One of the greatest expenses of running a business can be promoting yourself. Running ads in newspapers or trade publications can be very costly and ad campaigns on the television or radio are even worse. Yet, promotion is one of the most important tasks a business owner does because people can’t become your customers if they don’t know about you.
Promotion should always be high on a business owner’s list of things to do, but that doesn’t mean it should be a big part of the budget as well. Here are a few ways to promote your business without breaking the bank. Pick a few to try out for your business this month but be sure to ask customers how they heard about you so you know what works and what doesn’t!
1. Referrals. I can’t say enough about referrals. Getting customers to recommend you is probably the best way to get your name out there. A recent article of ours on referrals can help you get started.
2. Google. Google is everywhere; it’s even become a verb. Getting your business on Google should be a primary goal in your quest for free promotion. Google Local, for example, is the map function that lists your business on the Google map when you look up directions. Getting on the map is easily accomplished by getting a Google Local account and entering your information. After verifying your information, the people from Google will help you get your business on the map! Google also has a free option for listing coupons for your business on a variety of search sites. This will help to further encourage and introduce customers to your store.
3. Get Involved in Your Community. Getting involved in your community is an effective way to get your name out and to promote yourself and your business. It allows you to come in to contact with consumers that you may not have reached out to yet, and it also endears you to the community. The focus of many consumers today is local: local grown and local companies. Volunteering in your community can speak to these consumers and build up your business’s reputation. Community work and volunteering are also very effective tools for networking and making connections.
4. Press Releases. If you are doing something new or exciting, think about creating a press release. There are many sites that will post press releases for you for free, allowing you to get the word out about your business quickly and easily. When writing your press release, check for tips that will make your press release audience friendly and come up with a catchy headline that will draw readers in.
5. Make Partnerships and Affiliations. Another way to get your business name out is to make partnerships and affiliations with other companies that either do similar things to you or have complementary services or products. Other companies will make agreements to feature your business on their website or even offer promotions for your services in exchange for the same from you. This can be a very easy process, especially if you focus on partnerships with other local businesses. Being featured on other websites will lend credibility to your business and branch you out into other consumers that may not have originally been part of your target audience.
Promoting your business is a never-ending task for even the most prominent of businesses. Even McDonalds still has commercials on TV. Smaller businesses however don’t always have the funds to support national marketing campaigns and instead need to work on promotion for very little cost within their own communities. These tips will help you promote your business effectively and at a no cost. With promotion you will be able to bring in new consumers that you may not have had access to before. Happy promoting!