Marketing your business is something you can’t put off. But what if you have no budget for marketing and promotion? Learn ten easy ways to promote your business for free.
Whether you run a business with a limitless budget or have no budget at all, people need to know about your products and services. Traditional print ads in trade or national publications provide exposure, but come with a hefty price tag. Television ads are a bank breaker for all but the most successful businesses.
For the budget-conscious business, growing your brand online can come without a cost. Here are several ways to market your business for free.
1. Get Social
Facebook and Twitter accounts are a must for any small business, since they cost nothing to create. YouTube is also free, and is great for sharing how-to videos on your products. LinkedIn is also free, and you can set up a company page for your business, which will help it appear in search engines.
2. Find Your Niche
On a range of sites, you can post listing for businesses on sites like ListMyWebsite. On Squidoo you can post articles on topics that relate to your industry. HubPages is another site for posting about your interests...good for small businesses. Etsy works for crafters. Set up a listing on CraigsList when you expand the biz and need room for new furniture for your new digs. All these sites provide more places for your business’s website to get exposure.
3. X Marks the Spot
If you’re a brick-and-mortar business, set up profiles on location-based sites like Foursquare and GoWalla. Offer special deals for people who check in to your location to encourage people to visit your shop.
4. Getting Bloggie With It
Don’t have the design budget for a blog? Why not start a free blog for your business using Blogger or WordPress? Upgrade to a more customized blog when your business grows. The more content you put out, the better search engines love you.
5. Sign Up, Sign Up, and Sign Up
Search for places where you can post your business for free. Do a Google search for “Free Ads” or “Business Forums.” Once the search list is generated, start talking about your business on each forum. Is this time consuming and tedious? Why, yes! But consider that when you create a listing on a free forum, this mention is long-lasting and evergreen in terms of SEO.
You and your employees have a point of view, expertise, and knowledge base. Write articles for sites, like Docstoc, ArticleAlley, ArticleDashboard, and EzineArticles. Don’t waste the knowledge. Share it, along with a link to your site.
7. Make a Good First Impression
8. Post It
Print flyers, posters, and other marketing materials using free offers/coupons. Or barter services with a local printer. A stack of flyers in exchange for a month’s supply of honey is a sweet deal.
9. If You Build It...
With a website up and running, the sales should flood in, right? Wrong. To increase traffic to your website, do a search for “Free Traffic.” Buying traffic is not ethical, but obtaining free traffic is a go. See FreeTrafficSystem or Super-Clix. Do a thorough search for each Free Traffic link to guard against spammy sites.
10. Free Email
Ask visitors to your site to become subscribers of your online newsletter in exchange for something of value, like a free eBook or report. This online newsletter is an easy way to keep your product on the mind of your customer. Do a little digging to find a free newsletter service, for instance, MailChimp. Or go with one of the leaders in the field of e-newsletters, ConstantContact for a 60-day trial.
You’ll be amazed at how many free or nearly free marketing tools you can find if you spend a little bit of time researching online. Keep your eyes peeled for free special offers, like a free press release from PRWeb during its promotions, or a free version of a paid software program. You might not need the full functionality (nor have the budget for it), but free is always good!