One of the most important goals for a new business is to reach clients and promote your mission. You want to advertise, but you don’t want to spend all of your hard-earned profits in the meantime. Fortunately, there are several ways to accomplish this goal without breaking the bank. The following are a few ideas you can utilize to effectively promote your business at little or no cost.
1. Network - The most efficient and productive way to advertise is word of mouth or good old-fashioned networking. Attend free events such as happy hours or dinners, anywhere you can discuss what you are passionate about and spread the word of your new endeavor. Use the traditional method of cold-calling on the telephone to reach out and market your business. Technology is great but people still appreciate when you take the time to make a personal connection. It also gives you a stronger platform to explain your goals.
2. Utilize Social Media – Blogging is a great (free!) way to self-promote. Start your own blog and follow others in hopes they will return the favor. You can also periodically and methodically have guest bloggers support your site and write pieces once in a while. Establish a professional presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. and keep up with the current social trends.
3. Giveaways - Offer a referral system to current clients where they receive a discount or free services, if they refer new customers to you. Alternatively (or additionally) offer a loyalty program to encourage return business. You can also offer a first time discount through websites like Gilt, Groupon and Living Social.
4. Cross-promotion – Advertise and cross-promote with other local small businesses on your website, social media and promotional events. This can cut back on costs and reach a larger group of potential clients.
5. Self-promote - Always have your business cards handy. They are a simple takeaway to leave with potential prospects. Also, include your company website and links to your business’ social media at the bottom of your email signature which will reach everyone you communicate with daily.
Are you a rising new business less than a year old? Take advantage of the New Business Sponsor Program for guidance with topics like technology, marketing and customer service.