Small businesses usually can’t afford the lavish marketing budgets that bigger brands take for granted. That’s why small biz owners must be creative, determined and compelling in their marketing efforts. The good news is that there are plenty of useful marketing methods that will generate great results for your business without costing you a dime.
We compiled the following list of 24 free, tested and proven ways of marketing your small business. Choose the ones that are most appropriate for you and bookmark this post as a reference to monitor your progress. Here we go!
1. Create a powerful business website: Your site is the touchstone of your online presence. Use one of the many site builder tools to create your own website or eCommerce site, but definitely hire a professional if it's within your budget. Remember first year business start-up expenses are usually tax deductable.
2. Submit your website’s URL to search engines: Google and Bing both offer the option to submit links to their platform and speed up the indexing process. This will help you improve SEO and rank better on search engine results. If you hired a professional, ask them to do it for you, and also add Google Analytics to your website.
3. Give a talk in a professional conference: Presenting your vision or sharing your expertise with a live audience is a superb way to find your way to the spotlight.
4. Ask happy clients to share their experience on their social channels: What satisfied clients say about you will always sound far more convincing than what you say about yourself.
5. Set up a newsletter and grow your subscribers’ base: Email marketing is a highly effective way to interact with potential and existing clients. Many services are available to help you easily set up your newsletter and get your subscribers hooked with a series of attractive emails.
6. Optimize your elevator pitch: Do you know how to sell your brand in a short, clever and enticing 30-seconds speech? If not, it’s time to practice.
7. Offer a free consultation meeting: Get the conversation going by offering a one-time meeting, no strings attached.
8. Send press releases about news and events: When you have something interesting going on, create a compelling story and send it to multiple PR submission sites. Here’s a list of free PR websites that you can work with.
9. Tag related people in your social media posts to encourage engagement: Get people’s attention by tagging their social profiles in your posts.
10. Get featured on testimonial pages of services you use: Testimonial pages are a win-win platform. Your site benefits from linking to a relevant external site, and their site benefits from linking to yours, in addition to getting their name in front of your audience.
11. Write guest posts on relevant blogs: Writing your own blog is great, but chances are that you can reach a broader audience by publishing your posts on blogs that already have a large readership.
12. Create a contest or challenge that requires social sharing: Instead of asking for entries, get contest participants to share your content for you. Save money on prizes by offering your own product or service.
13. Network on LinkedIn: The world’s largest business social network is great for generating new contacts, join in on industry conversations and highlight your unique professional edge. Be sure to start by checking out this article on smart marketing with LinkedIn.
14. Use a branded email signature: Adding a logo and the link to your website will get you more clicks as well as increase your branding as a serious professional.
15. Establish yourself as an expert with a video blog: Break down your field of expertise into key questions and turn them into informative video guides.
16. Chime in on trendy hashtags: When you’re working on your daily social posting, have a look at the current trending hashtags and see if you can utilize them in your content to increase the reach.
17. Learn the power of Local: Focusing some of your marketing energies on your local community adds a personal dimension to your branding. Local events, news and networks can give you faster results than aiming at a national audience.
18. Follow-up with past clients: Don’t neglect to treat your clients with care and respect once they completed their purchase. If you show them continued attention they are far more likely to return for more.
19. Make sure vendors and contractors are on your side: The people you work with daily can become devoted ambassadors for your brand if you take the time to build a meaningful business relationship with them.
20. List your business with online directories: Excellent method to improve link building, which is an important way to climb higher in search engine results. Here’s a list with dozens of directories to try.
21. Volunteer your branded products for use in productions and events: Visibility is powerful. Even if you don’t get a monetary return when you loan or donate your products to a short film production, a festival or a workshop, your brand presence still makes an impact.
22. Get involved with community projects: Wonderful for your personal growth and for your business reputation.
23.Offer a VIP discount code to a selected group of followers: Make them feel special with a limited offer that only they can enjoy.
24. Discover niche social media platforms: Everyone is on Facebook, true, but smaller niche networks provide a far more targeted audience for your brand. If you find one that fits your industry, you should put some effort in establishing your presence there.