Promoting a business is an ongoing challenge, whether you're just starting out or have been in business for years, here are a few marketing tips that will help you find new customers, without spending a fortune.
If you don't have a website, get one!
A custom-designed website can be expensive, so go for the option of getting a template website created for your business.
List your business with various free online directories
Be sure to include your website link, contact details, business description and photo of your products and/or services. Plus, links from other websites to yours will help improve your Google rankings.
Get your business cards into the hands of as many people as you can
Do all your friends, family and acquaintences know you have your own business and do they know exactly what you do? They won't know if you don't tell them!
Attend networking meetings of professional groups
Join a business networking group, such as BNI (Business Networking International) and keep your business cards in your pocket, where they are easy to get at. Don't forget to ask what other people do and really listen to them. They'll be flattered by your interest, and better remember you because of it.
Look for something unusual about your business and publicise it
Send out press releases to local newspapers, radio stations, TV stations and magazines whose audiences are likely to be interested in buying what you sell. Be sure to post your press releases with online press release services, along with links to your website. Send a photo to increase your chance of having your story printed.
Offer to be a speaker
Industry conferences, volunteer organisations, libraries, and local business groups often need speakers for meetings and events. You'll benefit from the name recognition, contacts and publicity.
Learn to ask for referrals
Ask existing customers, prospects and casual acquaintances for referrals. When you receive them, make sure you follow up on the leads.
Get your business name and contact information professionally signwritten on the side of your vehicle
This will help promote your business every time you go out in your car or truck. If you don't want signwriting on your vehicle, consider using magnetic signs.
Set up business pages up on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter
Include a good description of your business, keywords, photos and a link to your website. Look for groups or conversations that talk about your type of products or services and participate in the conversations, but don't spam them with constant promos for what you sell.
And if you're still not sure whether Social Media is here to stay or not, check out the clip below...