You started your own business. You’re the boss and no one can tell you otherwise. CONGRATS! Then you realize that no one knows that your business exists! That is not cool. So how are you going to let the world know about your awesome services and award winning talent without going broke? It just takes a little creativity and using free resources that is readily available on the Internet.
1. Create a Buzz. Good old fashion WOM marketing goes a long way in any industry. When launching a new business from the ground up you may have to offer free or discounted services to buyer personas. Why? Offering these services is simply to build your clientele. Do a superior job on those services and those clients will become your promoters. Referral programs and freebies with a paid service will work as well. It’s all about building relationships. You may not get on the cover of Forbes overnight, but doing a selfless service can go a long way.
2. Set Social. We all know how important it is not keep your business under a rock. Open Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest accounts. Honestly, building a healthy fan base on multiple social media accounts will take time and can become challenging. Not every business owner has the hours in a day to manage their social accounts. Consider social media management tools from Hootsuite or Buffer. There are slight differences between the two and both have their advantages and disadvantages. There are free trials available on both sites.
3. Save your PPC dollars. Start Blogging! Let’s face it. Search Engine Optimization services are expensive! There is no way to get around paying an SEO based company thousands of dollars per year to get your website on the first page of Google. Keeping an active business blog is great for SEO! However, business owners must remember to write for the reader (buyer persona) not GOOGLE! 67% more leads are generated from business that write and manages blog than those that do not. Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.
The only costs associated with starting and maintaining a business blog is your time. Pick a time of day where your thoughts are fluid and find a place where you are not easily distracted. Be transparent, keep your content relevant, and remember to use spell check.
4. You and Your Brand are One. If your company does not have a logo, I recommend getting one created right away. People connect brand logos with experiences and emotions. “Logos are a critical aspect of business marketing”, says co-founder Jason Gillikin of Demand Media. “As the company's major graphical representation, a logo anchors a company's brand and becomes the single most visible manifestation of the company within the target market. For this reason, a well-designed logo is an essential part of any company's overall marketing strategy.” For this reason, wearing your brand is a great, inexpensive way to build awareness. Put your logo with company name on a t-shirt and wear it to a county fair, your local mall during holiday shopping, or any place that gets a lot of foot traffic. You can be more subtle and place your logo and company name on a tote or duffle bag. Where you go your logo should go too.
5. Join Forces with Another Brand. Most companies are willing to partner with other companies to increase their target reach. Partnering with another brand is an inexpensive way of introducing your services to an audience that would have never heard of your brand. Loyal customers of one brand will trust the newbie company seeing it is trusted by their favorite brand. Find local businesses where your services can benefit each other. Develop a creative campaign to attract customers and evaluate the results.