So how many of my readers are actually small business owners? If you are are self-employed I guess you are one. Even bloggers who quit their day job, the blog is a small business. This post will cater to them, the small business owners. Spending money on advertising, marketing and spreading the word out takes a lot of time, energy and money. So what about getting some tips on none-to-zero-cost marketing? Which is as effective as spending thousands of dollars! read on.
When it comes to marketing, the small business owner has a tough job. Not only are resources tight when it comes to paying for airtime with radio and television, but oftentimes, the marketing department is small or non-existent, which forces employees and owners to comes up with ideas and ad campaigns, regardless of whether or not that type of expertise is in their wheelhouse.
Thankfully, with a little creativity and effort, you can effectively market your small business for next to no money by making use of these seven ideas.
How to market your business at low cost
1. Donate Products or Services to Charitable Events
It isn’t hard to find a worthy cause in most communities, so the chances are good that there are plenty of organizations and people right in your neighborhood who would benefit greatly if you chose to donate your products or services.
Whether they’re running an online auction or need prizes for a fun run, donating the goods associated with your business will pay you back in big dividends. Besides being a tax write-off, the people working the charitable event and those participating in it will learn of your company and associate it with generosity — two bonuses that will greatly aid your marketing efforts.
2. Car Stickers
Whether you have a company car that can accommodate a permanent decal or you choose a magnetic sign that can be removed when you aren’t working, car stickers are a great way to promote your business. Everywhere you or your employees drive, people will see your company name, logo, and contact information. Which increases brand awareness.
Psychologically brand awareness plays a major role in our buying decisions. We are less skeptical about a product when it’s from a brand name we are aware of.
Just be sure that everyone who gets behind the wheel is a conscientious driver. Cutting people off, running red lights, and otherwise engaging in less-than-stellar driving behavior will cause people to assume negative traits about your business.
(Read Also – 6 Ways to earn money from your car)
3. Offer Free Classes or Seminars
Regardless of what you sell, you have knowledge that would be welcomed by potential customers in a free class or seminar.
Do you run a bakery?
Offer classes on bread-making techniques.
Do you run an accounting firm?
Give a free seminar around tax time to highlight common deductions that people miss.
While it may seem like giving your expertise away can’t possibly come back to you as dollars, the truth is that people will start to associate you and your company with quality, knowledge, and expertise, which means the next time they’re too busy to bake a birthday cake or finish their taxes on time, they’ll give you a call.
4. Send Hand-Written Thank You Notes
It seems somewhat old-fashioned, but sending hand-written thank you notes to customers who have utilized your products or services is a great way to keep your company in the forefront of your customers’ minds.
It’s also a great way to include a time-sensitive coupon that will bring them back to your storefront for another business transaction. It also lets them know you value them and their business, and in an age of massive corporations who think of customers in terms of broad swaths of numbers, statistics, and demographics, that sort of special treatment stands out.
Your best customers are always the ones you already have, and going the extra mile to keep them is well worth your best efforts.
5. Utilize Email Marketing
To many small business owners, email seems archaic and stodgy — especially as new social media startups emerge on what seems like a daily basis. However, email marketing is still the most effective form of online marketing you can do, and it’s still 100 percent free.
If you aren’t collecting customers’ email addresses, it’s time to start. From there, craft thoughtful, well-designed, well-written email newsletters that keep your customers up-to-date on your current offerings. Send these out twice a month, and you’ll be amazed at how routinely your faithful customers stop by or make use of your services.
Join forces with another business in your area that offers a complementary product and market a joint offering that gets both your businesses in front of the others’ customer base. Or, if your business is conducted online, find a business that might attract a similar demographic to yours, and swap ads on one another’s sites.
In any way you can, find ways to collaborate with like-minded people and businesses in ways that will be mutually beneficial to you both.
7. Use Your Blog
Blogging is essential for your business promotion. If you aren’t already blogging a few times a week, it’s time to get cracking. Providing useful, meaningful, and well-written content is one of the easiest and most consistent ways to increase traffic to your website and keep your customer base engaged.
From letting customers know about new products to offering how-to tips related to your industry, provide the people who keep you in business with compelling content that will enhance their lives.
Marketing your small business is a job from which you’ll never rest. Thankfully, these seven tips are inexpensive and simple enough to employ for just about every business owner.