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Cost effective marketing for small or start up businesses

Now that I am unemployed, I have the opportunity to focus on a networking marketing business that I have been anxious about pouring myself into for years.  Like others out there, the idea of having your own business is both exciting and bewildering, especially when you are looking at all the wonderful ways to invest collateral into your potential business.  Thanks to the rise of blogs and reviews held by 'Mompetrenuers' businesses have a more cost effective way to advertise.

These bloggers have small and faithful followers.  They can have followers in an area that you may not be able to reach with local marketing sources like TV, Radio, Newspaper ads, and Magazines.  Besides carrying a heavy price tag, these sources are usually cater to locals.  Of coarse, my dream is to take my business, which has already had attention from the celebrity set and has been exposed on multiple television slots thanks to other hard working distributors, and expose it to as many people in as many places as possible, but I have to start smart and start slowly.  I had the opportunity to meet one of these momtrepenuers, Ashley, who began talking to me about a review.  Because I am cautious, of coarse, I looked at her various sites and her face book page.  I wanted to know how big her following was and what her reviews were like.  I decided that I would try it.  The opportunity cost was low for me and I saw potential. 

In agreeing to participate in a review, you are agreeing to send the blogger some product at no cost.  The blogger follows all the instructions you send, tests the product, and produces a review of the product for there various sites.  They then host a giveaway that inspires readers to be proactive.  The readers earn multiple entries in these drawings by visiting your product site, liking your face book page, and sharing the review with others.  Before the review is written, you are able to come to terms with the blogger about what product would be raffled, how many raffle winners you would like to reward, and other details you wish to share.  Once the winners are chosen, you ship the product directly to them.  

Here is what you have gained through the process.  You are able to see the email addresses to all of the interested leads participating in the raffle.  These are what I call hot leads because they already have information about the product and were attempting to win the raffle.  You also have the opportunity to earn the business of the winners or the raffle should they adore your product.  Thanks to the unlimited memory of the internet, you are able to refer back to this review in the future and should anyone put in a web search of your company or product, this review will come up along with any others you have participated in.  

Lets take a few minutes now to review my costs.  I already had plenty of inventory available in my home since some of my customers like to save on the shipping costs and live local.  There was no real added expense for me there.  I have a small shipping expense for the items I mailed to Ashley, my blogger with Shopaholic Mommy's Must haves.  I choose to have 2 winners so I had 2 more shipping expenses, but once again, I had their items readily available at my home.  Thanks to my tax person, I know that all the items that I used can be expensed out in my future tax return as sample inventory so as you can see, my out of pocket for this advertising is very low.  My new leads that were generated through this one review are now receiving a regular news letter from my business.  They have instant access to all of my latest products and can become customers at anytime if they would like to.  Above that, I am able to give them my personal attentions by emailing them myself if I wish and offer them special offers for participating in the giveaway, even if they did not win.  In my personal opinion, it is an excellent blend of old fashioned word of mouth advertising and the power of social networking through the internet.  Misty of Everything Changes, is going to be hosting one for me soon.  While she has a smaller following, she is from an area that I would normally not have access to.  That in itself is a bonus.

I personally recommend you try it once or twice, especially if you make something by hand, if you are part of the Etsy community, or if you are starting out with your own business.  Here is the review that Ashley did for me, so that you have a more tangible example.  http://www.shopaholicmommy.net/2011/04/better-life-body-wrap-review-and.html.  

Many Blessings!

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Comments 1 comment

Ashley Ruzin 5 years ago

Hi Lissette!

Thank you so much for the mention! You're absolutely right though, Mommy blogs, like mine, are a very cost effective way for small businesses to bring their product out into the open. You'd be surprised at how many people follow these blogs faithfully for these product reviews and giveaways! Word of Mouth advertising is taking the world by storm and I've heard some statistics saying that 90% of consumers consider word of mouth advertising as the best, most reliable source of ideas and information about products and services. (NOP world) You also have to consider that most word of mouth advertising is positive! So overall, working with bloggers is a great way for businesses large and small to bring their products to the attention of consumers all over the world. Thank you for bringing this to everyone's attention, Lissette!

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