Marketing your business doesn't have to break the bank. As a business owner, there are many way to effectively market your business without pouring endless money into advertisements. Here are 15 awesome (and cost-friendly) ways to promote your small business - Let's get creative with ways to stretch your marketing dollars:
1. Send clients branded cards: A thank you note or congratulations does not go unnoticed, especially when it is properly branded and sent on time... make it even more person by handwriting your notes to clients.
2. Email marketing: First off, it is important to build your master email list - collect email addresses in your storefront and at networking events. Once you have a list you're happy with, utilize email marketing sites such as Mad Mimi, icontact and Constant Contact to build weekly/monthly eblasts featuring exciting promotions, upcoming events and recent blog posts by your business.
3. Create a blog: Outline useful and relevant content and write blogs bi-weekly or monthly. Try featuring a guest blogger or involve your customers by having them review their favorite products or services at your business.
4. Network, network, network: Did we say network? This could quite possible be the most important factor in promoting your business. Put yourself out there and join at least 2 small business groups or meetups. Research your local chamber of commerce and make time to attend the events - You'll end up meeting fellow entrepreneurs, who know what you're going through and who knows, you could meet a blogger or a business owner that you want to cross-promote with!
5. Create business cards: Create an attractive and clutter-free business card with your name, title, contact information and logo. Pass these out to everyone you meet, you never know will contact you or refer you in the future.
6. Give away free content: We all love a good freebie! Give away tips on your expertise and promote the material on your business social media accounts. Download our latest freebie here. Enjoy a promotional calendar outline along with tips on how to make your social media stand out :)
7. Pass out flyers: Design a flyer, print out 100 copies and divide and conquer! Ask family, friends and employees to help pass out promotional flyers around local shops you know your customers will be.
8. Create a business page on your Facebook: Post 3-4 times per week featuring testimonials, new products or photos of your employees! It is also a good idea to list your business on your personal page so that existing friends can easily "like" and access your page.
9. Create a Twitter account: Twitter can be a full time job, so try and consistently post and engage with potential customers. Use buffer.com to schedule posts throughout the week and track the best days and times to tweet.
10. Teach a class: You're the expert, now share your knowledge! This is a great way to grow your customer involvement as well as provides you with great content for your social media and email marketing features.
11. Have links to your social media accounts: Whether it's on your all email marketing materials and website homepage, always add social media icons that link to your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. It's a friendly reminder that you have so much more fun content to share.
12. Volunteer your time: Partner with well-known, local charities
13. Write a press release: Remember the aforementioned volunteer work ^? You can write up a press release of 3 paragraphs or less about your donation or experience and submit to local media for great exposure. Just remember to follow the guidelines of specific newspapers and properly format the press release.
14. Create a webinar: Online workshop videos are engaging and fun! Try teaming up and collaborating with a noncompetitive business to reach a wider audience. Check out one of our past webinars on "what social media platform is right for you?" for inspiration.
15. Create a Business Instagram account: Instagram is an ever-growing social media platform where customers can view your products and even purchase items through your account. Make sure to keep your personal and business accounts separate to avoid confusion and inconsistency (There is a new feature where you can add up to 5 accounts to your existing account, which is a huge time saver). Already have an Instagram? Here are some tips on how to make your business account look more professional.
This is a big list and we know it can be overwhelming. Try starting with a few of these tips, making a timeline and schedule for your marketing plans with small weekly goals; It will seem a lot more manageable this way. Now it's time to put these tips to great use! A great start would be to think of your target market and put your efforts into which platforms they are using the most.