We all know what it’s like – when you start a business you have to watch every penny. There’s not always a massive marketing budget and it’s sometimes difficult to know where to start with low or no cost marketing; what works, what’s a waste of time, and what are you missing out on because you just don’t know?
Free to join, easy to setup, and you can be up and running in less than 5 minutes. Upload a picture of yourself, and enter into the conversation! Use the Twitter search facility to find people talking about your industry, and follow them. Then speak to them. Don’t sell to them, just develop relationships and before you know it your followers will grow. Tweet out things that are of interest to your target market; links, quips, opinions and reviews – throw in the odd link to your own site too, and make sure you tell Twitter all about your special offers or discounts.
Not only does blogging add great SEO content to your website, it’s a great way for your site visitors to find out more about you. Less formal than sales copy, you can blog about your special offers, your testimonials, things that are in the news and more. Make sure you’re putting out educational / entertaining / informative blogs to do with your industry and pretty soon you’ll become the place that people go when they want to find something out. Blog regularly and you could build up readership pretty quickly.
A Facebook business page allows you to interact with ‘fans’ on Facebook, and gives you another outlet to promote your business. As with the other methods mentioned here, don’t just sell ‘at’ people, make your page a good resource for your industry, as well as promoting yourself. Post questions, videos, links, news items and more – interact with your ‘fans’ and they’ll become loyal to you. And when they want what it is you provide, where do you think they’ll go?
4) Business Forums
Whether it’s LinkedIn, UK Business Labs, or any other number of online business forums, taking part is another opportunity to be seen and to build relationships. Read around the forums – is there anyone you can help? If so, dive in – not just to do with your own business, but helping in other ways too. Become a part of the community, and you won’t need to blatantly plug your business – the other members will do that for you!
5) Guest Blogging
Consider approaching people in related industries to yours and asking them if you can guest blog on their blog. Maybe even offer to have a blog from them on your blog? This way you both increase your readership and the inbound links could help your SEO. Be polite and only approach people when it is obvious your blog would have relevance to their readers. Guest blogging is a great way to spread the word about your specialism, and often great fun too!
So, 5 ways to promote yourself, none of them cost anything except your time, and each could produce loyalty and sales very quickly – just what every startup business needs!