Free advertising Ideas for small business


Last year my husband and I opened a small, seasonal business in this hard economy. Using most of our capital to get it going, we had little left over for advertising. In the process, we learned a lot about free marketing. Check out these practical tips.

Leverage Other Local Businesses

One of the best sources of driving business is referral. This can be created by networking with other local businesses in your area. It is as easy as walking in their business and meeting the staff and the owner. Let them know who you are and what you are doing or selling. Your aim is to create awareness. Local convenient stores or small grocers that have a lot of traffic will often get customers asking, things such as "Do you know where I can find ____." These employees can't make a referral unless they are aware of your name and location. And that is a simple, happy conversation. Make it a point to go to the busiest nearby businesses at different times so you are sure to personally touch each employee.

Also, no matter what you are selling or whatever service you are offering, offer it free to a local business for a one time shot. Then, they can refer you with confidence because they have experienced how great your product or service is. We work in the food industry and gave free samples out for weeks to all surrounding businesses. Personal testimony works and the employees enjoy getting things for free....we all do. They will not only endorse your product, but they will want to support you as a person because of your thoughtfulness or generosity.

Lastly, in working with other businesses, it might be a great call to ask them to post a flyer in their place of business for a long time or limited time. In exchange, do the same for them. Most businesses, particularly fellow small business owners, are open to shared networking ideas to increase revenue. It is a great place to start.

Use Family and Friends to Coupon Blitz

Enlisting the help of your family and friends is a sure way to saturate a lot of people in a short amount of time. Select a day or afternoon, where everyone will help. In exchange offer free lunch or an after party at your place. Family is usually willing to help and most have a few good friends they can rope into the cause.

Once you establish a time and place to meet, let everyone know your goal - human contact! Equip everyone with coupons or flyers and send them into an area of your community so there is no overlap. Encourage them to talk to people as opposed to leaving the flyer on a windshield or door. That personal interaction makes all the difference!

A couple of hours is about the most you should expect anyone to help for free without growing too weary, so seize that time. Send your help to highly populated areas of the community where there is a lot of foot traffic, and there is no soliciting violation. Also, consider your target customer. If your customer is children, pass the coupons out by a school or park. If it is baseball fans, go to a local ballpark, or stand outside the big stadium in town. Handing things out needs to have impact because paper costs, so does ink and/or printing.

Wiley Free Marketing: 101 Low and No-Cost Ways to Grow Your Business, Online and Off
Book (Wiley)
2006-06-20 22:17:54 by death_taxes

Advertising advice for Business Therapist???

I'm assisting a woman who is starting her therapy practice and needs advice on (free-ish) advertising.
She's a CPA turned Therapist (MA in Existential Psychology) who is looking to help small businesses in crisis. She was going to advertise in CPA magazine, but was turned down bc she's not practicing accounting, even though her license is current!

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