incentive could be anything from discounts and free products to exclusive offers and extravagant prize draws.
Create a group within your CRM that gets automatically populated when customers agree to sign up for the program. This should then trigger a series of automated, personalized emails with instructions for the steps they need to take. With all your communications prepared in advance, you can launch the program and almost let it run by itself for a win-win-win experience: You get more business, existing users get their reward, and new customers get to enjoy your products or services.
Building authority in your area and trust among your audience is critical to getting a fledgling small business off the ground. Webinars and online workshops are two marketing strategies for solo entrepreneurs that allow you to showcase your expertise, share valuable insights, and connect with your audience.
With solid video conferencing software, you can run a live workshop to better get to know your future customers. Alternatively, you could free up a huge amount of time by recording your webinar in advance and recycling your content to new audiences every week. Therefore, with little-to-no technical knowledge, you can create a professional-looking webinar that boosts your credibility from the comfort of your own home.
So what do you get out of the experience? People who haven’t heard of you are highly unlikely to pay for an event before they know what they’re getting. Therefore, webinars and online workshops mainly work as lead generation efforts. Publish your adverts across the web with a signup form featuring fields like first name, email address, job title, and what they want to get out of your event. Now, you’ve got a larger target audience and a better understanding of who you’re talking to.
One of the more unconventional marketing strategies for entrepreneurs, guerrilla marketing uses surprise interactions to grab people’s attention and promote a product. In a world overflowing with advertising, it’s easy for audiences to switch off, and challenging for businesses to make an impact on their leads. Guerrilla marketing works by giving a shock to the system and leaving a lasting memory of your campaign.
Guerrilla marketing strategies for solo entrepreneurs are vast and varied, so here are a few examples that have worked for companies in the past:
Viral marketing: Posting tongue-in-cheek, potentially controversial content on social media in an attempt to go viral.
Ambient marketing: Placing adverts in unusual, everyday places where you wouldn’t expect to see one.
Experiential marketing: “Challenges” are often used in experiential marketing, whereby your customers become intrinsically involved in the campaign.
Street marketing: Creating a buzz on the street through displays and activities. Often in high-traffic areas like shopping malls, they pique their audience’s interest by drawing in a crowd.
Sure, it can be hard to gauge how well your guerilla marketing campaign has impacted traffic and conversions, but as a low-budget strategy, it is well worth giving it a try and getting your name out there.
To round off our list, we’re looking at one of the most natural marketing strategies for solo entrepreneurs: Community engagement. Even the largest corporations know the value of a friendly face online, but engaging with your audience is especially effective for businesses with smaller audiences to communicate with.
To get started with community engagement, identify the online spaces, forums, and social media groups that are relevant to your industry and resonate with your audience. Create a content calendar, plan your community engagement activities, and focus on delivering content that provides value to your audience.
Costing nothing more than your time, you can set up alerts for discussions about relevant issues or about your company. Then you can jump in on the conversation, answering questions, offering insights, and showing off your personality. Through this engagement, you can direct people to your website for more information about your services and how you can solve their issues.
As we can see, marketing strategies for solo entrepreneurs don't have to be expensive or time-consuming. But when it comes to putting these plans into practice, many entrepreneurs fail due to a lack of structure.
Bitrix24 gives you a comprehensive solution to implement all these strategies from the ideation phase to analysis and improvement. On one cloud-based platform, you get everything you need to launch your campaigns:
A powerful CRM with marketing automation
Project management tools to plan your strategies in detail
Video conferencing software
Social media management
SEO-ready website builder
So why wait? Sign up for Bitrix24 today and say hello to brand-new audiences.
Some budget-friendly marketing strategies that are proven to work include:
To market on a limited budget, focus on organic strategies that have a wide reach at a low cost. Typical examples are social media engagement, content creation, and SEO, but you can also leverage partnerships, customer-to-customer recommendations, and unconventional shock strategies to maximize reach without spending much.
The best marketing strategies for solo entrepreneurs vary depending on the product and the audience. Social media may work for smaller purchases, while SEO could better influence sales that take more consideration. Always A/B test a variety of strategies to see what works best for you.
Solo entrepreneurs can measure the success of their marketing strategies by tracking metrics like website traffic, social media engagement, email open rates, conversion rates, and customer acquisition costs.