If you are of the belief that the product or service that you offer can be truly beneficial to other people, then finding a way to get that product or service in front of your audience is the most immediate challenge.
In today’s world, “relationship marketing” is finally starting to take the place of obnoxious advertising and in-your-face sales techniques. Time is rapidly becoming your most valuable commodity, and outsourcing tasks that you personally don’t need to do is becoming a necessity, rather than just an option. How do you pay to outsource tasks when you don’t yet have the customers that you are trying to reach, however?
As recent readers of this blog are aware, I have decided to get back into health and fitness coaching as my primary service offering, and marketing a brand-new health-related business – especially locally – can be both challenging and expensive. There are mailing lists to buy, print jobs to do, postage to pay for, research to be done, resources to obtain, websites to be built and managed – and on and on the list goes. Once a new business has a presence, then word of mouth and other marketing methods take over, but until that point, money is normally needed to grease the wheels in order to get a new business venture off the ground.
In brainstorming ways to finance the needs of my new business venture, it occurred to me that I could put together an informative blog post about the process, and help some other people at the same time. So, that being said, here are four ways to save the day on a tight budget!
1) Ask for Donations
There is a very untrue belief that no one wants to help anyone else out; that there is this all-encompassing “What’s in it for me?” mentality that all people subscribe to. Although it is true that everyone wants to get something out of their efforts, sometimes all they want is to feel like they have contributed to a worthy cause.
Again, if your product or service is truly beneficial to other people (rather than only benefiting your own bank account), then there is no shame in asking people if they are willing to help you in your efforts to benefit others.
If people believe in what you have to offer, then they will also believe that their donated money is going to be well-spent on a cause that they believe in. Also, whenever you ask for a donation, you’ve got nothing to lose. If these people aren’t already giving you money, and then they also refuse to give you a donation, then you have lost nothing in the effort.
Allow people to choose their own donation amount, however. It’s up to THEM how much they want to contribute.
My version of this Idea: If my 3 years as a personal trainer and my 2 years as a personal development writer have caused you to have enough faith in my ability to help other people, then please consider donating to the cause. I am building both online health and fitness groups (such as the Million Dollar Body Challenge), and I am reaching out to the people in my local community as well in order to offer them quality help and support, but without breaking their bank accounts.
2) Have a Sale
If you already have products or services that you offer, have a sale in order to get more customers interested. You have already spent the time, money, and energy to put together your product and service offerings, and since that time, money, and energy is already gone, you have nothing to lose by giving people a temporary break in the price.
Be smart about your sale, however, and don’t devalue your products or services by offering them for less than they are worth. However, a temporary price reduction in order to generate some additional interest is a win/win situation for you, as well as your customers.
Also, make it a discount worth their time! A 10%-15% discount is like getting a raise at work for only a quarter an hour. Yes, it helps, but it’s such a small help that it isn’t really all that enticing. Make your sale prices low enough that your customers really want to take advantage of the opportunity.
My version of this Idea: On the low end, my most inexpensive eBook only costs $7, while on the high end, I have products as high as $37. For the purposes of this effort, I am offering a full 30% discount off of all of the following Today is that Day products. That’s almost 1/3 of the price, but you are still getting 100% of the value:
You can click each link to be taken to the sales page for that product. When you get to the checkout process, just put in the coupon code “SAVETHEDAY” without the quotes, and you’ll be all set:
- Energy Harmonics
- How to Invoke the Law of Attraction
- Personal Development for Stupid People
- Mental Meltdown: Weight Loss begins in the Mind!
- The Definitive Weight Loss Guide to Bodyweight Exercises that Shred Bodyfat
3) Make a one-time Offer
Your products or your services are priced at a certain point, and they include certain features, benefits, support, guarantees, etc. Your customers pay you “x” amount and they get “x” value in return. That is the routine, and normally, they have to stick to that routine in order to take advantage of your products and services.
A one-time offer (or OTO, for you Internet marketers), is a one-time only offer when they can get your products or services for a price or in a manner that will never happen again. The one-time offer should offer TRUE value, though, and not just be a sales gimmick. If your one-time offer is truly offering them a value that they won’t be able to get any other time, then you have created another win/win situation for you and your customers.
Keep your integrity whenever you create a one-time offer, however. Don’t say that it’s “now or never” to your customers, but then turn around and make the same offer a month later. If it’s a one-time offer, only offer it ONE TIME!
My version of this Idea: As promised several months ago, the Premium membership rates at Personal Development Partners are now paid every month, instead of every 6 months. The people who came on board before the change are grand-fathered in at their 6-month rate forever. For anyone who didn’t take advantage of that offer, but you still want to join the site (without paying $19.95 every single month), you have this one opportunity to buy a lifetime membership to PDP for only $57<
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4) Have an Auction
One of the best ways to empower a potential customer to know that they are getting enough value for their money is to ask THEM to decide how much they think it is worth. By putting a price tag on a product or service yourself, you immediately cause a potential customer to make a snap decision about whether your product or service is worth a given amount of money.
By putting something up for auction, you send the message to the customer that you are willing to entertain any reasonable offer that they are willing to make in order to have access to your product or service. At the same time, you release your own attachment to making a certain amount of money.
Also, this can be a valuable research tool for future products or services that you may offer. If you think that whatever you are offering is worth a certain amount of money, yet people consistently bid much lower (or higher) than you expected, then you will now have a mini-market survey at your disposal. This can help you to not only price your products or services in an appropriate manner in the future, but can also help you to make sure that you are creating enough value, and then expressing that value to potential customers.
My version of this Idea: I am auctioning off the complete package of everything that you have just read about (all Today is that Day products and a lifetime membership to PDP), and in addition, I am going to take on one full-time client that I will coach through a 90-day health and fitness program. The coaching program will include all of the following:
- A 30-45 minute telephone call each week to discuss anything and everything related to your health and fitness program. (U.S. residents only)
- A personalized exercise program based on your goals, the equipment that you have access to (even if that is none), and the time that you have available to exercise.
- On-going nutritional advice based on the physiological factors involved with whatever your fitness goal is, and maximizing those factors to keep you on track, but without any faddish or hard-core dieting programs.
- Unlimited access to me via email for any and all support needed during the entire 90 days.
In order to place a bid for the full list of Today is that Day products, a lifetime membership to Personal Development Partners, and a personalized 90-day health & fitness coaching program, simply click here to send me an email with your bid.
Each person who bids will be contacted directly, and the winner will be chosen on Wednesday, April 30, 2008, and notified of the next steps to take.
As you have seen by reading this post, one of the keys to financing a new business venture is to do the same thing that you should have been doing all along – providing value.
If your products or services are not valuable, then you shouldn’t be selling them anyway. However, if you have products or services that are worth what you are asking for them, thinking outside of the box for ways to create additional value – or a lower perceived price – can kick-start an additional flow of currency that you can then apply to your new venture.