Running a small business can be a delicate balance of spending and savings, so when low-cost ways of marketing present themselves, they’re always worth exploring.
Although there are lots of great ways to advertise your business for little to no money, including creating really stellar web content, these four low-cost marketing ideas are lesser-used methods that may gain you extra low-cost attention:
Host an event or class related to your business. Not all businesses will be able to find the space or an angle to make an event or class work well, but many will. Contractors, lawyers, medical professionals, property managers and even retail shop owners have something they can contribute to the community. Make sure your event or class is educational, and that you’re giving away information that your regular customer base would find useful. Providing cards and flyers at your event will give your visitors more chances to become permanent customers or clients.
Donate to local charity events. Charities are always on the lookout for valuable prizes they can auction or raffle off for donations, so if you have an item or a service that you think the public would be willing to bid on, offer it up. Even if someone doesn’t end up paying full price for what you donated, remember, it was a donation. An opportunity like this gives you both a chance to help a local charity and to introduce new people to your brand.
Find your tribe online. The Internet is a huge place, but you can often maximize your marketing dollars by finding your people and letting them know about your product. For example, if you sell camping gear, get involved in camping communities online and let it be known that you also run a camping store.
Your expertise on the matter will be appreciated and your reputation, and customer base, will grow provided you don’t turn this opportunity into an infomercial. Don’t worry if you don’t find the right fit right away, sometimes fitting in an established Internet group is a lot like fitting into a group in real life — it takes time and patience to establish rapport and learn the rules.
Guest blog selectively. Guest blogging can be a great way to bolster your online reputation, but only if you’re guest blogging in the right places. Before you approach a company or a blog owner about being a guest blogger, check them out and really understand their reputation. Are they industry leaders? Is it a publication that industry professionals respect? If not, keep looking for opportunities elsewhere. There are plenty of guys who will let anybody blog for them for free, these aren’t the kinds of blogs that will help you build your business.
Although it can take skill and know-how to get a small business off the ground with limited funds, it’s a very possible task. Just make sure you’re giving your potential customers something they want in exchange for their trust and before you know it, your phones will be ringing off the hook. Now might be a good time to hire an answering service to make sure you don’t miss any of those valuable, low-cost leads!