Marketing is often left at the bottom of a business owners ‘To do’ lists because they think it will cost them lots of money. The truth is that it can cost lots and lots and lots of money but it doesn’t necessarily have to! How would any business ever get past start-up stage if they blew all their budget on marketing? To help you on your way I have put together a list of 9 FREE marketing activities that any business owner can do!
- Google My Business: Claim your free ‘Google My Business’ account. This is important, especially for local businesses, because search results will often include a map pack with listed local businesses on it. ‘Google My Business’ is what feeds these results, so if your business isn’t on there, you won’t show up!
- Network: OK, I know I say this a lot but network, network, network is a great way to meet fellow business owners, find suppliers and even better find paying clients! Networking doesn’t have to cost the earth either. There are plenty of free or cheap networking events run by the local Chamber of Commerce and business clubs etc.
- Social Media: An obvious one and a totally free one too! Create business accounts across a range of suitable channels – as long as your target market and industry content is suitable then nothing should hold you back: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, Google+ etc. the world is your oyster!
- Online Directories: There are loads of free online directories which can all help your website SEO therefore boasting your ranking, try Yell.com, Thomson Local, Bizcrowd, Scoot.co.uk etc. as well as local business directories.
- Client testimonials & Case Studies: Shout about the good work that you have done, and even better the nice things your clients have said about you/your product or business. Publish it on your website, share it on your social media channels.
- Word of mouth: Ask your past clients to recommend you to their friends or even their clients – there is not a more powerful marketing tool than word of mouth!
- Barter: I bartered my services a lot when I was setting up my business, if you need a service or product but can’t afford it see what you can offer in exchange or part payment then use your work as a case study.
- Blog: I don’t think I even need to say this, but it’d be neglectful not to mention the importance of kick-ass content. If you can create it yourself, all the better (free is always better, after all!). Even if writing isn’t your strong point, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting a third party to write some relevant articles for your blog. Try lists, tips, collections, best practices for your industry, etc.
- Enter Business Awards: Local business awards tend to be free to enter so make the most of the free PR they provide plus enjoy a night out to meet fellow business owners and swap stories!