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How to Market Your Small Business for Free

Whether you’re in the early stages of a new business or are an established company struggling in the midst of COVID-19, you may be wondering how to market your business with a small marketing budget (or none at all!). Below you’ll find 10 totally free strategies for entrepreneurs to market their small business.

1. Blog consistently.

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but content is king. Make sure you have a beautiful website up and running, but also make sure you have a blog you can publish posts on. The key is to publish consistently, but with a focus on quality over quantity. By creating a collection of useful posts full of content your ideal clients want and need, you’ll start becoming more visible through search engines and social media platforms.

2. Attend industry events.

It’s important to be visible in your industry because you’ll create opportunities to collaborate with colleagues. For example, if you’re in the wedding industry and are a planner, you’ll meet florists, designers, stationers, etc. to work with on styled shoots you can try to get featured in publications.

3. Give something away.

Back to the first strategy, content is a key way to increase visibility. Taking this a step further, offering valuable freebies is an effective way to build an email list of engaged potential customers. Consider having a pop up on your home page that offers a free download in exchange for an email address; freebies on blog posts (these are called content upgrades); or running a giveaway on social media with a valuable prize for one lucky winner.

4. Get featured.

Leverage existing audiences by getting featured as much as possible. Try to get your work featured on big blogs, get your products reviewed by influencers, or add try to have your company added to lists of industry professionals in online directories.

PR is very important for entrepreneurs because it greatly increases your visibility. When you have a budget to spend, I’d definitely focus on PR and try to get featured as much as possible. Consider hiring a firm that can suggest the best fit for your business and industry. I do a lot of work for Leila of Be Inspired PR, who offers a variety of services and packages for different budgets, and highly recommend them.

5. Become a guest contributor.

Aside from focusing on PR for your portfolio, you should also try to write guest articles a few times for blogs that your ideal customers frequent. For example, if you’re a photo editor you might consider writing a guest blog post for The Rising Tide Society, which is a community of creatives – a large portion of which are photographers (your ideal client!).

6. Be active on social media.

Social media is an absolute must. So you don’t overwhelm yourself, start off by focusing on just a couple of platforms that work best for your business. If you business is primarily visual, Instagram and Pinterest might be best for you. Do a little research to find out which platforms your target audience spends the most time on, learn those platforms inside and out, and master your strategy of publishing content, getting visible, and building an engaged audience. Once again, quality over quantity is important here!

7. Start a newsletter.

Newsletters aren’t typically free, but they can be when you’re starting out if you find a provider that offers a free membership for a small number of subscribers. Focus on building an email list of subscribers you can send engaging content to monthly via your newsletter. For tips on getting started, learn how to quickly grow your newsletter subscribers.

8. Become an expert in SEO.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is so, so important but does require some patience. SEO affects your ranking on Google – the better optimized your site is, the higher up you’ll appear in search engines. This is great because it’s an incredibly effective marketing tactic that’s totally free, but it can be an advanced strategy with a bit of a learning curve. I highly recommend spending a lot of time researching and reading about SEO to become familiar with the best practices for boosting your optimization.

9. Host a workshop or webinar.

Consider hosting a local workshop or an online webinar where you’ll teach something valuable to your target audience. This is a great idea because this workshop will establish credibility and show your expertise in your field, and you could eventually even turn your webinar into a digital product you can sell for passive income.

10. Make connections.

Network, network, network. Going back to social media and industry events, meet as many people as you can. Consider creating a LinkedIn profile and make a lot of connections; be a speaker at an industry event; or attend local networking events. The more connections you make, the better, because you never know who might be a friend of a friend looking for your services!

When it comes to marketing your business, patience is key. You likely won’t see immediate results from a lot of your marketing efforts, but putting in the time to make your company visible will pay off. Try a few methods to start, give each strategy enough time to see results, then focus on what works best for you.

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