Smart Ways to Promote Your Business For Free
There's an old business maxim that goes "You have to spend money to make money." While it's true that you must invest in your business to see it grow, that doesn't mean you need to spend much to get big results, especially if you are spending smart. In today's networked world there are plenty of opportunities to promote your business and grow your pool of potential customers with minimal investments of time and money. There are three keys to successful free business promotions: a little computer savvy, a little friendliness, and a solid company identity.
3 keys to successful free business promotions
1. Computer know-how
You don't have to be a technical genius to promote your business online, you just need to understand a few key locations. The first is your own website. As the online face of your business, your website should be clean, functional, and frequently updated with new content.Your website should tell customers much more than your address and phone number. Even a small blog area where you post frequent relevant content will increase traffic to your site and build relationships with existing customers. If something new is happening in your field, you should mention it on your site as soon as possible.
Besides a webpage, your business should also have a social networking presence, which may be as simple as a Twitter account or a page on Facebook. Many companies are pouring resources into social networking sites to build their visibility, but a simple link from your site to allow customers to "like" you is a good start. Running a giveaway can be a great way to build visibility on a social network, but you do need to be careful. Many businesses have been unprepared for the tremendous response social networking can create for a giveaway or coupon! Some of the most successfully socially networked businesses manage not by giving products away, but by having one really friendly person at the social networking helm, building relationships with customers one message at a time.
2. Positive social contact
That reality dovetails neatly into the second component of free promotion, positive social contact. Making contact with the general public is important, but it's also vital to focus on your own industry and on people who need your help specifically. Take time to familiarize yourself with the professional organizations that may serve companies in your niche, as well as websites that focus on the things your business handles. Offering to speak at a professional conference is a great way to build connections and increase the prestige of your company for very little cost. Becoming a valued regular on an online forum devoted to your field is a slightly slower but equally valid way to do the same thing. Another simple social contact is asking your current customers to recommend you to friends if they like your work.
3. A solid business identity
The linchpin that will hold your promotional efforts together is a solid business identity. You probably already have a logo, so make sure you get it out there. Put it on your webpage and in your online signatures so that everyone who sees them knows who you are. Make the small investment to have stationery printed up so that all your correspondence carries your identity as well. Have ID badges and lanyards printed up with the company logo for employees to wear when dealing with the public. These little investments can add up quickly in terms of brand awareness and a cohesive identity for your business.
Promoting your business creatively does take an investment in time, but it really doesn't need to cost much money. By reaching out to your customers in ways they will appreciate, you can quickly and easily gain valuable goodwill that will translate into good word-of-mouth and increased business.
Dunya Carter is a marketing expert from Brisbane, Australia. She is currently working as a marketing consultant for Custom Lanyards. In her free time she enjoys writing on various topics for several blogs.
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