ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

40 Small Business Marketing Ideas That Cost Less Than $100

Updated on February 10, 2015

Dirt Cheap Small Business Marketing

Follow me on Twitter: @KyleSchee


This is a list of 40 ways to market your business for less than $100 dollars. Many of them are even free! Please share this list with your friends if you find it helpful.

1. Teach workshops or classes: Offer a free workshop or class related to your business. If you are a bakery teach baking. If you are a gardener teach kids in a local school how to plant a flower. There is always something you can offer that people will want to learn

2. Blog: Set up a blog on or Both sites are free and provide enough to get you started. Blog about your industry. Give tips or lessons related to your field. Make it conversational and fun and provide something that people want. Think of it more as building good PR than a forum for your advertising.
3. Buy paid searches on small search engines: Advertising on Google and Yahoo can be pricey. Find a smaller search engine with less traffic. Their prices will be much lower. While it will receive far fewer hits, it can still be effective for a local business.
4. Advertise on your vehicle: Buy magnetic signs or car decals with your business info and phone number on it. You’ll be surprised how often you get a call from the person behind you at the stoplight.
5. Leave your business cards lying around: Leave business cards on the table at the restaurant you eat at, or tape a few to the gas pump. Just be careful that they don’t turn into litter or annoy anyone.
6. Send promos with invoices: You have to pay to send the invoice anyway, why not include a coupon for the next time the customer buys your product or service?
7. Use Twitter: Tweet about your industry, or interesting things about your small business. Offer special deals and promotions for your twitter friends. Make sure your website, store (if you have one) advertisements, and any material you hand out, encourages people to look you up on twitter. Be friendly, helpful and informative, and try not to sound like you are just there to sell.
8. Facebook: Create a fan page on Facebook. Just like Twitter, tell people about it and offer special deals and useful information to fans. Add a “Like button” to your website and blog to make it easy for people to share your business on Facebook.

9. Foursquare : Make your business a check in point on Foursquare. Offer promotions to people who check in at your business. Advertise that you are Foursquare check in with a sign in the window. Every time someone checks in, Foursquare will tell all of their friends about your business.

10. Squidoo and Hubpages: Similar to a blog, you can pick a topic related to your industry and write a hub or lens about it. These often rank well on search engines and many readers will follow a link back to your website.
11. Social bookmarking: Bookmark your Web pages, blogs and videos on Stumble Upon, Digg, Reddit etc. It’s an easy way to get extra web traffic.
12. Linked In: Create a profile for yourself on Linked In. Make connections, join groups and conversation and network.
13. Yelp: Join to get your business listed and receive reviews from customers. Better make sure you have good customer service, because Yelpers are always honest.
14. Speak at events: Learn to be a good public speaker. Speak at special events, industry meetings, community events, organizations etc.
15. Craigslist: Post your product or service on Craig’s list.
16. Press releases: Learn to write quality press releases and send them in to the local media. I stress the part about writing a quality one. Poorly written press releases go in the trash.
17. Donate your company’s time to a cause: Pick a day once a month and take employees to volunteer somewhere or hold a fundraiser for an important cause etc.
18. Get listed on Google Maps: You can list your business on Yahoo local, the Yellow pages website and Google maps for free. This will make it easier for people to find your business.
19. Create YouTube videos: Create videos with helpful tips related to your industry or business. Put any TV advertisements you have on youtube so people can share them. Or create something funny or interesting related to your product or service. Look up “will it blend?” on YouTube for an example of a low budget idea that got millions of views.
20. Podcast: Create a podcast that provides something useful for your target audience. Keep it entertaining and informative.
21. E-newsletter: Collect e-mail addresses of customers and allow them to sign up for your newsletter. Provide something funny, useful or interesting and include specials and discounts.
22. Write articles for the web and local print: You know your industry pretty well, right? Or at least you should! Write articles related to your business and industry and send them to local publications or see if the local newspaper, or a website is looking to add a new column.
23. Cross promote with other small businesses: Ask nearby businesses if they would like to exchange fliers, coupons and business cards to display on you counters. Refer customers to other businesses you have built relationships with.
24. List some products on Ebay: Offer some of your products on Ebay and link back to your main website. People looking for your products may discover your business through the listing, and you can make some extra sales in the meantime.
25. Post on industry forums: Find small business forums, or forums related to your industry. Be active, and sincere. Ask and answer questions and build relationships. Make sure to include a link to your website in your forum signature.
26. Answer questions on Yahoo Answers: Provide honest, authoritative answers on topics related to your small business. When appropriate, include a link to your website or a blog post related to the topic. Be very careful though; If you are overly promotional you will get banned.
27. Set up a referral program: Offer discounts and promotions to customers who refer new customers and business.
28. Email Signature: Include a link to your website on all the e-mails you send.

29. Join clubs: Join the local SBA, Rotary club and any other related clubs in your area. Use them as an opportunity to learn and network. You may find other business owners who are in need of your service.

30. Cold Call: Open the phonebook and start calling other businesses who might be able to use your service.
31. Network with other bloggers: After you have established your blog, make friends with other bloggers. Offer to write guest articles, and allow them to do the same on your blog. Exchange links, etc. Promote your website on local and national directories such as Directory World.
32. E-mail marketing: Send e-mails to current customers, or purchase lists of targeted customers. Provide relevant offers and see who is interested.
33. Hand Stamps: You know those stamps they put on your hand when you go into an event to let people know you paid? Stamp everyone’s hand with logo, or information about your next event or offer.
34. Write an E-book: Writing a book shows that you are an authority on a subject. E-books are easy and cheap to self publish and can be easily handed out and shared around the web.
35. Win Awards: Look for organizations that offer awards to businesses like yours. Make sure you are nominated.
36. Build Word of Mouth: One of the best forms of marketing is word of mouth. Provide excellent customer service and a high quality product and people will talk about you. Go out of your way and customers will thank you by telling others.
37. T-shirts and hats: Put your business name and info on a hat or t-shirt. You can give them away as prizes or wear them yourself.
38. Bribe Customers: …I mean, reward good customers! If you have customers who always use your product or service, make sure they know they are appreciated. Offer special discounts and rewards to loyal customers and they will spread the word.
39. Hand out fliers: Print out fliers and pass them out. Put them on notice boards and on car windshields in the parking lots.
40. Create a giant list of useful tips for your target audience: Then cleverly add your information at the end of it.

How do you market your small business on the cheap? Do you have a marketing secret you'd like to share? Comment below!


Kyle works as a social media marketing advisor to several companies in the Los Angeles area. He specializes in small business and entertainment. You can follow him on Twitter for more discussion on social media, marketing, and just general stuff about his life. Yay! e-stalking!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • strategylab profile image

      Jeph Maystruck 

      3 years ago from Regina, SK

      Very cool! Lot of creative ideas here!!

    • profile image

      Chuck Colorado 

      3 years ago

      Great Hub, lots of good ideas

    • rumintasari profile image

      Ruminta Sari 

      5 years ago from Sleman

      Great opportunities list you share here, voted! Actually many of those can be applied without costing you money.

    • F Palladino profile image

      F Palladino 

      5 years ago

      Awesome list, the hand stamp was a bit much for me but such an original idea. Thumbs up.

    • MomsTreasureChest profile image


      5 years ago

      Great tips, thanks for the ideas and suggestions!

    • profile image

      trade show exhibits 

      7 years ago

      You can also go to trade shows and network with potential buyers of your product or service. A lot of times you can get in for free.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you for writing a very useful and informative Hubpage.

      Fabulous tips for anyone starting off in business for themselves as it can be quite a daunting experience.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)