33 Affordable Ways to Promote Your Business
What’s the best way to promote your business? How can you advertise your business and get your name in front of potential prospects when you’re on a low budget? How can you get the word out about your business in the most affordable way?
1.KNOW WHO YOUR AUDIENCE (BUYERS) ARE. What do they look like? Who are they? What is the age group? What are their hobbies? What are their interests? Do you work full time or part time? What is their income level? When you know who your market is, then you fit your promotional strategies towards your target market.
2. If you don’t have a website – get one quickly. If you can’t afford to have someone custom-design your own. It’s easy with WordPress. There are millions of websites created every day using WordPress. They also have “plugins” that are free and can help enhance the features of your site. Make time to learn WordPress – it will be a great investment of time and energy.
3. Set up a listing for your business in search engine local directories.
Google and Bing both offer a free listing for local businesses.
To get listed on Google, go to Google My Business.
To get listed on Bing, go to Bing Places for Business
Yahoo charges for local listings, but you get listed on a lot more than Yahoo if you buy their service. The service, called Yahoo Localworks, costs $29.99 a month and lists you in 50 directories including Yahoo Local, Yelp, WhitePages, Bing, Mapquest and more. The benefit of paying: You have a single location to enter your data to make it consistent and available on multiple online directories that your customers might search to find what you sell.
- Set your business profile or page up on Linkedin, Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter. Be sure your business profile includes a good description, keywords and a link to your website. Look for groups or conversations that talk about your type of products or services and participate in the conversations, but don’t spam them with constant promos for what you sell. A great way to PROMOTE your business.
- Business Cards and postcards (used as fliers) are always an inexpensive method to promote your business. Place all your contact information on your business card or postcard. Your website and email address should be printed and easily seen. Promote your business today.
- Make sure to utilize an affordable email service, and send an email newsletter and/or promotional offers to customers and prospects for your business. An email service (see Resources at the top of this website)
- Get your business cards into the hand of anyone who can help you in your search for new clients. Call your friends and relatives and tell them you have started a business. Visit them and leave a small stack of business cards to hand out to their friends.
- Talk to all the vendors from whom you buy products or services. Give them your business card, and ask if they can use your products or service, or if they know anyone who can. If they have bulletin boards where business cards are displayed (printers often do, and so do some supermarkets, hairdressers, etc.), ask if yours can be added to the board.
- Attend meetings of professional groups, and groups such as the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, or civic associations. Have business cards in a pocket where they are easily reachable. Don’t forget to ask what the people you speak with do, and to really listen to them. They’ll be flattered by your interest, and better remember you because of it.
- Join clubs or organizations who target your customers. If they charge a fee, then pay it. It could be a great investment. If the group has a website and publishes a list members on the site, make sure your name and website link get added.
- Get involved in 2 or 3 groups. That will give you more opportunity to meet possible prospects. Do not be an opportunist. People recognize a greed hustler and they will avoid you. Bond with the group on other levels without a sleazy sales pitch. Help them with their problems first.
- Publicize the most unique asset about you or your business. Send out press releases to local newspapers, radio stations, cable TV stations, magazines whose audiences are likely to be interested in buying what you sell. Be sure to post the press releases on one or more online press release services, too, being sure to include links to your website. To increase your chance of having the material published, send along a photo (but not to radio stations) with your press release. Editors of printed publications are often in need of “art” (drawings or photos) to fill space and break up the gray look of a page of text. Another great way to Promote.
- Write an article illustrating your expertise in your market Send it to noncompeting newspapers, magazines, and websites in your field that accept submissions from experts. Be sure your name, business name, phone number, and a reference to your product or service is included at the end of the article. If the editor can use the article you get your name in print, and possibly get your contact information printed for free, too.
- Publicize your publicity. Whenever you do get publicity, get permission from the publisher to reprint the article containing the publicity. Make photocopies and mail the copies out with sales letters or any other literature you use to market your product or service. The publicity clips lend credibility to the claims you make for your products or services.
- Request work or leads others. Contact nonprofit organizations, schools and colleges, and even other businesses that have customers who may need your services. This is invaluable – great way to promote.
- Network with others who earn a living in the same industry. Let them know you are available to handle their work overloads. (But don’t try to steal their customers.
- Make yourself available as a speaker. Industry conferences, volunteer organizations, libraries, and local business groups often need speakers for meetings. You’ll benefit from the name recognition.
- If your product or service is appropriate, give demonstrations of it to whatever groups or individuals might be interested. Or, teach others how to use some tool you use in your work.
- Create unique Youtube videos. Also-sharing and slide-sharing sites.
- Find out what federal, state, and local government programs are in existence to help you get started in business. Most offer free business counseling, and some can put you in touch with government agencies and large corporations that buy from small and woman-owned businesses
- If you’re a woman-owned or minority-owned business look into getting certified by private, state or federal organizations. Many purchasing agents have quotas or guide for the amount of goods and services they need to buy from minority- and woman-owned businesses.
- Send out sales letters or postcards to everyone you think could be able to use what you sell. Be sure to describe your business in terms of how it can help the prospect. Develop an ELEVATOR PITCH. Promote your business to others with a short 30 second pitch – learn how to describe your business and the greatest benefit in 30 seconds.
- If you use a car or truck in your business have your business name and contact information professionally painted on the side of the vehicle. That way your means of transportation becomes a vehicle for advertising your business. If you don’t want the business name painted on the vehicle, consider using magnetic signs.
- Get on the telephone and make “cold calls.” These are calls to people who you would like to do business with. Briefly describe what you do and ask for an appointment to talk to them about ways you can benefit them.
- Get samples of your product or your work into as many hands as possible.
- Offer a free, no obligation consultation to people you think could use your services. During such consultations offer some practical suggestions or ideas–and before you leave ask for an “order” to implement the ideas.
- Always ask for referrals. Ask existing customers, prospects and casual acquaintances. When you get them, follow up on the leads.
- Utilize the famous word of mouth method. Instead of (or in addition to) selling your products yourself, look for affiliates, resellers or people who will generate leads for you in return for a commission on sales.
- Create an Arrangement with other businesses who serve the same market, but sell different products and services. Make arrangements to pass leads back and forth, or share mailings.
- Have sales letters, flyers and other pertinent information printed and ready to go. Ask prospects who seem reluctant to buy from you: “Would you like me to send information?” Follow up promptly with a note and a letter that says, “Here is the information you requested.
- Run a contest. Make the prize something desirable and related to your business — it could be a free gift basket of your products, for instance, or free services.
- Utilize all the pay per click methods on the Internet. They can become fairly handy. If you are not yet advertising on search engines search for offers that give you $50 or $75 in free advertising to start.
- Buy Ads in ONLINE newsletters. Newsletters can have thousand of subscribers. Request your promotional email to be blasted out to thousands of their subscribers for a fee. It works. See Mentors.