Marketing your business isn’t cheap, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of cheap ways to boost your marketing efforts! From making free promo business cards to teaching a class or seminar, it’s possible to promote your business at a low cost. We looked for the best ways to market your business for less than $25, and here’s what we found.
1. Create promo business cards and leave them everywhere
You can get business cards free and only pay shipping in many cases. Design a promotional business card with a coupon or discount and keep track of the cards that get returned to you to determine how successful the campaign was.
2. Sponsor an event by donating one of your services or products
If you’re a brick and mortar small business, getting involved at local events is a great way to market your business. Auctions, fairs, and fundraisers are good opportunities to give a service or product away and build a positive reputation in the community.
3. Hold a free class or seminar for the public
Whatever you know best, you can offer it to your community or even online as a free class or seminar. You could create a course on Udemy and tap into their great pool of eager students. When you teach your class, you can talk about lessons or things you’ve learned from owning your business. It’s a smart way to market your company.
4. Start a referral program
If you’ve already got loyal customers, you’re doing something right and you can easily get more. Start a referral program and offer discounts, freebies, or special prizes to customers who refer others. Your loyal customers will literally market your business for you!
5. Register your business with Google Places
Google is the most popular search engine online, and registering your business with Google Places can be a creative and lucrative way to reach your customers. Even if you’re based online, having your business appear in search when people in your area are looking for your service or product is valuable.
6. Write press releases
Press releases can be written about nearly any event or milestone at your business, though you want to make sure you have something noteworthy to write about.
7. Write good reviews for other businesses
Not your competitors, of course, but write positive reviews about other businesses. You’ll make friends in the business world, can arrange cross-promotions and collaborations, and make your business name visible as the author of the review.
8. Run a social media advertising campaign
You can take $25 and run a wildly successful social media advertising campaign with it. Here’s the plan:
- Take $10 and create an ad set with 3 versions of your ad. Try different images, text, placements, etc. on each. Let the ads run for a day.
- At the end of the day, analyze the results and choose the ad that had the most conversions or clicks.
- Put the remaining $15 toward the top performing ad for another day or so.
9. Begin contributing to online or local print publications
If you’re blogging for your business (and we hope you are), you can start contributing to online or print publications and share your expert knowledge or advice. Write articles about your industry, and include a link to your website or blog if it’s online. Write the articles under your business name or as Your Name (Name of Business’ Owner) to get the most exposure for your business.
10. Start doing awards for your industry
This can be a little more complex if you’re a local small business, but online businesses can easily create awards for the industry and get the nominees involved. Encourage them to try to get votes from their customers and have a link everyone can use to vote. Announce the winners, write a press release, and give out the prizes. A cheap option is creating website badges for winners branded with your business or the awards’ name.
11. Go to conferences in your industry and introduce yourself
If there’s a conference in your industry near you, go with the intention of promoting yourself and your business. Get out of your comfort zone! Talk to everyone who seems interested in meeting you, and some who don’t. Introduce yourself as the owner of your business and be genuine, not promotional or “salesy.” You’re here to build a reputation, not win sales right away.
12. Write guest posts for other company or industry blogs
This is another way to get your business name out there. Find businesses in your industry that aren’t direct competitors and ask to write a guest post for their blog. Find out the details–can you link back to your website, what should the topic be, how many words, etc.–before you write the post. You’ll reach their audience, and by promoting the post on your business’ social accounts, you’ll ensure your audience sees it and has a chance to share it as well.
13. Create a downloadable guide or how-to and offer it free
Creating a guide gives your customer value. Find out something your audience needs and put together a guide or how-to that puts all the important information in one easy to find place. In the process, you’ll gather email addresses and build your email subscriber list.
14. Have a contest and promote it on social media
Run a contest on social media, like a hashtag campaign or a contest that requires Liking, sharing, or commenting to enter. Your business will become more visible online as people engage with your contest and enter to win. You can offer free additional entries when contestants share the contest with their friends to reach more people.
15. Represent your company on online review sites, good or bad
Wherever people are talking about your business, you need to be there. Thank people for positive reviews and follow up on bad reviews. Make note of any recurring bad reviews and decide what changes could be made to improve. When reviewers see that you’re committed to representing your business when things are good and when they’re not so good, they’ll appreciate it and respect your company.