How to Advertise Your Small Business Free of Cost or for Very Little Money
Cut Advertising Costs
Advertising your home based business does not have to be expensive. There are many ways to promote your company without going to advertising agencies, newspapers, and magazines.
To a new business owner, it may seem daunting to promote yourself or sing your own praises. Some people have a natural gift for marketing themselves, but most people have to work at developing a style that promotes their company, product, or service in a positive way, yet feels comfortable.
A crucial, yet often overlooked element in advertising is to prepare to meet the demand that your advertising generates. If you feel you are ready for more sales or new clients, here are some tips to begin promoting your company for very little cost.
Design a Professional Letterhead
Use Your Letterhead Often
This seems simple enough. Many people who are just starting out with their small business do a great job of designing their letterhead, but then do not make good use of this low cost advertising. After creating your letterhead, use it to make sincere inquires about products and services. Write thank you letters on it. You do not need to print your letters on expensive paper. What matters is that you do some letter writing and that your letterhead communicates a professional message that is easy to read. Avoid using fonts that are difficult to read. Many creative fonts look beautiful, but have so many swirls and serifs that it is hard to tell if you are looking at a picture or reading words. Think clean, simple, and effective.
Clean, Simple, Effective
Create a Clean and Effective Business Card and Don’t Forget to Use It!
Again, this is a very simple but effective tool. Avoid handing out a card to everyone you meet, but do have them ready when the opportunity presents itself. By showing a genuine interest in others, you will initiate conversations that will flow naturally. You will know when the time is right.
Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce
In most areas, it is relatively inexpensive to join. Many people join but do not get involved. By attending meetings and offering to help with organization projects and committees, you will be creating a network of friends in your business community, which over time, will bring clients and customers to your small business.
Coupons are a great tool if they are used selectively.
Put Yourself "Out There"
Join Professional Associations and Organizations
This opportunity is often overlooked. Take some time to search the internet for professional associations related to your small business. Many of these organizations allow you to join free of charge, or for a relatively small annual membership fee. After you join, participate in the community discussion online, or in person, if applicable. Again, if possible, volunteer to help with things.
Offer Coupons for Free or Discounted Services
This is a great tool, but it is important to be selective when choosing the recipients of these coupons, especially if you are offering a one-time free service. Take some time to think about what you will offer. Try to offer something that is quick and easy for you to accomplish, yet is of real value to the customer or client. When offering a free service, for example, try to come up with something that a customer or client will want to use again. This way, they get to try it out free of charge. They will see that you offer a quality product or service, and will find the service to be valuable enough to pay for it next time. This works well when grouped with another item of value, such as the buy-one-get-one-free coupon.
Get Out and Meet People
This is a great tool if you use it right. The goal is to get to know people because you are truly interested in them. If your only goal is to meet people so they will buy something from you, chances are you will come across sort of stiff or uninterested in them. It is a challenge, especially when you desperately need to increase sales, or make more money, but if you can take all thought of your small business growth efforts out of the equation and just focus on getting to know people, you will find that the opportunity will present itself eventually. Then the time will be right to tell them about your product, service, and company.
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