Free Marketing Ideas for Small Business

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How can you get your business noticed? And, what's more important in these tough economic times, how can you get noticed without breaking your budget?

In this economy, you need all the help you can get to ensure that your business is noticed amid all the noise. Marketing is key, but which approach to take? The first thing that may pop into your mind is to send out e-mail blasts or hire a consultant. While these are good ideas, everyone's already doing the first, and the latter can be pricey. Besides, there are lots of things you can do on your own that are cheap or free.

So get creative! Use the Web and other resources at hand to try to rise above the fray.

Increase visibility in your community.
Join local organizations that provide business networking opportunities, or start your own. Do volunteer work for a large charity. You'd be surprised at the marketing support such activities can bring.

Participate in online marketing groups.
Search Twitter and other social-networking sites for groups meeting to discuss marketing. For example, Understanding Marketing holds a chat and Q&A session on Twitter that focuses on small-business marketing. It's live each Tuesday from 8 to 9 p.m. eastern time. Search #smbiz on

Submit information to blogs.
Blog writers are always looking for content for their sites. Target appropriate ones and send them press releases or descriptive e-mails.

Reward existing customers.
Offer an exclusive incentive to your regular customers—only your regular customers. Notify them via e-mail or other contact methods, and direct them to an otherwise inaccessible page on your Web site where the offer appears.

Get your customers to bring in new customers.
Offer an incentive like a discount to customers who get a new customer to make a transaction with your business.

Spruce up your Web site.
Stale sites don't attract business. Fresh, frequently updated Web sites show your customers you're a vibrant and active business. Let users subscribe to get update notices, then update frequently.

Provide free, helpful information to your customers.
Such content should be related to your type of business and can include tips, hints, reviews, and other information that can help drive sales. For example, a business selling paint can provide a guide to selecting the best paint for different uses. Such informative content is often available from suppliers. Use it.

Offer your noncompeting business customers a link exchange.
A link exchange is much like a bulletin board at your business that holds your customers' business cards. The more links your business has to its Web site, the better your search engine placement, and the greater the number of people who see your business's links, the more will visit you.

Use downtime for marketing.
When times are slow, keep employees busy contacting customers. Create e-mail marketing documents your employees can send to individual customers. Personal contact with customers gets results. Mass e-mails are less effective and, given today's e-mail spam filters, may not be seen by many. Go for quality contacts rather than quantity.

Visit your own Web site frequently.
Look for ways it can be improved. Too often, small business Web sites load slowly, are poorly organized, and are difficult to navigate. Fix bottlenecks that impede customers and look for ways to get customers to act. Make sure all links work and lead to up-to-date content. Test campaigns with printable coupons and other incentives. For more tips, see our story "Build a Better Web Site."

Wiley Free Marketing: 101 Low and No-Cost Ways to Grow Your Business, Online and Off
Book (Wiley)
2012-08-08 09:23:03 by gds1958

Marketing Ideas for start-up tax business?

I am taking early retirement from the corporate world at the end of the year and plan to start a small seasonal tax return preparation business to supplement my retirement income and to stay connected with the professional world. I'm a CPA and my work experience is in accounting and tax. As such, I feel completely comfortable that I can provide a quality service. In fact, I've been providing tax services for about 20 clients (largely friends and family) on the side for several years and will be looking to build on that. However, having worked in a corporate environment (as opposed to an accounting firm), I don't have much experience in marketing my services

2007-12-20 17:59:44 by ideas?

My biz is too small for a broker (?)

Thanks for all the advice. I've called the local office of the recommended brokerage. They were extremely helpful over the phone, but my business is too small for them to take on. The lady told me that they usually make 15,000 - 20,000 off the sale of a business, and work with larger businesses (with higher revenue).
She recommended a free posting on CL.
I'd much rather have a professional value my business as well -- but I also need to sell quickly.
As for people I know .... I would guess that some of my existing clients would be great prospects or would know great prospects for my business, since they are happy with the services, rates, etc

2007-08-26 19:18:53 by socalgirl25

Catch 22 with website/new business launch

I am building a member based website in which brides from Southern Ca log on for information on wedding planning, access wedding tools and connect with Southern Ca based wedding vendors. The site will be free for brides however vendors will need to buy ad space in order to post there information. (Sort of like the but on a small scale and much more localized) Right now the site is completely built and I am ready to start the marketing process.
My issues is this. Do I market to the brides or the vendors first. I have build a database of over 10k brides e-mails, address etc so contact them and getting them to the site wont be an issue, it also helps that its free

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