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How to Advertise Your Local Business Online For Free

Updated on September 26, 2014

Ayrshire Cleaners

Our Company Logo
Our Company Logo | Source

New Start New Business

Around two months ago my wife and I started up a small domestic cleaning business and it has taken off in a big way thanks to free advertising on the Internet.

I would love to say that since day one customers were lining up at our door for our services but of course that type of thing only happens on T.V or in your dreams.

The simple truth is that we may have started up as a cleaning business but nobody actually knew that we existed.

Yes we did purchase everything that we needed to start our business, cleaning equipment, insurance and transport but we didn't have any money left in the kitty to advertise.

We began our free advertising campaign online and two months later we have had to take on an employee to help us keep up with the demand.

Free Advertising Online In Your Local Area

Of course if like us you run a small local service industry company a world wide advertising campaign is a complete waste of your time and money because there is no way you are going to be able to travel half way around the world just to spend an hour cleaning someones toilet.

Keeping your advertising online local is really the only way to go and it does't have to cost you a single penny.

Online advertising is actually quite easy and you get an instant response when your ad goes live and there are a lot of websites out there which cater to local areas and where you are allowed to advertise totally free.

At the moment we have stuck to only four of these sites which are listed below.

  • Facebook
  • Craig's lists
  • Twitter
  • Gumtree

We have had varied success with these websites but all of them provide us with responses from future or potential customers.

The Pie Chart below shows the success rate of our advertising campaigns using these websites.

Free Advertising Success

This chart shows the percentage of paying clients we have received from our free advertising campaigns.
This chart shows the percentage of paying clients we have received from our free advertising campaigns. | Source

Free Online Advertising

Percentage of Success
Craig's Lists
Although there is zero percent of customers on twitter so far we are still experimenting with different # to see if we can find customers.

Free Advertising Online

Wix is a Facebook application that allows you to build a free website.
Wix is a Facebook application that allows you to build a free website. | Source

Free Local Advertising On Facebook

There are four free ways in which you can advertise your local business on facebook.

  1. Word of mouth (Friends list)
  2. Build a like page
  3. Join local Groups
  4. Build a Wix Webpage

1 Word of mouth this is the simplest and quickest way to let people know about your business.

All you have to do is write your advertisement on your Facebook news feed and ask all of your friends to spread the word by sharing your status.

2. Make a Facebook like page.

Again this is easy and quick, all you have to do is go to your facebook homepage and click on the word pages and then click create page. When you create a page it is similar to creating your profile page except that this time you are creating a page for your business.

3.Join local groups on Facebook.

There are millions of group pages on Facebook, and if you type in your local area into the search box you will find that there are a lot of local groups which allow you to advertise items for sale and services available around and about where you live.

On our very first attempt advertising on a Facebook group we secured a one year cleaning contract with a national charity based in our local area.

As you can see from the picture below Ayrshire cleaners happens to top that list in my area which was just down to plain luck.

4.Build a free Wix Website for your business.

Wix is a free Facebook app where you can build a free website for your business it is straightforward and easy to do with step by step instructions to help you along,

Just type Wix into facebook search and follow the instructions.

Local Groups On Facebook

Most areas have their own Facebook groups that allow you to advertise for free.
Most areas have their own Facebook groups that allow you to advertise for free. | Source

Free Advertising On Twitter

Advertising your small business on twitter is a bit of a hit or a miss although we have had no real success from advertising there we have had some feedback from potential customers.

It seems to be a matter of finding the correct hash tags to use in your posts and we will keep experimenting.

Free Local Advertising On Craig's Lists And Gumtree

Advertising on Craig's lists and on Gumtree is also free and as they both cater to the area where you live they are ideal to send those valued customers to your door.

In both cases all that you have to do is write out what you want to say about your company in the text box add a picture if required and after selecting the categories that are suitable to your business requirements post your free ad onto the site.

For example: Category - cleaning - services

**Ayrshire Cleaning Services**
We Clean You Shine
Business and domestic cleaning
No need for a Quote
We charge a set hourly rate
Special rates for pensioners

It may take a little longer to get an answer than on Facebook but there are a lot of potential customers out there just looking for your business.

Take a little time on the Internet searching your local area, there are a lot of online directories where you can add your business free of charge.

What would you try?

Which website would you advertise on?

See results

The Free Way To Business Success

Ayrshire cleaners is only two months old and already we have had to employ someone on a part time basis to help us out thanks to a completely free online advertising campaign.

We have only tried four websites so far for our advertising campaign and in the short time that we have been going we have won a one year business contract, seven ongoing domestic clients and we have had a plethora of one time cleaning jobs.

At the time of writing this article I received a text message from a new domestic client who stumbled across our Wix webpage and decided she wanted our services.

Free Facebook Advertising

Just one of the advertisements we placed in a Facebook group.
Just one of the advertisements we placed in a Facebook group. | Source

Why Did You Start Your Own Business?

Although we have only been Ayrshire Cleaners for two months we have been asked a few times why we started the business in the first place.

My wife Alison has worked for a few cleaning companies over the years and was tired of the limited hours on offer and the minimum wage that most of them pay.

As a family we have always had bad luck with Vacuum cleaners.

I found a lump on the left side of my neck just over 2 months ago and I am still undergoing tests to determine if I have non Hodgkin's lymphoma (Cancer of the lymph nodes) or something else.

Because of the vacuum cleaner problem we decided to buy an industrial vacuum cleaner and because of the lump in my neck and not knowing what it was, "Prepare for the worst and hope for the best,", also because Alison has got oodles of experience in cleaning we discussed the situation at length and decided to start our own cleaning business.

I wanted to be sure that my wife and children would be secure financially if the worst came to the worst, touch hairy wood, and Ayrshire cleaners was born.

The future may be uncertain at the moment but the future of Ayrshire Cleaners is looking good.

We have always wanted to go into business together but kept putting it off "For now,"

If you are considering starting up on your own go for it and do it now because tomorrow might just be too late.


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    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      4 years ago from Philippines

      Excellent tips. Thanks a million for this great information:)

    • Jerzimom profile image

      Cheryl Fay Mikesell 

      4 years ago from Mondovi, WI

      I've never heard of Gumtree before. Interesting. Its nice to have so free avenues online to advertise at. Good luck with your business.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      You could also try vivastreet Jimmy.

    • DonnaCaprio profile image

      Donna Caprio Quinlan 

      4 years ago from Newburyport, MA

      Good luck to you and your wife with your new business. Sounds like you are off to a great start. Thanks for the online advertising tips. I have had luck with Craigslist, but haven't explored advertising on Facebook yet. I wish you good health!

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 

      4 years ago

      Thank you Jimmy for sharing this info. I glad you have had success in your business venture. Well done!

    • JoanCA profile image


      4 years ago

      I used to advertise on Craigslist when I did freelancing and I got a lot of work. I didn't have a Facebook account back then but I'm sure it would have been effective.

    • macteacher profile image

      Wendy Golden 

      4 years ago from New York

      An excellent hub. I'm trying to figure out how to promote an online writing business, and this offers some excellent options. Thank you, and I hope the thing on your neck turns out to be nothing serious.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      4 years ago from Chicago Area

      Congrats on starting the new business! I think for businesses such as yours, Facebook can be a successful marketing tool. For a B2B business like mine, I've found Twitter to be outstanding. So I say use whatever works... especially the free options! All the best to you and Alison as you start this new adventure!

    • easylearningweb profile image

      Amelia Griggs 

      4 years ago

      Good tips, Jimmy. Good luck to you with your new business!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      Good info, Jimmy. I've listed my freelance business with my city's local online business listing, Yelp, Superpages, and Angie's List, all of which are free. Those might be good avenues for your cleaning business, as well.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      4 years ago from Dubai

      Great ways to promote business online for free. Thanks for sharing.

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 

      4 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Super ideas thanks for the info.

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image


      4 years ago from Florida


      Good luck in your business, and thanks for sharing your information with us. I can share this with my nephews if they are ever out of work.

      Thanks, I am sharing with my friends and followers.

      Bobbi Purvis

    • Trisha Roberts profile image

      Trisha Roberts 

      4 years ago from Rensselaer, New York

      Great hub! Very informative!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 

      4 years ago from Manhattan

      The word might is mis-typed on the last sentence. Go ahead and delete this comment.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      4 years ago from West By God

      Great places to advertise on. I never heard of Gumtree.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      4 years ago from California

      Really useful!


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