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Secrets to Marketing During a Recession

Q: What's the best way to market my product in a slowing economy? I have limited resources and can see that people are already reigning in their spending.

A: The market is in a tailspin at the moment, but I caution buying into every market report you hear. Plenty of businesses are still thriving, and some products won't even feel the effects of recession. Big ticket, nonluxury items will be the first to feel those hits, but most small businesses, if they're strategic, can maneuver through this storm.

Here are some tips:

1. Don't buy the hype.
The media will always have an angle, and markets always have highs and lows. There is a general psychology behind news headlines that tend to put people into a panic. The key is not to let yourself get worked up about these headlines. They change daily and weekly, and although it's good to know what's going on in your sector, do not become a slave to what the pundits say. Plenty of businesses survive (and thrive) in down markets. Change your thinking (even meditation can help keep you grounded through rough spots!), and the results will follow.

2. Assess what has the biggest effect on your bottom line and outsource the rest.
I know an event planner who makes sure that he pares down his staff to essential personnel in tough times. He creates freelance/consulting relationships with anyone who is not totally necessary every single day. In this way, he is able to maintain a very small staff of four while running a multimillion-dollar business. He also makes his lunch every day, brews coffee at home instead of buying it at Starbucks, and, instead of organizing pricier lunch meetings, meets clients for breakfast or tea, or has people come straight to his office.

3. Use viral marketing strategies to promote and grow business.
Blogging is free. Putting Search Engine Optimization techniques in place is often free, and publishing articles that support your product is a use of resources but no cost to you. Look for websites that might need content, and put your writing skills to work! Make sure your URL is in your byline to drive traffic to your site and provide ongoing content wherever you can. This establishes credibility but also creates links all over the web for your product. Good luck!

Text by Amy Swift, Editor in Chief of Ladies Who Launch