Do you know of any free business marketing methods?

I need to promote my business, but don’t have a big budget for advertising. I’m not terribly internet savvy either, so I’m not sure if I’m missing out on possible free internet marketing opportunities? Any ideas? Is facebook a good place to market a business?

First thing Identify who your target audience is then do the following

1. Branding – logo and business card very important the logo will determine if people want to be associated with you or your brand
2. get yourself an on-line on all the directories specific to your location things like freeindex, yell, thompson
3. create yourself a facebook/linked in account specific to your business – show off your work there, get customer quotes on there recommendations etc try and get as many quotes from your customers you need to keep this consistent and monitor what people are saying etc make friends with your clients on these sites
4. Get yourself a website if you haven’t already does not have to be huge site but make it slick, easy on the eye get a good logo done make sure the site is reflective of how you feel the quality of you styling is…services, seasonal special offers,
5. Direct marketing…you can either buy data from a data agency or sift for it online we are not talking about 000’s of pounds here but more like 16p per record try and get contact address email phone (mobile preferably). Also for your existing customers to ensure you keep them get them to fill out a satisfaction card after each cut. store all this in excel a spreadsheet this now will start giving you a direct relationship with your customers. you can notify them of special offers, reminders they might need a software update and you can send all this via email, text and post i would prefer the text and email that way you can send them to your website and keep your costs low. this way you will have a pool of existing customers to ensure they stay with you… remember your marketing so will your competitors. Then you also have a pool of potential customers remember buy data specific to your market (business, 190-100 employees, etc).
6. Association – maybe with a complimentary product, where if they send anybody over to you they get a % off and vice versa but remember this association need to be specific to your business and should complement what you do. also look at what your competitors are doing and imitate the best bits.
7. Advertising on local websites, magazines newspapers etc….i’m not a big fan of this especially for small businesses as i find it very costly with not the same return. Radio advertising is good but again find the radio station specific to your audience

The purpose of doing any marketing is to deliver an integrated campaign targeting customers from a number of angles to give you awareness and leads so this will enforce you message and your brand which will then give you consistent leads…. remember nothing happens over night and you need to be consistent with your marketing to ensure a successful marketing campaign. The intensity and frequency of your marketing will be determined by how busy you are. They key thing to remember is that your core competence is your development skills that needs to be consistently good to ensure your marketing works…and marketing has a habit of biting back where people are not delivering on what they promise on their marketing.

reputation is imperative if you stay on top of your game and stay in tune with the latest developments in the industry and are consistently improving your skill levels then your customers will not want to go anywhere else.

The above can be the crux of your marketing other elements may come from your research and planning not all the points need to be implemented look at the timing and look at the budget. Also ask your customers how do they prefer to be communicated with that should narrow down your marketing effort.

Originally posted 2010-08-31 06:01:11.