Don’t have a huge marketing budget to compete with the big dogs? Â Well you don’t necessarily need to. Â Here are 20 inexpensive ways brought to you by,Â Kim Garst. Â Some of these may apply to you and others may not, but anyone can apply these to work for their business.
Good Luck! -Carlos
The prospect of marketing your business can be overwhelming,Â especially when you are a small business with an even smaller budget.Â The good news is that marketing doesnâ€™t have to cost thousands or even hundreds of dollars.
Here areÂ 20 ways you can market your small business on a shoestring budget –Â or even on no budget at all.
1. PostÂ amazing content on your blog
Your blog will be the foundation of all your other marketing efforts. It is where you direct visitors, nurture relationships and capture leads. Be sure to regularly post content that meets the needs and interests of your audience.
2. Create a Google My BusinessÂ account.
If you want your business to show up in local search, aÂ Google My BusinessÂ account is a necessity. This will make sure your business is not only visible on search, but on Google Maps and Google+ as well.
3. GetÂ free PR with HARO.
How does free PR in national magazines and websites sound? Create a free account withÂ HARO.Â (Help a Reporter Out) and respond to relevant media queries.
4. Build a free (or cheap) email list.
Every business owner should have an email list! But when you are just starting out, you likely donâ€™t want to commit to the monthly fee that many email management services charge. Fortunately, most offer a free option for businesses with smaller lists. For instance,Â MailChimpÂ offers its service for free for businesses with fewer than 2,000 subscribers. And when you are ready to take things to the next level,Â aWeberÂ starts at just $19/month.
5. Contribute an article to an industry magazine.
Advertising in trade magazines can run you thousands of dollars. But contributing an article? Absolutely free. Many magazines accept guest contributions, and let you promote your business in your bio.
6. Attend local networking events.
Check out local business events onÂ Meetup.com, or see what events your local chamber or small business association is hosting.
7. Co-sponsor a contest.
Contact a complementary business in your niche and suggest hosting a contest together. This can be a great way to cross-promote your businesses.
8. Create an affiliate program.
If you offer a digital product (like an ebook), set up an affiliate program with a service likeÂ E-junkie. At just five dollars perÂ month, you canâ€™t go wrong!
9. Guest post on popular niche sites.
Guest posting can be a great way to reach a whole new audience. Donâ€™t forget to include a link back to your site in your bio!
10. Comment on blog posts.
Leaving thoughtful comments on blogs you follow can be a great way to get noticed by both the blog owners and their visitors.
11. Host webinars on your site.
Hosting webinars can be costly;Â however, there are some companies that offer free or low-cost options for small business owners. Some cheap options areÂ Webinars OnAirÂ (starting at $19.97/month) orÂ MeetCheapÂ (starting at $9.97/month). If you are looking for an even cheaper option, GoogleÂ Hangouts On AirÂ is 100 percent free.
12. Become a valued member of other peopleâ€™s communities (OPCs).
Join Facebook and LinkedIn groups in your industry and offer valuable advice and information. As members see the value you are providing, they will want to find out more about you and what you offer.
13. Create a free Yelp listing.
If you are a local business, considerÂ adding your business to Yelp. Itâ€™s free, and can be a great way to increase your visibility in the search engines.
14.Â Create a Facebook group.
Create a topical Facebook group that your prospects would be eager to join. Center it around a topic or theme,Â notÂ around your business. For instance, a marketer could create a group called â€œMarketing Tips For Small Business Owners.â€
15. Offer a free info-product on your site.
Create an ebook or other digital product to give away on your site. This is a great way to get visitors on to your list and into your funnel!
16. Take advantage of Facebook’s and Googleâ€™s free ad credits.
Facebook and Google are always giving away free ad credit vouchers. When you are signing up for services like web hosting or AdWords, take advantage of the free vouchers they offer and take PPC advertising for a test drive.
17. Create your own infographics.
Itâ€™s easy and relatively cheap when you use a service likeÂ infogr.am. Infographics are great for getting back-links to your site!
18. Create eye-catching business cards.
Making your business cards stand out from the pack can get you noticed at live business events.Â MOOÂ offers unique designs. like square and mini cards, starting at just $19.99.
19. Host a local class.
Offering a free on-site class can be a great way to attract locals to your place of business.
20. Offer amazing free info on social media.
As a social media marketer, I canâ€™t leave this one out! Share valuable information with your social media fans and followers, and become a trusted expert in your industry. Wondering what you should share? Here areÂ 50 ideas to help you connect with your social media followers.
I hope you find these 20 ways to market your small business on a shoestring budget useful.Â What would you add to this list? How do you market your business on a budget?
Kim GarstÂ is a social selling pro, best-selling author and theÂ co-founder and CEO of Boom! Social, a social selling training andÂ consulting firm.Â