During each Select Business Team meeting this week, our members created a list of free marketing ideas (and a few low cost). While some of the free marketing ideas might not be the best use of your time, if you are looking for ideas to jumpstart your marketing on a low budget, here are a few to consider:
Social media – Make sure your profiles are up to date and you are posting at least once a week.
Networking – There are a lot of free events to attend. Find those where your ideal client will be hanging out (or strategic partners).
Volunteer – Follow your passion – get involved with an organization and donate some time, especially if other volunteers might need your products or services.
Cold Calling / Door to Door – Not many people like doing this, but if you are persistent, it can open some doors.
Warm Calling – Call your current clients and strategic partners. Make a habit of doing this and find out what you might be able to do to help them in their business.
Referrals – Try giving one referral a day. Combine this with warm calling above and see if you can give one a day to someone that you talk to.
Articles/Blogging – Do your clients have a blog page? Could you write an article for them? What about your strategic partners. It might take you 30 minutes to write a blog post, but if it’s valuable, it can have a big reach!
Community Boards/List Serve – Encourage people to add you to their list serves if they can and promote you when possible.
Email Signature – While this one is simple, it is often overlooked. Make sure you have your phone number, email address and website hyperlinked in your email signature for both initial email s and reply’s. You never know who will forward your email and that recipient might want to contact you!
YouTube – Have a smart phone? Most phones today have a video option and all you need to do is upload it to your You Tube channel and display the link in your social media sites, your blog page or link to your email signature.
Ideas for a Small Budget
Email marketing – There are some services where you can send emai l campaigns for free. Usually these services come with no customer service so you will need to evaluate your time to learn the program vs. having customer support. (we recommend Constant Contact for this) but if you can get in the habit of sending valuable information to your audience you can have significant impact on attracting new business.
Postcards – While most people have stepped away from direct marketing because email marketing is so inexpensive, If you want to stand out, consider direct mail! If you go this route, plan for 7-10 mailings, not just one and have a strategy for making follow up phone calls.
Webinars – Want to reach a lot of people at once? Start doing webinars. If you can promote these to your current clients and prospects and ask them to share the registration information, you can build a large list of prospects fairly quickly. You’ll want to use a reputable webinar service and make sure you can record your webinars for repurposing, but it’s a great way to impart your knowledge to a new audience.
Podcasts – Once you get past the learning curve, these can actually be free and like webinars, can be a great way to reach a larger audience. Share them in your email newsletters, promote them with postcards, let your social media connections know about them.
Signs – Vehicle Lettering – Many members have received business just from the lettering on their vehicles. Does it make sense for your business?
If you are going to implement some of these free marketing ideas in your business, make sure you are consistent and provide information that is valuable with a call to action. Sending one email or one direct mail piece is probably not going to generate results. Remember, when you aren’t marketing, your competition is!
What are some of your favorite free marketing ideas?
Debbie DeChambeau is the founder of Select Business Team and helps companies with business development. She facilitates CEO Roundtables and group programs that help entrepreneurs grow and expand their business. She can be reached at 301-924-3662. If you would like additional ideas on marketing, check out her webinars or join one of her Select Business Team meetings.