Operations

How To Maximize Marketing On A Minimum Budget

Jim Luff
Posted on January 23, 2018

You may be inclined to believe your 25-year old business doesn’t need constant marketing. If so, you would not see Budweiser, McDonald’s, and other large companies paying millions for Super Bowl ads. Internet marketing has made it possible to reach thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people for free. Bill Faeth, founder of Limo University, shares some of his great ideas.

Getting Started
Before you can start a successful campaign, you must first identify the right target market, create a marketing plan, and then figure out how to execute the plan, says Jordan Sanders, co-owner of Hollowsands Luxury Limousines in Philadelphia and a recent student of Limo University. Faeth advises operators to clearly identify your unique clients in your market.

“A typical social media company does not understand the precise buyer persona of our target clients such as DMCs, wedding, and travel managers,” Sanders says.

Joey Gulino, a second generation director at Gem Limousine Worldwide in Woodbridge, N.J., knew Facebook, Google, Instagram, Yelp, and Twitter would be the future of Gem’s business as he started there in 2008. “I had to build upon each outlet so Gem Limousine Worldwide was visible in the digital world now and historically,” he says. He watched countless hours of YouTube videos, visited reading forums, and learned from others on how to create a plan and goals. Limo University has helped him refine those goals and achieve them, concluding you must have a plan.

Limo University founder Bill Faeth advocates the concept of “smarketing,” where a company’s sales and marketing goals align with business growth goals. (LCT photo)
Limo University founder Bill Faeth advocates the concept of “smarketing,” where a company’s sales and marketing goals align with business growth goals. (LCT photo)
Social Media As A Component
Faeth believes traditional marketing efforts must complement social media marketing, and strongly encourages owners to hire others to wash vehicles, take reservations, and handle other administrative tasks so you can leave the office and market in person as well.  

“You cannot simply do social media advertising — you must get outside to build relationships with traditional methods as well,” Faeth says. “To achieve success with relationship building, you must do a combination of both.” Faeth warns Facebook advertising alone is no way to grow a company. And he should know as he has been involved in many start-up businesses and took one to $9 million in annual revenue in less than five years.

It’s All About Smarketing
Faeth likes to use the term, “Smarketing,” to combine sales and marketing of your brand and business. In his world, there is no difference between sales and marketing. Smarketing is the alignment of your sales and marketing goals to your growth goals. Faeth cautions your smarketing goals should not be about top-line revenue growth but rather your profit growth.

Operators (L to R) Joey Gulino of Gem Limousine Worldwide, Ken Carter of Aadvanced Limousines, and Doug Schwartz of Executive Limousine use an array of social and digital media marketing tools to target specific clients. (LCT file photos)
Operators (L to R) Joey Gulino of Gem Limousine Worldwide, Ken Carter of Aadvanced Limousines, and Doug Schwartz of Executive Limousine use an array of social and digital media marketing tools to target specific clients. (LCT file photos)
Sanders says the advice and teachings Faeth has provided him have not only helped his business grow, but saved it from death. “If it weren’t for Bill, I probably would have been out of the business already because I wouldn’t be able to compete in today’s environment given the limited resources I have. Bill has shown me how to leverage what I have and learn what I needed to learn to do.”

Gulino adds, “As we all know, the social and web technology we use every day is forever changing especially on the business side, and I personally just don’t have the time to look for the know-how as I become more involved with different projects and on-boarding new clients.”

Many operators agree with this view. Having a great smarketing plan will allow you to build your business while providing you the time to nurture the new clients. Gulino says the plan he has created has not only propelled growth of Gem but exposed real data and the endless capabilities that can be done once it is all set up.

Setting Your Goals
Success is about setting goals and then trying to create a map to achieve them. “If you don’t set goals month by month, quarter by quarter, and year by year, you are 70% less likely to be successful,” Faeth says. He further advises goals should include specific dates and dollar amounts that should be tracked for success or course corrections to help achieve the next goal. If you miss a monthly goal, aim for the quarterly goal to make up for differences.

The Nuts & Bolts
In this section, we share with you the tools and methods to market your company for under $500 a month.

Verify Your Business Listing — FREE
To boost your company in the search results, be sure you “claim your business” with all the search engines you can think of. This should include Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Ask. Here you will complete information about your company such as hours of operation, address, phone number, services, and website. Make sure your website has your company name, address and phone number in the footnote of your home landing page.

Tip: If your business profile address and phone number don’t match what is on your website, you will be penalized in the rankings.  

Building Reviews — FREE
Faeth recommends you send out requests for reviews of your business six days after a trip as been completed. The more five-star reviews a business gets, the higher it ranks in the search engine results. Local SEO management is far more valuable than organic rankings because people will use search terms relative to your city such as entering: Limo in Miami. There are many methods for obtaining reviews. LimoAnywhere users can find a template in add-ons. There are also third party companies. However, it isn’t necessary to use them. Sending the “ask” by SMS/text messaging is very effective. The most affordable method is using an email program such as MailChimp.

Email Automation: $10 — $20/monthly
Programs such as MailChimp or ConstantContact keep you in touch with your clients and allow you to create different databases for different campaigns. Rarely in this industry are people moved to do business with you on the first contact. In fact, Faeth estimates in this industry you may need to contact someone six to nine times before the recipient takes any action. Email automation helps drive the process through continuous contact. It can be used for welcome letters or to target a specific market. Make sure every day you add all new emails that come across your desk.  

LeadPages: $37/monthly
LeadPages is a subscription based service providing more than 250 templates that serve as “landing pages.” A landing page is a point of entry into your website that contains information specific to a campaign. For instance, you might send an email campaign to potential affiliates and provide a link to a landing page that explains why you are the best company to affiliate with in your area. You might have another page dedicated to brides and yet another page for wedding planners. By creating these unique pages, visitors to your site see specifically what they are looking for. This will help convert visitors to customers.  

Facebook Advertising: $150/monthly budget
Facebook is a tool that can be used independently as well as combined with LeadPages to create a super focused target audience. Whether you are seeking affiliates or brides, Facebook allows you to set your own budget, your own audience based on gender, age, geographic location, and many other factors. It helps build brand recognition, and Faeth says it should be your No. 1 source of traffic to your website. Douglas Schwartz, owner of Executive Limousine in Bellmore, N.Y., says, “We’ve been placing ads on Facebook for $10 a day targeting the exact market we want to reach. It’s really amazing how economical it is today to market your business and how you can chose almost exactly who receives your message.”

Outsource Tasks: $299/monthly
Having been an operator, Faeth understands the limited time and technology skills for most operators to manage campaigns. To buy more time, Faeth recommends hiring vasumo.com, a virtual assistant company that sells blocks of time by the hour. $299 gets you 25 hours a month from people trained to manage your social media, design graphics, create artwork, maintain your website, and even search for corporate leads and build email funnels using your MailChimp account. This monthly fee breaks down to $9 per hour, and that’s less than minimum wage to hire talent that may exceed your personal capabilities.  

Other Social Media — FREE
Faeth also recommends you create and maintain social media pages on platforms such as LinkedIn for data mining and connecting with corporate prospects, and Instagram for getting images in videos for clients seeking retail services such as weddings and proms. He recommends Pinterest as one of the most effective tools for reaching potential wedding clients.


Related Topics: advertising, How To, marketing/promotions, mobile internet, Sales & Marketing, SEO, social media marketing

Jim Luff Contributing Editor
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