One of the main problems for any business owner is marketing their business, especially if you are a start-up or just low on funds.
Here are 10 free or low cost ways to market your business on a budget.
1. Get some self-generated press buzz going
Have you done anything newsworthy? No? Well then, come up with something. Even launching your website is news. So is revamping your website, opening or revamping your office or showroom, offering a new product, hiring a new employee, or sponsoring a local charity event. Believe it or not, writing and posting a press release on your website, and on free PR websites is one of the best things you can do to improve the search engine optimization of your website. A well timed press release or a mention in a local newspaper or newsletter can also bring a lot of exposure to your business, and in most cases, is worth a lot more than most expensive marketing sources.
2. Free traffic sources
It seems that everyone is jumping on the “internet marketing” bandwagon these days, and this is because it actually works if you know what you’re doing. Take advantage of free traffic sources such as Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube to drive visitors back to your website. Promote your brand by hiring someone to oversee your social media management. It will be worth the salary you pay them, or hire an intern to do this for you. Don’t overlook saavy high school students who can handle this position.
3. Recruit affiliates
This is how I started to succeed my business. If you are selling a product and are prepared to offer a commission for a referral, then recruiting affiliates is a proven way to market your business on a budget. In fact, in most cases an affiliate will do all of the hard work for you, which means all you do is handle the sales as they come in.
4. Get referrals
Encourage your existing customers to refer their family and friends to you by offering incentives. For example, they could claim a discount on their next purchase for every new person referred. This is a basic but effective way to increase your bottom line.
5. Rank in the search engines
This is essential in today’s marketplace and the source of yours truly’s success. While getting your site ranked in Google, Bing, and Yahoo is not as easy as it once was, it’s still possible with a little bit of hard work and daily action. Either educate yourself, or hire someone to do search engine optimization for you. Do some keyword research, create valuable content, build backlinks, and the traffic to your site will increase.
6. Public speaking
If you are an expert in your industry and don’t have a fear of talking in front of people, then public speaking is a growing trend. Best of all, it positions you as the authority, and gives you a platform to market your business. Try www.Toastmasters.com, where you can practice with other people, and your speaking skills will improve quickly.
7. Attend seminars
Just about every industry have annual seminars that you can attend, and this represents a great chance for you to network with other companies, and meet your potential customers face to face.
8. Hold a contest
A great way to market your business on a budget is to hold a contest. Let’s face it, everyone enjoys entering a contest so they can have a chance of winning something, and this gives you the chance to get their details so you are able to market to them at a later date.
9. Direct mail
Simply buy a mailing list of customers who have a purchased a similar product to what you are offering, and then send out a simple mailing package offering a special discount. Just make sure you buy your list from a reputable source. Do some internet research to find that source. A few hours should give you some good sources.
10. T-shirt marketing
You knew this was coming. : )
One strategy that your competitors are overlooking is t shirt marketing. In a nutshell, this involves printing up custom T-shirts with your company name and contact details and then giving them away for free. To make this even more effective, try to come up with a controversial or unforgettable angle that will make people actually want to wear the T-shirts, and therefore, market your business for you.
The final word
Bottom line, I highly suggest doing internet research to find good sources for all the above suggestions. Taking a weekend to get online and find out who is the go-to source for each of these is essential, because you don’t want to be throwing your money away on ineffective marketing. Ask friends and family if they know anyone who can handle these things for you. If all else fails, do it yourself!
Hopefully, these 10 ways to market your business on a budget have started to get the ideas in your mind flowing, and will act as a springboard to catapult new customers into your sphere of influence.