Marketing To Stand Out In A Crowd, Is An Attitude
No tricks, no secret formulae – the no investment, no debt way I launched a profitable business.
I have shared this story once before at a conference where the title of my speech was ‘5 low cost or no cost marketing strategies.’ The title in itself, as I later found out had been hugely attractive to people and the reason the room was packed to the seams with standing or crouching on floor, room only! It was the first time I had spoken in public since launching my business (which at the time was less than a year ago) and so I naively didn’t expect anyone to be interested and I guess, didn’t see anything remarkable in the title because all my marketing strategies had been free and I kind of assumed that most start-ups would do the same. And mine were all free for the simple reason, I had no money to spend on any! However what was even more surprising to me was, the interest and aghast looks when I explained how I had found creative ways throughout my life, to achieve the seemingly impossible, ‘on the cheap’ or better still, free which allowed me to achieve what I had, less than a year in a new country, with no money for childcare, no friends or contacts and nothing more than a very old laptop and a mobile phone.
It’s An Attitude
Before I begin, for those of you reading this with a view to attempting to achieve this for yourselves (and it is possible), there is one fundamental factor that you MUST adhere to. And that is, you MUST either have no money for marketing and I mean NO money; not ‘well I could dip into these savings’, or ‘I could borrow off so and so’, or ‘there’s always the credit card’…I mean absolutely NO money or means of accessing it OR, you discipline yourself and do not touch a penny. Because if you do this, I can pretty much guarantee you will develop a whole new approach to marketing and very quickly, you will start to spot the opportunities to market for free, as I did and actually see the advantages in it. You will then probably join my #sheepmarketing revolution but that’s another story altogether which I will share in Part 2!
So let’s begin. I have led a rather eclectic career path some may say. I began my working life as a PE teacher and Outdoor Instructor in the UK. However I was unfulfilled and had itchy feet and so after a few years, ran off to sea and joined the Royal Navy to teach a few more kids! And it was during this time that I was fortunate enough to lead some pretty high profile projects for the military, working alongside civilian contractors. With the UK Defence budget being, shall we say, less than flush, I was tasked to deliver a huge event spanning 3 days, opening the doors of the Naval Dockyard to over 30,000 visitors on a budget of zero. Yep you heard right. Zero. I had no money upfront. If I needed to spend, I was to generate cash first. All I had at my disposal was one junior assistant and a laptop. But this didn’t faze me. I knew I was resourceful, I knew I had built contacts that were going to become vital and I also knew that this had to be done, therefore there was no choice than to get on with it and in true RN style ‘make it happen.’ So I did. I borrowed, bartered, partnered, traded, sweet-talked, persuaded and made it happen. And oh my goodness, what a fantastic time I had!
Networking And The Network You Build Will Pay Off And Can Become Your Most Valuable Asset
I didn’t fully appreciate the value of what I was doing and certainly never understood that I was creating partnerships and that actually this is a highly sought after marketing skill. I also never truly appreciated my natural ability to build connections and form strong working relationships and just how valuable a skill that in itself is…it was all in the line of duty (to coin a phrase!) and as with my business now, I had no choice – there was no secret stash of cash to tap into, there was no credit card. Thinking a little bit differently and not having any preconceived ideas about how to do things, was crucial to my success.
So now you have a small insight into how my mindset for budget conscious marketing developed, you will better understand why I have maintained this approach; I saw no reason to change; I had learned some valuable skills, practiced and refined them AND, knew how to make money, with no money.
In Part 2 I will share how my journey across the world, became the reason LBBM began and how I launched without cash.