When you’re starting a business, marketing tends to be lower on your to-do list than it should be. The reasons? Time and money. You assume that you’ll have to spend plenty of both to market your brand, when in fact, there are many free or nearly free marketing tools you can use with minimal time investment. Here are my favorites.
1. Social Media. Twitter, Google + and Facebook are all free to use, and are awesome ways to connect with your audience. These days, they’re pretty much a given for brands wanting to market. Why pay for advertising when a Facebook Like is worth so much more in terms of expanding your reach?
2. Blogging. You don’t have to be a prolific writer to have blogs work for you. Having a company blog that covers topics your customers care about helps establish a level of trust with them, which will encourage them to choose you when they’re ready to buy.
3. Email. Yes, some email programs cost money, but MailChimp is free, as are a few others. Sending out a monthly newsletter or promotional email helps you stay on the tops of the minds of your contacts. The more they think about your company, the more likely they are to buy from you.
4. Networking. I bet your city has business networking opportunities or trade shows where you can meet potential customers. Added bonus? You’ll often find what you’re not looking for, like a new business partner or someone who will refer others to you.
5. Word of Mouth. Not so much a tool as a strategy, word of mouth has long been my best way of getting new clients. Do good work, and your clients will tell others about you.
6. Whitepapers and Ebooks. By creating useful content that your audience wants to read, you’re creating a sales funnel. For example, if we were to put out a guide on how to form an LLC (oh wait–we did; find our Limited Liability Company Guide here), it would provide you (should you be looking for info on this topic) with the resources you were looking for. You’d be interested in hearing about other services CorpNet offers. You see where I’m going with this?
7. Press Releases. In my mind, the biggest benefit of press releases is their SEO factor. With each news blurb you distribute, you’ve got a link to your site. That release goes to dozens of news sites, and Google likes seeing your URL on so many sites, so you rise in search results. Distribution on sites like PRWeb does cost, but there are also free distribution sites.
8. Speak. Networking events, conferences and seminars are great channels for demonstrating what you know on your subject. And you don’t have to give a hard sell to get new customers. Typically after a presentation, people will come up to talk to you and exchange cards. It’s up to you to nurture the relationship and close the deal.
9. Teach. Whether it’s a continuing education course at your local community college or an online webinar, use your industry knowledge to teach others. You brand yourself, and you just might end up with another source of revenue if you charge for the class!
10. Be the Expert. It doesn’t cost anything to demonstrate thought leadership. In fact, just about everything on this list falls under this strategy. Write, speak, tweet and share your knowledge on your industry, and before long, people will seek you out to help them!
Ready to start a business and market your brand? Talk to CorpNet.com for a free business consultation on how to incorporate a business. CorpNet’s free tools, advice and guidance can help you choose a business structure, form an LLC, set up an S-Corporation or other corporate entity to protect your assets and attain the corporate tax benefits and financial advantages of doing business as a corporation.