Getting your small business off of the ground can be difficult if you don’t have the money for marketing. If you don’t market your business, it can be difficult to get it off of the ground, and breaking out of this cycle can be tough if you don’t get creative. Here are five ways that you can market your small business if you don’t have thousands of dollars to spare:
1. Social Media
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are one of the best free ways to market a small business available today. Almost everyone has a Facebook account and millions of people tweet, making social media an easy way to reach out across the nation. To keep people coming to your page or following you, make sure that you keep your content fresh and fun.
It can take a while to get a decent traffic flow to your blog but once you do, you’re golden. Just like social media pages, your blog must be updated frequently and the content needs to be entertaining. Your blog should provide valuable content to your reader in the form of news, how-to articles and even educational pictures and videos. If you sell a product, post a video of it in use. If you offer services, create a blog post telling potential clients why your services will help them and how your services can make their lives better.
3. Business Listings
In today’s technology age, if your business doesn’t have a presence on the web, you will never get off of the ground. Utilize the free listings on sites like MerchantCircle, Angie’s List, SuperPages and other online directories. Consider offering some type of discount for users of your product or service that leave a review of your business on one of these sites. You don’t have to offer a lot, but you’ll be surprised at how many people will take the time to leave a review for ten percent off of their next bill.
There are dozens of sites on the web where you can create a website for free. Keep in mind that you may not be able to build the website of your dreams without spending a good chunk of cash, but you can always pay for a professionally designed website down the road. Before you create a website, research the kinds of websites that work and those that don’t.
5. Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is still one of the best free marketing tools available to the small business owner. If you offer a service, consider giving your current customers a $10 discount for every new customer that they send your way. Referral credits are a great way to get people to do your advertising for you and cost you next to nothing.
You don’t need thousands of dollars to market your small business effectively if you get creative. Follow the tips above and you’ll see the traffic to your business increase exponentially. You can focus your efforts on professional marketing once you’ve begun to turn a profit, but you may find that free marketing methods more than meet your needs.
Image courtesy: Plantoo47
About the Author: Kelsie Hewlett is a full-time writer for higher ed blogs and journals nationwide with a focus on business education opportunities. Several schools offer degrees in business, including Norwich University and University of New Haven.