There are just so many basic ways that you can market your small business for either free or really inexpensively; you just have to take the time and effort to do. These can be implemented as you are starting your business or during business lulls in the ebb and flow of the economy. Even if you’re busier than you may want to be, marketing shouldn’t be neglected. Here are a few additional ideas for marketing your small business on the cheap.
1. Highlight leaders or counterparts in your niche. Set up interviews–either as a written questionnaire or even a podcast, if you’re able to take advantage of multimedia outlets. Ask about their successes and lessons learned. Ask about their business model or creative process. These interviews can be a great way to cross-promote each other on your respective websites and social media platforms. Gaining the respect and validation of others who are more experienced or well-known is a great form of PR for the little guy or entrepreneur. (You could also seek out others to guest blog for you).
2. Take advantage of webinars that address issues you are be facing in your small business. Many reputable and successful companies offer webinars on topics like social media for business, elements of effective websites, business management, financial management, and more. Small business owners and employees are often “jack of all trades” individuals and required to handle multiple aspects of business.
3. Create an email newsletter. Provide something of value for people to sign up for your list. You can share exclusive content plus use the newsletter to inform your opt-in list of special offers or sales that you’re running or new blog posts on your website.
4. List your business in relevant online directories and create local awareness. Directories such as Yelp help with search engine optimization as well as allow potential customers or clients discover you. Some may not be free to list (such as chamber of commerce listings) but depending on the cost, it may be worth it. Gain coverage in local papers, magazine, and websites that feature regional small businesses. Take advantage of the fact that shopping “small” is gaining wild popularity nationwide.
5. Finally, never underestimate the good things that can come from simply taking some sort of action. You may be in the very beginning of your business, excited but entirely unsure of what to do. Or you may just be in a slow period, barely eking out enough work. Remember that building a business takes time, effort, and persistence. Things worthwhile won’t occur overnight, so do what you can, learn what you can, and do what you can as an entrepreneur to market your small business. Momentum will come.