Think you don’t have a budget to market your business? Here are 10 free ways to get your business “out there.”
Everyone is looking for new ways to market their business, right? Here are ten free easy-to-use tips to market your business, get conversations started that convert to sales.
- Attend free networking groups. Many groups meet on a monthly or weekly basis to promote their businesses and build business relationships. People do business with those they like and trust. These meetings are a time commitment, but understand this is for referrals, not sales on the first day, the sales will come when there is a relationship built and referrals flow in. Create an elevator pitch so you can explain what you do in a minute or less.
- Start a networking group. There are networking groups already out there, but some are expensive to join. If there isn’t a free networking group in your area, or if there are ones that have high membership prices, why not start your own? All it takes is a commitment to be somewhere once a month or once a week, and you instantly have prospects for your business by inviting others to network. All you need is a space to host your event and many restaurants have a separate meeting room, so just ask. Free website like Meetup.com even help you raise awareness about your group and has tools to help you manage, contact and attract attendees.
- Put an ad on the back of your mobile phone. How many times do we go to meetings and lunches or just go out and lay our phones on the table? Put an attractive image on the back of your phone to advertise what you do. There are inexpensive clear covers for almost every phone and making an ad that fits inside of this cover not only protects it, but also is a great conversation starter every time you lay your phone down.
- Become a local expert. There are tons of local magazines and newspapers, contact the editor to write a column about a topic related to your industry. This is not a sales pitch about selling whatever you have to sell, but you want to position yourself as the expert in your industry. For example if you are a realtor, you want to talk about the benefits of one type of property versus another or services that a buyer should ask about when selecting a realtor. Again, this is not to “sell” you, but show that you are knowledgeable about your industry.
- Conduct free seminars. This was useful when I first started my marketing business. Going to areas businesses and offering a free seminar to their employees on branding and marketing always brought me customers after the seminar. Now understand this may work better for some businesses than others, but be creative, all it takes is a well-presented topic to show you are the expert at what you do.
- Offer something free. Create a free template, a discount coupon or something that would attract people. You could offer this on your website or on your social media page. In exchange for their name, email address and phone number, provide a free download of something valuable they would get in exchange for giving you’re their information. This is a great way to get leads and then you can convert them into sales. This doesn’t have to be something expensive, but will give them incentive to a call to action. Perhaps it is 10% off their first sale, or something to try you out, this would be an additional sale you wouldn’t have had, but you still get the sale.
- Have a drawing. Have a retail store or business? Get a fishbowl for a drawing for a free lunch or some other incentive. You could make it a free lunch with a paid lunch, so you get incremental sales. You would be surprised how easy it would be to get people’s contact info this way to help build your newsletter and marketing list.
- Volunteer at local events. This is a great way to advertise your business by wearing a t-shirt or polo with your logo on it during volunteer events. This shows your commitment to the community while advertising your business. It’s subtle, but again, like networking, people will refer and use business people they know, like and trust. This is about building trust and relationships. I would be easy to find a local cause that you not only believe in and support, but needs help on a semi-regular basis.
- Look for free vendor events. Frequently there are local events and trade shows that need vendors, most have a cost, but if you look, there may be some that are looking to fill last-minute spaces that didn’t get sold. Ask if you could show your products and services for free in exchange to help setup or clean up. You may get turned down, but if you don’t ask, you won’t get. The caveat here is you will actually have to work, not just show and not reciprocate if that is part of the deal.
- Start a blog. Everyone is an expert at something. Being in business means that you provide a service or product someone else wants. Write about that topic? Gain more prospects who are looking for those product or services. This is a commitment to write regular articles, but your hand is on that throttle. You don’t have to write every single day, but you should commit to a regular schedule, like once or twice a week so readers know what to expect. The goal here is to attract a following and it should be consistent. We have several affordable blog hosting plans to help you.
As you can see, there are many ways to market your business on very tight budgets. Making a plan to implement these on a timeline will give you many ways to increase awareness while holding on to your checkbook. Start with a plan to implement one or two of these tips every month to get your business out there and grow.
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