Promotion gets easier as time passes by, but it is at the very beginning that a business encounters its first marketing problems. This is usually so because of the fact that mainstream commercials and other means of promotion cost money; quite a lot of it, in fact. You may then wonder how it is that so many startups have managed to flourish, and the answer is simple: look hard enough and you’ll find low-cost ways to promote your business. Here, we’ve tried to simplify the “looking” part.
1. Use Your Clients
Without a doubt, you’re tired of hearing the good old “The customer is always right”. Well, the saying is true, even if they really aren’t. To put it more precisely: your business depends on customer satisfaction, especially in its inception. Your income depends on your clients, but the promotion of your business depends on customer satisfaction and how you treat them in general. You see, your clients are the best marketing tool there is, at least in the beginning – if they are satisfied, they will spread the good word for free, which will make your customer base grow.
2. Use the Internet
The Internet has given us access to many free things and, if you are persistent enough, marketing can be one of them. Of course, we’re talking about social media websites here; setting up a LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and, depending on you niche, even an Instagram page will definitely get your name out there, at least to a certain extent. Then there’s an option to pay for Facebook commercials, which truly is a low-cost way of promoting your company’s name, regardless of your business branch.
Keep in mind, however, that maintaining your social media presence is in no way a replacement for having a legitimate website – potential customers won’t take you seriously without one and, if you’re not on google, you basically don’t exist!
Pro tip: hire someone to create a website for you, instead of choosing from a variety of templates available online.
3. Use Email
Some people think that the email is dead, but this couldn’t be further from truth; although people prefer instant messaging for personal conversations nowadays, all subscriptions are distributed via email. Signing up for an email service is a smart investment – this way, you’ll be able to send newsletters and promotional offers to customers. Of course, this type of marketing is permission-based, so offering giveaways to the target customer base is a good way to get things going.
4. Give Out Freebies
Speaking of giveaways, there is a reason why many companies offer these at their business promotions – this simply works! Why? Well, people simply love gifts! Okay, so, how do you get your hands on freebies? You go to your, for example, pen vendor and ask for a discount on a bunch of pens; some of these you’ll keep for your employees and others will be included in your freebie packages. Promotional freebies can be anything from pens, to ball caps, designer mugs, custom USB sticks from USB Planet, T-shirts, or anything else, really.
5. Use Your Contacts
Before you got your business set up, you’ve probably done a fair bit of research about other similar companies in your desired area. Well, this information might just prove to be of use yet again. Look for entrepreneurs that don’t exactly distribute the same product/service as your company does, but are easily relatable to that which you have in offer. Organize meetups with these individuals and propose collaboration – promise that you will refer your customers to them and, in return, demand the same from them. This “back scratching” idea has been around in the world of business for quite some time now and it has proven somewhat useful – all involved businesses will benefit from free marketing, but you’ll also get valuable business contacts that may even turn into associates or partners!
These five ways of promoting your business are either cheap or completely free – the only trick here is to be thorough and cover all the basis, and there is simply no way around this. You either do your best to climb towards the top, or lay back and let your money do it for you; it’s your choice!