6 highly effective ways to advertise your business on a budget

How to market my business for free

There are plenty of ways to advertise your services. You can opt for paid traditional advertising such as a local newspaper or flyers (or if you have a large budget then TV), but if you are looking to advertise on a shoe-string then the following tips are just what you need:

1. Social Media

If you want to reach out to ten, hundreds, or thousands of people for free, social media is a must. These accounts cost nothing to set up and take very little time to gather a following. All you need to do is update regularly and spend time connecting with your followers. Be sure to look out for business opportunities with your followers and remember, if you don’t ask you won’t get. In our first month on Facebook we secured 3 new clients and are currently quoting two big jobs.

It didn’t cost us a penny.

Just remember that you should be building a relationship with these people first rather than going in with the hard sale straight away. A business can thrive on good relationships and by helping others in the early days, they may well be happy to become your next client or even refer others to you.

2. Publish Articles Online

There are thousands of blogs online that are looking for content every day. All you need to do is look for blogs that are relevant to your business and contact the owner to ask if they accept guest posts. They may even have a page on their website stating the requirements they have for guest blogging. Most will allow at least one link back to your website meaning that if people find your article interesting, they can then click through to your website to find out more about what you do.

Ideally your article will have a word count of between 500 and 2000 and will be well written, informative, and most importantly, will promote your business (without being too spammy, of course). Check out other blogs to get a feel for what you should be writing. Or speak to us about our blogging service.

Beware that whilst most blogs accept articles for free, some will expect a fee. Keep in mind that others may pay you to write articles if a previous post of yours gets lots of attention!

3. Free Work

Whether you’re just starting out or you’re experiencing a lull in business, one of the best ways to use your spare time to drum up business is to offer your service for free. Why not offer one person a product for either free, or cost price at the most. If you handle the situation well you will end up with a walking talking advertisement and you get another piece of work for your portfolio, a testimonial, more experience and that warm glow that comes with doing something nice.

Be sure to set boundaries at the beginning – if you’re working for free you don’t want the customer to ask for premium features that include much more than you had intended to give. You both need to be sure what’s on offer at the start to avoid any misunderstandings and bad feedback.

An amazing thing to do would be to seek out a local charity that could do with some help or donations that your business can help with. Not only will you be doing a good deed for the local community, the charity will be more than happy to help promote your business. Everyone wins!

You can even run a competition/giveaway. This can attract attention by getting new newsletter subscribers, Facebook likes and other shares which all lead back to you.

4. Word of Mouth

Lots of businesses still run on word of mouth and referrals alone. The concept behind this is that you secure one customer, do an excellent job for them and they then tell their friends about you. The beauty of this is that not only is it completely free, you’re more likely to see firm orders because recommendations from friends can be trusted and new customers can review your previous work themselves before committing.

To encourage this method of generating new business make sure you:

  • Do a good job
  • Be personable with your client
  • Leave a handful of business cards with each customer to enable them to easily share your details
  • Consider offering a customer referral scheme to further incentivise referrals

Why not ask friends and family to spread the word too?

5. Self Advertisement

You are your company’s best asset. Never miss an opportunity to meet a new customer by advertising your business wherever you go. Try the following:

  • A car / van signage with your contact details, company name and a tag line showing what you do at a glance
  • Wear a colourful t-shirt with your logo and contact details on
  • Carry business cards / flyers with you. Some restaurants or shops may allow you to leave them on their counter for free or for a small fee
  • When you meet new people always talk about what you do for a living. Try to have some examples of work with you (maybe on your phone) to showcase your work in a sociable and friendly environment
  • Don’t be shy – if you don’t talk to people they won’t know that they want to hire you.

6. Website

It’s no secret that we love a good website – but what might surprise you is that everybody else does too. When looking for a service provider the first thing your potential customer will do is search for your website. This is the quickest and easiest way to find out information about your business and it immediately makes you appear more professional.  I even had a friend tell me that the plumber she hired to fit her new bathroom must be good “because he has his own website”. And if you don’t have one? Your new customer will stumble upon your competitor’s website instead and they will be much more likely to make the sale then you. A website doesn’t have to be expensive and its advertising potential is huge.

We understand that running a small business is tough and that’s why we provide website design, creation and management all at very affordable prices. For a free quotation please get in touch.

Thank you for choosing StorSafe.

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