As a small business owner, you’ve probably struggled with ways that you can promote your business without a huge amount of outlay. While “traditional” methods such as advertising in print directories and magazines are still viable today, there are several other options you can promote your business, especially if you utilize the Internet to your advantage.
Image by Jason A. Howie
Tip #1: Using Social Media
With the rise of Facebook, Twitter and various other social media outlets – many businesses both large and small have seen the advantage of being able to readily connect with new and existing customers online. If you have a Facebook page or Twitter account for your business, you can easily push out updates to your audience by using a quick Facebook update or tweet to announce a new product you’ve just released or a deal you’re offering. If customers like or retweet your updates, that’s even more advertising for your business since they’re likely to have friends or followers who will see the update, resulting in a potentially unlimited chain of exposure for your business.
Image by Sheila Scarborough
Tip #2: Free or Inexpensive Promotional Items
T-shirts, bumper stickers and other small items like promotional coffee mugs are always a big hit with customers. This can be especially true if you tie them into another promotion you’re running, such as offering a free T-shirt to any customers who simply sign up for a free trial of a product or service you offer. T-shirts and bumper stickers in addition have the advantage of potentially being seen in public by thousands of other people.
Image by Jodi Womack
Tip #3: Connect With Other Businesses In Related Niches
If you offer a product or service in a specific niche such as home improvement, look at how you can connect with businesses that offer products or services that naturally complement yours without directly competing with you. For example, a home remodeling company might want to use their website and social media presence to help promote a building supply company that they personally use for tile and other related products, in return for the other company agreeing to promote them in turn. It’s a win-win situation for both sides and builds confidence in both company’s brands as well as exposure.
Image by Maria Reyes-McDavis
Tip #4: Guest Blogging
Guest blogging has seen rapid adoption in recent times and this can be a very handy tool for increasing your potential exposure to new customers. Connecting with other websites related to your niche and lending your expertise on a given topic is a win-win situation: The website you’re guest blogging for will have value added to their site, while you can demonstrate your authority and know-how about your products and services, giving you exposure for your company and often even a link back to your site that readers can follow if they want to know more.
Image by Craighton Miller
Tip #5: Use Google Places
This is a free service that allows any brick-and-mortar business to set up a listing with Google that is specific to their local area. What this means is that when customers search for a given search term such as “car repair San Diego”, your business can pop up in the local Google Places listings for that particular search term – allowing your potential customers to find you much more easily and give you a leg up over the local competition. Google Places also offers the ability to include basic information about your company including hours, your physical address, services offered and your website address, should they need additional information about your company.
About the Author: Sara Fletcher is a professional blogger who writes on a variety of topics, ranging from business, SEO, and social media. She loves to learn about small business tips, and is always looking for the next writing opportunity.