You know you need to market your business, but how do you get the most from your hard-earned dollars? Try these five free or inexpensive tactics to help attract customers.
One great way to get your name, product or service in front of a lot of people is to volunteer. "It's good for the community and it's good for business," says Carrie Kingsbury, owner of Promiseland Art, a Pennsylvania-based mural company. She just painted the stage set for a middle school play as a way to participate in the community, as well as get her business name out there.
"Find a way to help out in your community," she says. "That way, people get to know who you are and that you're part of the community. Any materials you use are tax deductible too."
Join your local chamber of commerce and attend its business card exchanges and other events. The chamber or another local business group may offer deals in advertising because the group places collective ads as a way to stretch individual business ad dollars.
By networking within your community and building relationships, your business will gain greater exposure than if you tried to go it alone.
If you want to generate media buzz centering on your business, consider holding a promotional event to highlight a new product or service. If your business isn’t introducing a new product, try holding a promotional event around a “holiday.” For example, Rita's Italian Ice celebrates the first day of spring each year by giving away a free sample water ice. Submit your promotion to the local news media.
Many news outlets have free calendar listings and briefs for business announcements. You could also try talking to the assigning editor about a possible story about your business.
Be an Expert
Share your expertise with your clients through videos and webinars offered on your company's website. Shooting a video doesn’t have to be expensive; using today’s technology, almost anyone can do it for free. That said, watch out for quality. You're using this video as a tool to show off your expertise and experience in the industry to gain customers, and you want it to reflect your best self.
Target Your Dollars
It goes without saying that you want to get the most from every marketing dollar spent. However, to make those dollars count, you want to make sure you’re targeting the right audience. Concentrate your efforts on a geographical location that works best for you, and determine who your customers are—these are your key market segments.
Looking for more marketing tips and advice? Check out these marketing articles.