If you want your business to make you money or even just get off the ground, you’re probably going to have to advertise. For many companies, advertising becomes a huge chunk of the overall budget, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of free or inexpensive ways to let people know about your business and get them coming back.
Email is a great, cost-effective way for get your name out there, contact potential customers, and keep existing customers up to date and coming back. And while developing an email list may take some time and effort, sending out an email once you have a list takes very little time.
You can get email addresses by simply asking for them on your webpage about a related topic to your products, asking for them from your customers when you take an order, or offering a free product or service in exchange for an email address.
Many people get emails by offering people products in exchange for the email addresses of their friends, but this is ineffective and often annoying. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the friends really aren’t going to be interesting in what you have to offer.
Remember, only send your email contacts valuable information. Don’t clog their in-box with email that’s all about you and your offers – make it about them and they’ll remember you instead of deleting!
Always use an email service provider – handling a customer list is not a job for Outlook or Gmail.
* Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is also a great way to get word about your business out there, and it generally costs you nothing.
The key to starting word of mouth business is not only to tell people to pass the word on to their friends, but more importantly, to treat the customer right so they want to spread the word.
Social networking sites are a great way to start a word of mouth campaign about your business. These are sites like MySpace, Facebook, and other sites where people can ad their friends, bands they like, and businesses or products they might be a fan of.
Then, if someone is a friend, the site will often automatically suggest they become a friend with or a fan of the same things. Soon, you’ll have a bunch of people who are all fans of your business – then you can use the page to send updates to all of them about new products, services, and promotions. It’s all free and pretty simple to get started.
Blogs are another way to get people interested in your products and keep current customers up to date. Starting a blog is simple, there are tons of blog sites that will pretty much set the whole thing up for you. The trick is actually getting people to read it.
You can use different SEO techniques including microblogs like Twitter, but you also need to provide quality content that people actually want to read. Start your blog by not only talking about your business and ideas, but also those of other people. If you refer someone to a good article or great deal, they’re much more likely to keep reading.
While you may decide to spend some money on your advertising, you can still supplement with these methods to boost your exposure even more.