When you start up a new business, you have dreams of being successful and making huge profits. Many new owners struggle with how to promote their new business without breaking their budget. Following are some tips to market your business that are free of charge.
Newspaper Feature Articles
Does your area have a small local paper – or even a free circular – that regularly runs feature articles on new businesses? Call them and ask them to consider your new venture for a feature story. You will have more success if you can put an interesting spin on the story. Perhaps you are located in a building with a long history within the community, or you offer products or services that are unique. Photographs will make your story more prominent as well. Some papers will even allow you to write your own article and submit it for editing and publishing. The best way to start is to contact the local editor and ask what their guidelines are.
Community Events Calendars
Most TV, radio and newspaper websites have free online community calendar sections where they allow you to post upcoming events. You just need to create a user account, and then you can create listings for special events. It is import to read the user agreement, as the provider will not typically allow you to “advertise” for free. If you’re having a grand opening or a big sale, you could consider this an open house, and offer prizes, food, balloons or entertainment to those who visit. This brings your event into the realm of a community function, and you will be able to promote it for free.
Social Networking Sites
Don’t underestimate the power of Facebook or Twitter. Create a fan page on Facebook, and send invites to your friends to join. Then when you post information about your business, the posts will appear on your friends’ pages, and their friends may come across it as well. There are additional paid services available if you so choose, but for a start up local business, social networking sites are a great way to get information out to potential customers.
Register With the Search Engines
It’s relatively simple to do. You simply go to a site such as www.google.com
, create a user account, and list your business under one of the many categories available. With some properly used keywords (basically just words that people would use if they search for something related to your business), you can get noticed online when your potential customers are looking for what you have to offer. If you have a website of your own, you may also be able to submit the link so that browsing customers can come directly to your site for more information.
Register With Related Websites
If you do wedding catering, for example, do an internet search on weddings. You will come across a number of websites that are specifically targeted at giving future brides information on various local businesses. Many of these sites will allow you to publish a listing for free, as the more contacts they have, the more traffic they will generate to their sites. Some will ask you to post a link on your website that will send your customers to them. This is a great way to cooperatively advertise your business. Many sites also offer preferred listings for additional fees, which will make your ad more prominent.
With a little time and effort (if you’re not computer savvy, ask one of the kids to help out!) you can effectively promote your small business without spending a fortune. As your business grows, you may decide to upgrade to more expensive paid services, but if you don’t have the budget, take advantage of the free marketing opportunities available to you.