Any business needs to be promoted if you are to gain new customers. Marketing a small business when the budget is also small can be a special challenge. You can gain new customers when you market your small business in the following manner:
Use word of mouth advertising. It is the oldest method of advertising and the cheapest. Let others know about your small business and how to reach you. Talk about your business everywhere you go and with everyone you meet. Create a buzz about your business that will get people talking about your small business. Online and offline small businesses can use this marketing method successfully. Ask satisfied customers to recommend your business to their friends and family. Cost of using word of mouth advertising $0.00 dollars of your advertising budget.
Send a press release when you have news to share about your business such as a new product or service. A well-written press release can really increase sales, and get your company noticed. A press release can also make your business logo or name known. Press releases can help build credibility. You should send press releases to top daily and national newspapers, to top industry publications, TV, Radio and other top news sources such as newswire services online.
The cost of writing your own press release is free (well just the time involved in writing it). If you have the budget you can have someone else write the press release for you for a fee. There are many free or low-cost press release and news release distribution services that you can find online. There are also fee-based services such as Business Wire that can distribute your press release.
If you have a company Website you can create a News Page that is specifically used to inform customers, prospective customers and staff about anything that is newsworthy regarding your products, service or company. Place an opt-in form on this page asking visitors to your Website to sign up for notification whenever you update this news page. Then send an email out to this list whenever you update the page. Cost is FREE except for the time to create, and update the News Page as well as the time to create the opt-in form (can do through GetResponse) and of course to send out each email.
Forum Networking is another free way of marketing your business. Visit forums on the topic most closely related to your products or services. Frequently post helpful information for forum members. In your forum signature put your company Website address and a small blurb about how your products or services benefit people.
Sponsor contests on your Website to encourage site visitors to return to your company Website. Prizes could be one of your products or services. Don’t forget to send out a press release about your contests. Contests are also a free way of marketing your business.
Low cost business cards can be made using your computer or purchased through an office supply store in your neighborhood. Place these cards in every outgoing mail including when you pay bills. The cost of business cards can be $10 to $25 depending on if you make them yourself or purchase them.