6 Free Ways to Market Your Small Business on a Tight Budget

6 Free Ways to Market Your Small Business on a Tight Budget

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If you’re looking to market your small business online, like most small business owners you’re probably concerned by costs. The saying, ‘you have to spend money to make money’ is probably true, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be done on a small budget. Here are six ways to market your small business online and on a tight budget.

1. Grow your customer base by introducing a reward system (cost = free)

Customer recommendations are a powerful tool which has the potential to grow your customer base. A rewards system which encourages recommendations is a type of loyalty program where customers are rewarded for referring others. By actively communicating its benefits and rewarding further referrals, small businesses are able to grow existing customer base.

2. Write a Local Press Release (cost = free)

There are a number of press release services which were founded to help small and medium businesses in their online activities. Some, such as PR Log will even offer helpful advice on how the press release should look like. Once it’s finished and in addition to the service which you’ve used, contact your local media, industry bloggers and suppliers to get the press release distributed as much as possible.

3. Communicate to your customer base (cost = free)

There are a number of channels to stay in touch with your customer base, from Twitter to Facebook. My favorite channel is still newsletters and thankfully there are a number of email marketing services such as Mail Chimp which offers a complete newsletter solution from designing to sending and of course tracking the newsletter. (Mail Chimp offers a free basic account but I know Denise uses (Aweber.)

4. Find a Partner For Joint Promotions (cost = free)

The idea behind joint promotion isn’t new, but in today’s business climate it might just become more main stream. Joint promotion will give you the possibility to communicate your marketing messages to the customer base of a closely related site, and allow this site to do the same with your customer base. For example, you could look to exchange banners, exchange product promotions and even launch a competition together.

5. Build a social profile (cost = free)

Social media traffic in laymen terms is the process of generating web traffic to your business from social networking sites. To get your small business out there and to start building traffic, consider contributing your time and knowledge. Participate in the conversation across Q&A sites such as Yahoo Answers, and groups such as Google Groups and industry related forums.

6. Use Google Local (cost = free)

Google has been offering local businesses a chance to register their business address and phone number in its local listings for some time. When a user searches for a keyword together with a location, for example ‘DC plumber’, the search results will include listings from Google Local. It takes only a couple of minutes to register.

This guest post is by Michelle Strassburg Co-Founder at Wood and Beyond, sellers of wood flooring and oak worktops. Michelle has over 10 years experience managing online marketing and is an active guest blogger.

If you’d like to learn more about strategies for improving cash flow in your business, pick up a copy of my book Small Business Cash Flow: Strategies for Making Your Business a Financial Success

About the Author Denise O'Berry

Hello! I'm Denise, Your Strategic Partner -- Let me guess. You bought into the hustle, hustle, hustle vibe and now you're on the brink of burnout. You keep setting your alarm for earlier in the day, but don't gain anything from it -- except bleary eyes and frustration about how little you've accomplished at the end of the day. I get it. I've walked in those shoes and they aren't a good fit for anyone. Let me help get you where you want to go without all the stress and frustration.Click here to learn more.

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