No Budget B2B Marketing Plan

If you have limited or no funds to invest into marketing, here’s your playbook to still make an impact and grow your business.

24…what does that number mean?  There’s 24 hours in a day and if you are trying to grow your business, hopefully you’ve realized that you have to work 10 times harder than you ever have before.  Regardless if you’ve been in business for 10 years or 10 minutes, you have to accept the fact that the only constraint you have is time and we all have 24 hours per day…the execution of what’s done within that time will determine your success.

With little or no marketing budget, you’re limited to the ability of exchanging your time for money.  You don’t have the convenience of building a team of experts, outsourcing your marketing to a company like mine or pushing it aside to focus on operations or strategy.  If you want growth, you need funds right?  Yes and no, you need funds to advertise / outsource / pay marketing employees but you don’t need funds to grow because hopefully you have hustle / time / commitment.

$0 Funds, here’s your action plan…LinkedIn

You have a free account that allows you enough flexibility and tools at your disposal, and you have to make a time commitment of 2-4 hours per day (there are 24 total hours in a day, not the 8 hours that a lot of people work).  Whether it’s from 4am-6am and 8pm-10pm you have to invest the time since you don’t have the financial convenience, adjust your schedule for the next 30 days and I promise your results with be massive.

  1. Polish your profile so it looks appealing to your potential clients and they can understand within 60 seconds what it is that you do.  Focus on the following; Profile picture, Title, Headline (appears after your title), Location and your Work History.  You don’t need 5 paragraphs of data, just keep it short and to the point if you aren’t the creative type but at least have 3-4 sentences as a summary.
  2. Hunt for new network connections by creating a saved search (criteria/filters are most important here).  To the right of the search bar at the top, click on “advanced” and you now have filters to create your search.  If you don’t have the premium membership then focus on clicking the following; 2nd and 3rd connections, location (either type in a country or start typing a state and you’ll see city “areas” pop up, select where you think your customer demographic is), choose the Industry and then to the left type in a title of your client demographic decision maker and make sure you click the drop down box and set to “Current”…not “Current or Past”.  Then hit search and see the total results number at the top of the page.  To the far right of that, there’s grayed out lettering “Save Search”, click on that so you can reference this list in the future.  Give it a name that’s relevant to the search and set the alert to weekly (each week LinkedIn will email you with a list of new results that were added to your search).
  3. Request Connections to people you feel are potential clients.  You DO NOT need to send InMail or waste money on purchasing additional InMail credits.  Click on the person’s name to view their profile and hit the down arrow next to “Send InMail” and select “Connect”, then rinse and repeat.  Here’s a time saving tip: For the first few hours you will have to view every profile and connect; eventually the LinkedIn algorithm will catch up and provide some useful “suggested connections”, initially they aren’t the best.  Once that happens you can scroll through that list and only click connect, you don’t have to view their profile, which is a HUGE time saver.  If their title, tag line and company match what you’re looking for then you’ll spend the next hour hitting “connect” about 300 times.
  4. Since sales and marketing is a numbers game, you need a lot of connection requests…focus on 300-600 in the first week.  Remember that you only want to connect with people in your client demographics or could be useful within your network.  DO NOT just start connecting with random people, garbage in will get garbage out.
  5. Once a new connection is established, you can go to your “My Network” and then “Connections”; this is when you will start to engage with them (note:  This is also where “People You May Know is” which is another quick way to add connections).  Scroll down a bit and you’ll see your vertical list of connections sorted by default as “Recently Added”.  From here you can message your new connection with your request to discuss business, don’t be cheesy or pushy just thank them for connecting with you, give a brief (1-2 sentence) overview of your company and ask if they would be open to a discussion.  Tip:  DO NOT message them the same day they accept your connection request, wait at least 5-7 days.
  6. “Tags” are most important and thanks to the LinkedIn development minds, they realized that you’d like to “Tag” or categorize your connections.  Click on “Tag” and add a new tag so you can differentiate who you’ve contacted and who you haven’t.  You can also add tags like “A Lead, B Lead, C Lead” based on their profile and company they work for.  This helps in later prioritizing of who to reach out to.  Remember, you’re waiting 5-7 days before contacting so you have time to organize your network properly before you begin engaging.
  7. After you’ve sent the first “cold message” don’t be shocked if you don’t get responses right away, be patient and consistent.  5-7 days from the first message send another one following up to make sure they received your message, do this 5-10 times over the course of 6 months changing your message content and provide value so they engage back.

If you do the steps above every day for 2-4 hours of “offline” time every day for 30 days, you will be amazed by the results.  Don’t give up 3 days in, be patient.

If you can afford $150 per month, here’s some efficiency gains

Sign up for the Premium Membership (around $60 per month) and the Sales Navigator membership (around $80 per month).  The benefit is you get insights into who’s viewing your profile, better standard search filters and you stand out as a “premium” member.  On Sales Navigator you can create more saved searches, sending you emails daily instead of only weekly or monthly.  Additionally it’s much easier through Sales Navigator to request a new connection and track that person as a “Lead” so they don’t get forgotten about if they don’t accept your request right away.  Go on YouTube for tips on navigating both platforms but use the same process above, with a slight twist.

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Kyle Milan

Kyle Milan is a well accomplished Industrial/Manufacturing sales and marketing professional with over 18 years of experience. He is the CEO of MFG Tribe and a Sales and Marketing Strategy & Social Media Marketing expert. He has published several articles at major news media outlets on various topics of; Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing & Advertising, Industrial Marketing, Manufacturing Marketing, and Entrepreneurship.

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