“You have to spend money to make money,” or so the saying goes. But when you’re going into business for yourself, money is often the one thing you either don’t have, or you can’t afford to spend freely. This can put you in a tight spot when it comes to making essential business decisions. Effective marketing is something you need to get your business off the ground, but it is likely to eat up most of your budget.

Fortunately, in this day and age, there is a range of ways to effectively promote your business which can cost you next to nothing.

Leverage social media

Reaching out to colleagues, professional contacts, and potential partners has never been easier with social media. The best part is, social media can be absolutely free if you don’t want to invest in deluxe profiles just yet.

However, you can’t just make a company profile and hope for the best. You need an effective social media marketing strategy to grab people’s attention and hold it for more than a few minutes. You must innovate constantly, and provide content that makes people react in a positive way.

Design an awesome company website

If your company doesn’t have a blog yet, it should. Next to social media, a company website is the most effective way to tell people what your business is offering, and why they should come to you for that service. Once you’ve made business contacts, it is also the best way to keep them updated on your offers or latest business ventures. There are a number of web builders online where you can choose the

There are a number of web builders online where you can choose the best web design for your company. It can be free, but you might want to invest in your own URL to make it look more professional. Once you’re happy with your website, submit the URL to popular search engines, which will help you generate more website traffic.

Google and Bing, the most used search engines, offer the option of submitting your link onto their platform to speed up the indexing process and improve your SEO ranking. Make sure you update your website regularly to give your customers relevant information.

Attend networking events

Making contacts on social media can be very helpful, but nothing beats good old-fashioned face-to-face contact. Meeting with a social media in person can give them a better sense of who you are as a business owner, and it gives you the opportunity to present more of your business plans in greater detail than social media would allow. Keep an eye out for any networking events in your area and be sure to attend as many as possible. Don’t forget to bring business cards.

Have an effective online marketing campaign

Building on your social media campaign and networking, you should make an effort to collect email addresses from your new contacts in order to start an email list. Send out newsletters with exclusive updates for your contacts and let them know about your latest successes.

Founding Editor @Alltopstartups, Contributor @Entrepreneur, Columnist @Inc. Magazine and Curator at Postanly (his free weekly digest of the best life and career improvement posts on the web. Subscribe for free.

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