3-Minute WOM Lesson: Word of mouth for tiny budgets

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You don’t need money to get people talking. Sure, it helps — but it’s certainly not required. Three things you can do when the budget is tight:

1. Make good friends
2. Try lots of cheap tests
3. Do more with fewer tools

1. Make good friends

Here’s one that scrappy nonprofits are great at: Partnering up with someone who already has a big audience. Maybe it’s an established brand related to what you do, maybe it’s a group of influencers you’d like to team up with, or maybe it’s a charitable cause with a lot of talkers. If you’ve got great ideas — and you’re willing to do the heavy lifting to keep it easy for your partner — someone out there would love to work with you.

2. Try lots of cheap tests

Big bets on one or two ideas can be expensive. Instead, focus on testing lots of little ideas and doubling down on what seems to work. This is why word of mouth can be such a powerful tool when budgets are tight: It’s easy to test an idea, measure the results, and try again. (Hey, it’s good fun too.)

3. Do more with fewer tools

A common mistake for a marketer with zero budget is to attempt to use every social platform, sharing gimmick, and word of mouth tool available because they don’t cost anything. This is hard enough for the rich guys to pull off, and you don’t have near the time or manpower they have available. We’re all for experimenting (see above), but you’ll find that good things happen when you focus your limited resources on using a few tools really, really well.

#251: Word of mouth for tiny budgets
You don’t need money to get people talking. Sure, it helps, but it’s certainly not required. Three things you can do when the budget is tight:

1. Make good friends
2. Try lots of cheap tests
3. Do more with less tools

1. Make good friends

Here’s one that scrappy nonprofits are great at: Partnering up with someone who already has a big audience. Maybe it’s an established brand related to what you do, maybe it’s a group of influencers you’d like to team up with, or maybe it’s a charitable cause with a lot of talkers. If you’ve got great ideas — and you’re willing to do the heavy lifting to keep it easy for your partner — someone out there would love to work with you.

2. Try lots of cheap tests

Big bets on one or two ideas can be expensive. Instead, focus on testing lots of little ideas and doubling down on what seems to work. This is why word of mouth can be such a powerful tool when budgets are tight: It’s easy to test an idea, measure the results, and try again. (Hey, it’s good fun too.)

3. Do more with less tools

A common mistake for a marketer with zero budget is to attempt to use every social platform, sharing gimmick, and word of mouth tool available because they don’t cost anything. This is hard enough for the rich guys to pull off, and you don’t have near the time or manpower they have available. We’re all for experimenting (see above), but you’ll find that good things happen when you focus your limited resources on using a few tools really, really well.

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