Seven ways to market your business for free
So you’ve got your newborn business out in the world and it’s about time it learned to talk. Because it’s all yours, you’ll know what your brand is, what it looks like and what it stands for – ideal. The problem is, getting your business out there is traditionally an expensive step with a lot of marketing professionals involved. The good news is that there are a whole lot of ways to sing your business’s praises for free.
1. Make a punchy elevator pitch.
You’re the best spokesperson for your business, and you want to be spreading the word as much as you can. An elevator pitch is the one-minute blurb you can whip out anytime, anywhere. Research shows us that the average adult attention span is six to eight seconds. So you want to figure out the best benefits you have to offer, put them together eloquently, and sell your heart out. If you can hook your audience in the first sentence, you’re onto a win.
2. Make a darn good website.
Your top priority should be making your website easy to use. Customers need to be able to find what they’re looking for, or they’ll probably just stop looking. Next step is making it as pretty as you can. An attractive-looking, well designed website makes a world of difference. Other things you’ll want to bear in mind are: how well it speaks to the intended audience, how well it shows your business’ personality, if you’re taking advantage of search engine optimisation and is social media used and integrated.
3. Just keep chattin’.
When you’ve got your elevator pitch nice and tight, tell everyone about it. You’ve gotta get out on the streets and not completely rely on digital reach. There’s nothing more persuasive or trustworthy than face-to-face interaction. You can bet a bunch of multi-million dollar businesses grew successfully because their founders just got out into the big wide world and started seeking out customers. The early days are always hard work, so get yourself in front of every potential customer you can – it’s worth it.
4. Up your social media game.
Social media is all about what you put in. It’s a great way to connect with customers in an online platform that they trust too. It’s also a lot more relaxed than traditional marketing and lets you really tease out what your business is all about. It does take a bit of creativity and time, but building a loyal social media following is well worth it. Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter give you direct access to literally every one of your potential customers. Just remember that social media is a chance to give your customers an authentic benefit, so you don’t want to be constantly selling to them. It’s a great chance, much like YouTube, to educate and answer questions or simply entertain and inspire.
5. Get film-making.
YouTube is now the second largest search engine. There are so many well-proven ways to use video marketing to your advantage; how to guides, videos that answer questions people might ask about your area of expertise, and so on. Think of what your potential customers might be searching for, and make them an answer using video. To get the most out of your videos on YouTube, you’ll want to embed the YouTube code on your website, transcribe the video, then post the transcribed content on your blog so that search engines will pick it up even outside of YouTube.
6. List it up.
You want people to be able to find you, right? Make sure you pop your business details on Google Places and Google Maps. All you have to do to register is fill out a form, then get your business verified through Google over the phone. Yahoo! also has a big database of businesses that you can get on, called Yahoo! Local. It’s free and only takes two ticks to set up. There’s also Microsoft’s Bing.
7. Network up a storm.
The best way to make deals, meet new local contacts and customers is to start networking. Make a point to attend industry events and meet-ups. The next step is to get in there and speak up – ask questions or just volunteer to speak. It’s a bit nerve racking to begin with, but it’s the best way to get your business heard by the right people.