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How to Create Free (And Effective!) Marketing Materials for Your Small Business

Inside: Starting or looking to grow your small business in 2021? These tips from guest poster, Rivka Case, will help you create marketing materials when you’re on a tight budget.

To sell a product or service, people need to know about your product or service. That’s just the way it is! Maybe marketing and sales aren’t your steaming hot cup of tea, but they are necessary for any business to make money and grow.

Luckily, there are ways to make marketing easier, and do it without spending a ton of money.

The nine tips below will help you create free marketing materials for your new or growing business. Let’s get going!

9 Tips for Creating Marketing Materials for Your Small Business

How to create small business marketing materials

1. Define Your Goal

First things first, what goal are you trying to achieve by creating marketing materials for your small business?

Maybe your goal is to promote a specific product. Or you could be looking to build brand awareness, get email signups, make an upcoming event stand out, or simply drive sales. 

Whatever your goal might be, make sure you know what you are trying to achieve so you can target your message correctly. The right language makes a big difference!

(Becca here with a career coach tip – Non business owners need to keep this in mind too! If you are crafting a resume or cover letter, you need to know your goal first. That way you can target your marketing materials – your application – correctly.)

2. Take a Consistent Approach to Branding

You want to ensure that all of your marketing materials have some level of consistency to them. You don’t have to make everything look identical, but your marketing materials should have a recognizable feel of belonging to one brand. 

For example, whether you’re creating your website, logo, or business cards on your own or with a designer, take a single approach across the following: 

  • Color palette
  • Logo
  • Font family
  • Slogan/ Tagline

3. Use a Template

Speaking of logos, if you are a small business owner, you may not have funds to invest in hiring a designer. However, you can do this on your own with graphic design templates!

If you are designing postcards, business cards, stickers, flyers, or posters, you can visit Logo Creator to create professional designs without spending resources to hire a designer. There are a ton of templates to choose from searchable by industry.

For Pinterest, you can find templates on Canva.

4. Get Social!

Social media marketing is an important tool for marketing your small business – and it’s free!

Figure out where your ideal customer spends his or her time either by chatting with folks or doing a survey. Then pick one or two social platforms to focus your energy on. Trying to do it all will leave you spending WAY too much time on social media and not enough on your business.

Whether it’s Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn – social media is a great way to connect with your customers and keep your brand top of mind.

5. Ensure Your CTA is Clear

A Call to Action pushes your customers to take action on the next step. Steps include connecting with you on social media, visiting your store or website, or picking up the phone. 

You want to ensure that your Call to Action is apparent, straightforward, and concise so that it takes your customers further in their journeys to your business. Do not give your customers too many options to choose from. Instead, focus on one action for them to take.

(Becca chiming in again – I often talk to clients about the “one ask” email in career coaching too. Make it easy for someone to say yes to request for an informational interview or other connection by asking for one thing – a short amount of their time. Same goes with marketing – be specific. B-E Specific!)

6. Ensure Every Word and Picture is Working

It can be hard to resist the urge to include lots of words or images in your poster, flyer, or business card. However, adding too many words and pictures to your marketing materials is one thing you want to avoid.

Instead, you should narrow things down. Go back and read your goal. That will help guide you in using precise and straight to the point content. Stay focused on that!

7. Put High Importance on Deals and Deadlines

One way to prompt customers to make a purchase or take action is to put a time limit on your discount you’re sharing on social media or by email.

You can use one like:

Limited offer: Until January 11th, save 30% when you order, using the code FIXPROMO on our website. 

People are deadline driven. We’ve all been there – we ignore the 50% off until that final reminder that says we better take action in 2 hours or we’re back to full price.

8. Use High-Quality Materials and Images

You want to show your customers that your business values quality and that will show up in the product or service you are selling. It should also show up in your marketing!

Keep quality in mind for your packaging, business cards, and flyers. You can find good quality (and free) stock images for websites and other marketing materials on Canva, Upslash, and Pixaby. Don’t just Google an image and use that – it’s way illegal!

When you’re ready to kick it up a notch, you can hire a brand photographer so that you have fantastic photos of your product or service. Until then, the stocks photos can work as can well lit photos you take yourself.

Keep in mind consistency though. If you are using multiple templates, make sure they complement each other.

9. Email Campaigns

An excellent way for your new business to reach out to its customers can be creating well-crafted email campaigns.

As we’ve covered, social media is awesome but you can’t control Instagram going out of business, or Facebook deciding to completely change their site. However, when someone signs up for your email list, those customers are your contacts and that’s huge!

Some websites offer free versions of their paid services. For example, sites like MailChimp allow you to send emails to your customers, inform you on how your emails are performing, and automate the process as well. 

Bonus Idea

This option isn’t free, but it is low cost which I love! Plus it’s cozy!

Check out Rush Order Tees and put your business logo on a t-shirt or sweatshirt. I have 100% called up businesses when I saw the logo out in the wild worn by someone I know like and trust.

And who doesn’t love a great sweatshirt!

white woman with blonde hair smiling and wearing a white sweatshirt that says With Love, Becca - make working mom life work for you

Key Takeaways

The goal of marketing materials is to help you reach your desired audience and to meet this goal, you want to ensure that you are taking advantage of the right strategies.

As a recap, make sure that you know your goal, be consistent, use templates, get social, have a clear CTA, choose pictures and words carefully, focus on quality, emphasize deadlines, and use email!

We hope that our article has helped you on your way towards creating marketing materials that will make your small business shine!

Many thanks to Rivka for these tips!

For more resources for your online business or blog, check out some of my favorites here.

Read More on Small Business Ownership:

55 Side Hustle Ideas to Make Money and Pivot Your Career

Is a Side Hustle Business Right for You?

I Quit My Job (And You Can Too!)

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