Advertising your business can be expensive but there are many ways you can advertise for free.
Online Business Networking - Reach out to thousands of potential customers by blogging and advertising on business networking platforms like Ecademy. You might not reach the right people straight away but if you persevere you will get business eventually.
Word of Mouth - Provide a great service and your customers will advertise your business for free. Nothing is as powerful as a referral or recommendation from an existing customer.
Online Directories - There are many directories where you can advertise your business for free if all you need is a name and phone number listed. If you pay a little extra you can also add your web address, email link and a description of your services.
Networking - most networking organizations will allow you to attend their networking meetings free at least once or twice before asking you to make your mind and join. Take advantage of this before you commit. If it is a small networking organization then chances are that you will only need one or two meetings to get to know everyone anyway!
Offer Prizes - Phone your local newspaper, local magazines and radio station and offer a free prize for one of their competitions. If you are lucky they will publish your details beside the competition. Make sure that you hand over the prize to the eventual winner as it could be a good photo opportunity!
Press Releases - Issue a press release every time something interesting happens in your business. Press releases are usually written in third person and can be an invaluable way of promoting your products or services. There are many press release services that offer free distribution. Be clever with the title and content so that it grabs the attention of the editor over the many other releases they receive every day. Bear in mind that newspapers and websites are not interested in promoting your products but love publishing material that will be of interest to their readers.
Become an Expert - Offer your opinion to newspapers and other media organizations whenever a topic is discussed that is linked to the products and services you provide. The media is always hungry for expert opinion as they have to provide a huge amount of information daily to their readers, listeners and viewers!
Do a Crazy Publicity Stunt - The media loves writing about outrageous behaviour. Publicity stunts have been used throughout history and one of the most famous advocates of free publicity is Richard Branson. He once launched his new mobile phone tariff naked with only a phone covering his private parts. The media loved this and his picture was shown on newspapers and websites around the world and it did not cost him a penny!
Promotional Gifts - This does cost a little bit of money but it is a very cost effective way of getting your message across. Give out low cost gifts like a mouse mat, coffee mugs or pens with your logo and company details printed on it. Every time your customers use your gift(s) they will be reminded about your business.
Advertising can be expensive but there are many different ways you can advertise your business for free or very little cost.