If you want your business to make you money or even just get off the ground, you’re going to have to advertise. For many companies, advertising becomes a huge chunk of the overall budget, but that doesn’t have to be. In fact, you’ll be best served by keeping track of your marketing expenses and focusing on the return on investment of your efforts.
There are plenty of free or inexpensive ways to let people know about your business and get them coming back. You’ll want to use as many as you can as wisely as you can for maximum impact.
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. Developing an email list may take some time and effort. It is not always easy to create an offer that entices prospects enough that they willingly divulge their personal information to you. However, once you’ve attracted them to your list, sending out an email will take very little time.
You can get email addresses by
- 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 by 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 these are far less useful than when people give you their email addresses themselves. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the friends really aren’t going to be interesting in what you have to offer.
* Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is the oldest and most effective way of to get word about your business out there. It generally costs you nothing, but it does require strategy if you’re going to use it reliably.
The key to starting word of mouth business is not just to tell people to pass the word on. More importantly you need to treat the customer so spectacularly that they want to spread the word about you.
Social networking sites are a great way to start a word of mouth campaign about your business. These are sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and other sites where people can add 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. With care and attention you’ll soon 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.
Relying exclusively on free advertising is not generally advisable. You’ll be well served to spend some money on paid advertising to grow your business, but you’ll want to support that spending with these methods to boost your reach and exposure.
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