Here are a few tips I jotted down yesterday that I assume will help you in promoting your small business without making huge capital investments.
1.) Use the internet as a Promotion Tool:
There are many ways by which you can promote your business using the internet. Some of the most lucrative ones are as follows:
a.) Email Marketing: This is a cool way to get in touch with your end customers. And it does not cost your anything. Please note that I am in no way asking you to buy a list of emails and spam people. Spamming people is a sure shot way of ensuring that your business gets a bad name and looses the trust factor. So how do you do email marketing without spamming? Generate your own lists and solicit permission before sending the mails.
b.) Article Marketing: There are scores of sites on the internet that accept and publish articles. They dont pay you for the articles you submit, but allow you to insert a bio where you can describe your business and even put contact info like email ID, telephone numbers and website address. When you write the articles make sure that it is informative and not an advertising blurb. Here is a free list of article directories where you can submit your article to for possible inclusion.
c.) Get a blog/website: A website and an accompanied business blog can do miracles for your business. If you consider having a blog, make sure that you update it daily or at-least on a regular basis. Provide interesting information that people like to read. Make some posts formal and others casual describing your own life and experiences. This will help people know you better. Offer free tips from which people can genuinely benefit from. The law of nature states that you get back what you give with your heart. So help others with your blog and you will get the returns in some manner or the other.
Other information to offer on your website/blog:
- Offer information about your company, how it started and what your vision is
- Provide clear cut information about your products and services and how you are different as compared to your competitors
- Focus on benefits to the customers rather than product/service features
- Write how to articles or buying guides that the customer can refer to while making the buying decision
- Offer product/service comparisons
- Offer clear information on how and when customers can get in touch with you. Offer a call back form and possibly a live chat
- Make your website as simple and usable as possible. A rule of the thumb is to ensure that the visitor does not have to think for more than a couple of seconds to reach the information he is looking for.
d.) Promote your website: There are various ways by which you can promote your website. One simple way is to use PPC advertising services offered by search engines like Google. Other way is to optimize your website to rank higher in search engines.
2.) Take part in events and trade shows:
Trade shows are a great way to garner some major exposure for your small business. Dont worry about the capital investment. You can always rent trade show equipment or go for cheaper equipment like tabletop displays.
3.) Promote your business using signage:
Use attractive signage to promote your business. I am not asking you to buy huge banner spaces. Just start off with your car and your employee cars. Of-course you cannot force your employees to use a signage on their cars, but you can always ask. Most will relent. You can also consider advertising on t-shirts your employees wear. Start off small and then go for the bigger banner spaces as the profits rise.
4.) Sign-up for Social Networks:
Here is another tip for promoting your business using the internet Social Networking. Social networks like Myspace, Facebook, Twitter etc. are great ways to get some much needed exposure for your business. These are free to sign-up.
5.) Host Free Seminars:
Host a free seminar for your potential and existing clients and make use of the opportunity to promote new products/services. Show the clients how they can benefit by using your services and how your approach is superior as compared to others. Post the slides of this presentation on sites like Youtube and Slideshare and give your clients information about where these are located so they can refer to it at a later time.
Hope you found these tips useful. By careful planning you can make your business a success without spending a lot on promotion.