Have you ever wondered if entrepreneurs can really market their businesses for free? Like many founders, you may have put so much out there, in terms of marketing, but received nothing (or very little) in return.
There are plenty of viable and creative ways to market your business with relatively low out of pocket expense. So we’ve asked entrepreneurs to reveal their secrets on how to market your businesses on the cheap — here is what they had to say:
1. Actively put yourself out there.
“By joining professional groups and boards, going to events, donating your time to charities, speaking at public events, giving presentations and guest lectures, we make it seem like we are everywhere at all times. The more we put ourselves out there (and are seen) the more name recognition we earn on our way to becoming a household name and gaining that incredibly important third party validation. Even if a potential client has never met you, you have the backing of trusted sources that confirm your credibility.”
2. Form smart partnerships.
“No matter what industry you are in, forming smart partnerships is the best way to drive growth. Any company that has access to your prospects is a potential partner for growth. For the low/no income startup, flexible partnerships that trade value in a balanced way, without monetary concern, are very powerful. We’ve partnered with several brands to trade advertising or access to our base in exchange for something similar on their end, and it’s a win-win for all.”
3. Offer something for free.
“In my experience, marketing my business for free was always best done by offering free things. People love free things. For example, social media contests with a prize for the winner, free ebooks or guides on marketing, setting up a table and giving out free food or accessories, or even giving a free lecture to a business, school, etc. The lecture works especially well as it’s a great way to establish your credibility.”
4. Hangout with your customers.
“To market your online business for free you need to think like your customers. Pinpoint your customers’ interests and hang out where they hang out. Social groups and market-specific forums are great places to start. Establish yourself as part of the community and then people within those communities will listen when you speak!”
5. Utilize free online directory services.
“Add your business to as many websites you can that allows you to do it for free. Make sure you and your friends click on the link at least once per day. This way your information becomes relevant. Also, add keywords that are relevant to your business (where and when allowed) so that search engines find you.”
– María J. Torres-López, Owner of Notary @ Your Door