Reminder: These are based strictly on cost effectiveness and in the spirit of simplicity. While there are many services out there that perform same or similar services for free as well, these are my suggestions based on my own experiences.
7. Community Calendars: With just a little searching you will quickly find free community calendars available around the web. These are often found on local websites in your community including sites of local newspapers, chambers of commerce, television stations, churches, etc. Create a list and update each frequently with specials, announcements and events. Not only will you get out in front of potential customers for free, you will be found in searches more often.
8. On Your Site Advertising: Create a couple advertising opportunities on your own website, perhaps in a sidebar or other strategic locations within your menu of services.These ad spaces can be utilized for leverage in your co-op dealings, used as trade opportunities for advertising or discounts on products / services. Another possibility could be offering ad space as part of a customer loyalty reward program or even selling them for a little extra cash!
9. Use Craigslist and Ebay to sell products, used equipment, etc.You may also consider using craigslist to look for an “at home marketer” or to search for internet savvy interns.
10. Coupons: Create unique coupons that are printable / downloadable from your website, but don’t expect them to suddenly drive droves of customers into your shop. Use them as “information purchasing power” to get information from your customers and potential clients. Businesses that regularly offer customers deep discounts train customers to wait for the next set of discounts.Offer coupons that are good enough to persuade potential customers to give over their email and other information, not so good that they will interrupt business.This will open the door for you to communicate with customers directly! Coupons and contesting can be a cost effective way to stay in front of your customers, but don’t get carried away or take advantage because once they add you to their “spam” list you’ve closed a door you may not be able to open.
11. Occasional Contesting: Don’t give away t-shirts give away an iphone. That is to say, do something cool and different that relates to your business. Unfortunately, there is already an abundance of crappy t-shirts in virtually everyone’s closet but who wouldn’t trade their email for a shot at a free iphone? While this may sound like a very expensive proposition, it doesn’t have to be! I suggest purchasing a gift card with the current purchasing price of an iphone (199) plus a couple months of service cost. This means you could launch a very cool contest for around $500 that will create some buzz for your business and give a big boost to your new robust email address list. Digital cameras and video cameras also make great prizes that are cooler than t-shirts for around a couple hundred bucks and are sure to get noticed. *Please research contesting or contact a lawyer before running contests as there state and federal laws to comply with as well as legal-ease to contend with that I am not addressing in this post.
12. Social Networking (and Professional): I’m not going to launch into a big thing on how you should be using Facebook and Linkedin.com and many of the other social networks for your business, I think I’ll leave that for another article but… you should. These sites will drive your name & company name to the top of search lists for free. More importantly, when used strategically, you can get real information, connect and strengthen your relationships with higher quality customers and even develop a following!
13. Email Blasts: With your newly found following on the different social networks combined with all of those emails you’ve been collecting from couponing and contesting, you are now ready to send email blasts alerting potential customers of your new services and reminding existing customers about your product offerings! Keep email blasts short and to the point with few, if any, graphics and most of all be as relevant as possible. *Please research email blasts before sending to keep from being caught in spam filters and to comply with spamming laws.
14. Blog: To the “not so web savvy” there is still somewhat of a mass negative connotation for blogging.Some initial reactions may be “I’m not a writer,” “I don’t have time” and “What would I blog about?” Well, you’ve just read numerous ideas that you should begin adopting for your business, all with good potential to raise your online profile and profitability… start putting some of these ideas into action and blog about what you’re doing or simply talk about what’s coming up at your business, why you have made certain business decisions or how happy you are that big shipment many of your customers are waiting for has finally arrived! I assure you that you will be surprised at how much there it to say and how many folks are interested! Whatever your business is, there are certainly many topics to discuss and many motivations for blogging.At first I began blogging to add content to my portfolio site, now I blog to market myself to new clients. If you’re interested in Blogging, here are some “must read” tips on creating killer content by Chris Brogan.
If you found this, or any of our articles useful please connect with me on Linkedin, recommendations referring to this site are greatly appreciated! To view my Linkedin profile visit: www.Linkedin.com/in/richardbouchez send me an invite using this email Richard@RABpromo.com. Please mention InovediaMarketing.com in your connection request.
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