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I created the concept of thrifty marketing to deliver valuable leads to clients, thereby building stronger profitable businesses. My approach is an interpretation of pure marketing theory and all activities are founded on the CIM definition of marketing which is “to identify, anticipate and satisfy customer needs profitably”. This is reflected in the structure of this website. Your commitment is to pay me £20 for three months membership of my client community.
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Thrifty marketing offers benefits to the environment :
• Saves trees – Less printing minimises the negative impact caused by global deforestation
• Staying local – Contributes to reducing global warming; it minimises the carbon footprint by avoiding transport pollution
• And it saves money to drive profits and growth
Case study: How to create a buzz when you’re cash strapped
Where do you begin when you have no money?.
I would like to share with you my experience of using social media and local press to generate publicity for a new local event, The Rusthall Arts Festival, first held in 2016 in Kent. It set out to be a creative community engagement project which would be generated using talent found in the modest village. The format was planned as a programme of free artistic workshops available to all to prepare work in advance of a celebration/festival weekend. The communication task included several aspects. First, to announce and explain the new event. Next, to encourage participation from all sections of the diverse community in a clearly defined locality. The main limitation was no money – publicity had to be achieved while incurring no expenditure whatsoever. I identified the following communication channels as both relevant and freely available:
• Social networks (or electronic word of mouth)
• Word of mouth
• PR coverage in local publications if possible
Tips for making social media work for spreading a message:
• It takes TIME, not money, to make it work
First be prepared to commit a good deal of time to online promotion. It may be a free medium, but taking advantage of this opportunity takes an investment of time, not money, so be prepared for this and plan ahead
• Don’t be SHY
• It’s never too early to start making connections. Just begin by being yourself online, accordingly, before saying anything at all about the event.
I joined relevant local groups such as TW Writers and TW Mums and developed a following on Twitter for an account in the festival’s name. Luckily, our locality is very active on Twitter. I even took the time to attend the weekly TW meet up, which is a coffee morning for users of Twitter in Tunbridge Wells. This was an opportunity to spread the word in person to a group of individuals who are well connected locally and represent “influencers” – key people who would be beneficial to have working as our ambassadors who could spread our message on our behalf. It also served to find volunteers with relevant skills who might be willing to assist with the workshops and the celebration, and to announce and explain the event and encourage participation, in a strategy affectionately known as the invisible shoestring publicity. This had to be achieved with no expenditure.
It was agreed that an initial open day in the village should be held to introduce the concept, to find interested parties, and for local creatives to meet and initiate collaboration. Fortunately, our local social club was happy for us to use their venue without charging us. Free communication options included social media, word of mouth and handmade posters. A Twitter account was set up to connect with local businesses and organisations and relevant hashtags were used to attract attention from targets #rusthall and #creative. I decided to use Facebook as a method for making contact free of charge with groups which might be interested in the project, so I joined relevant groups such as TW Writers and TW Mums. The Twitter account was a fabulous tool for building a following from key target groups. Artists and musicians are particularly active on this platform. The establishment of a relevant twitter following is time consuming yet rewarding. By the time the open day was announced, there were many followers who were happy to retweet messages to spread the news even further through their own networks. The first open day was well attended, with many locals, artists and musicians coming along to the venue. There was a real buzz as introductions were made. It was a very positive sign that a simple open gathering was met with such enthusiasm. Some photographs were taken with a view to possibly using them later to illustrate social media updates about the project . In addition to social media feeds and word of mouth, the other opportunity for cost free publicity was by achieving coverage in the local newspapers – again, this takes time and effort and appropriate content supported by photography. After the successful open day, we were lucky to be awarded a grant by a local councillor, a fund which was carefully guarded. It provided us with the realistic opportunity of producing traditional flyers and posters to promote the festival weekend.
The event was a big success. It has become an annual event and was held again in 2017. Karen Gardner said, “First as Marketing Director and then as both Marketing Director and Creative Director, Lisa Beaumont got the word out through social media and through local papers using headlines to bring attention to our community of Rusthall. We always knew we have loads of talent here in Rusthall, that bohemians are well and truly rooted around all parts of our 5,000 populated village. Lisa made sure other villages and the town of Tunbridge Wells knew it too.” If you need to create a buzz for your business, please send an enquiry via my website www.lisa beaumontmarketing.co.uk