Thursday, April 28, 2016

Marketing For Less Than A Cup of Fancy Coffee

How are you marketing your company?  Are you using a marketing company?  Have you hired someone to do it for you?  Wait - no money?  Not a problem!  There's a great way to market your company hidden in the internet that will make a world of difference in your sales, all for less than a cup of that fancy coffee you get on the way to the office.

I've been researching marketing for small business for several years, especially marketing when you have little money.  My favorites include:
  • Social media (done correctly)
  • Email marketing
  • Cold calling
You might say, "I don't know how to do any of those!"  Not a problem.  Meet Fiverr.  That's not a typo - it really has two "r's" at the end.  Fiverr is an international marketplace where you can get almost anything done for US$5, with add-ons costing more.  Anything you need done or you'd like to do can be done through Fiverr.  Here are some of the ways I've used Fiverr, with fantastic results.

As a seller:

My first experience as a Fiverr seller was an interesting experiment in customer service.  I posted my email review service:  $5 for an hour of email review and the beginnings of cleaning out someone's email, with each additional hour at $25 up to two additional hours.  The total cost of cleaning out someone's email inbox and setting up rules would potentially be anywhere from $5 to $55, depending on how much time contracted.  

Setup of the service was super easy.  You just enter in your details, then post it to your social media and wait for people to sign up.  Services are also searchable within Fiverr, so if someone is looking for a service you're offering, you'll come up in search results.  The person signs up for the services and add-ons they'd like and you get an email from Fiverr, telling you an order has been received.

Communications with sellers are all internal to Fiverr; you're not allowed to share phone numbers or email addresses.  You can, however, set up a questionnaire the buyer needs to complete before you can start working on it.  Typical turnaround times are between five and seven days, but rush jobs can be set up for an additional fee to the buyer.

When someone orders from you, you take their information, complete the work and then deliver through Fiverr and, if you're within the deadline time, your score as a seller grows.  If there are problems delivering - i.e., the buyer doesn't give you enough information in a timely manner or you're otherwise stopped from completing the job, you only have two options - contact the buyer and get permission to deliver late, marketing the order as delivered on time with a note from the buyer that it's ok, or cancel the order by mutual consent, having the buyer then re-order when they're' ready.

Once the order is completed and accepted by the buyer, the funds are available to you through PayPal or directly into your bank account, with just a small handling charge going to Fiverr.

I had a ton of orders for the service I posted and only one guy who was a pill.  We kept trying to schedule something within the service timeframe and he never was able to commit to a time; that didn't stop him from posting a bad review, but there's no way to comment or delete bad comments - a big drawback, in my opinion.

What to sell on Fiverr:

Fiverr is an ideal way to enter a market or test out new services; you can also use it as an entry to bigger client relationships, because often, the first service is covered by the $5, with subsequent services done for more.

In a minute, we'll talk about what I've purchased from Fiverr, but in the meantime, there is almost nothing you do that can't be sold on Fiverr, even if it's just 15 minutes of your time.  And think about the international clientele you'll be exposed to!

As a buyer:

For small businesses, Fiverr is a fantastic way to find what you need without a high-dollar price tag.  Here are some things I've purchased on Fiverr with great results:

  • Lead generation.  For $5, I purchased a 100-name lead list within a certain demographic, complete with email addresses, physical addresses, revenue and other important information.  I've purchased from two separate vendors and was very impressed with what they came up with.
  • Cold calling.  For $5, I got three hours of cold calling from an experienced telemarketer, using my script.  This is a great way to try out sales scripts; hire different telemarketers, give each one different scripts and see what results come back.  The call list I used was from the lead generation I mentioned above.  The person I hired was able to book appointments through my online calendar and I can't wait to see how those appointments turn out!
  • Illustrations.  I was able to find one person to create an avatar of me to use on all my internet sites, as well as on my children's books, for $5.  The illustrator did an exceptional job, was fast and great at communicating with me.  I also paid $5 to another illustrator to create the cover of my latest children's book with stunning results.
In all, for lead generation and cold calling, I spent a total of $25 and was very pleased with the results, all without me having to do one thing I hate - cold calling.  

Whatever you need to have done in your business, regardless your size or budget, Fiverr is a great way to maximize your marketing dollars and get great results.  

One note:  Make sure to read the reviews carefully.  It's not necessarily bad if there are poor reviews; you need to look at how the seller handled it to see if that's something you can deal with.

Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!