Our 15 DIY PR post generated a lot of buzz around executing PR and marketing ideas on the cheap. In response to it, (and thanks to Michael Basinet's recommendation) we've decided to follow up with another post on more ideas around marketing your business for almost nothing. Read on!
1. Design creative business cards. Most business cards are thrown in a pile or discarded after a meeting or networking event. Why not create a card someone will use? Or one they're sure to remember? This post from creativebits showcases some great ideas!
2. Do-It-Yourself SEO. Submit your site to major search engines and indexes. Click here for a great post on where to find the URLs and tips on submitting your site the right way. Also, check out our previous post on 25 Free (and Useful) SEO Tools.
3. Take a free online marketing course. On a previous post, we highlighted 99 free business and entrepreneurship classes of which nine pertained to marketing. Invest some time in taking the course and apply some of the methods for your business.
4. Use an ad exchange network to exchange links with someone. One I've heard a lot about is adgridwork.com. While we haven't tried it yet, it allows you to add your site to their network for free. Your ad is displayed in relevant sites while you display an ad on your site. Basically, you're exchanging ads from one site to another. It's a great way to drive targeted traffic to your site.
5. Give back to your community. A great way to give back, promote your business, and feel good about yourself is to volunteer in your area. Help out at a local homeless shelter or church. You'll be amazed at the great connections you'll make. If you're not sure of how to find these events or what to do, visit VolunteerMatch and search for opportunities near you.
6. Use CafePress. Create your own pens, mugs, notebooks, T-shirts, etc. and give them away. It's an inexpensive way to have your prospect/client/user be surrounded by your branding. The more useful the item, the better. Save money and buy them in bulk.
7. Start an incentive program. What better way to attract users than to ask current or former users/clients to refer you to someone. Offer an incentive for motivation. It could be something you make with your branding on it using CafePress. It could also be your own product/service for free or at a discount - it doesn't hurt tying it back to your business!
8. Offer something for free. For example, we offer a free one-hour consultation (though it typically lasts longer) with early-stage internet startups looking for execution support. This consultation is one way we attract prospects. The objective here is to convert the visitors to your site into users or to get them to contact you in some way. What can you do in your business that has the same effect? Some ideas include providing them with a free subscription for a short period of time to your site, free shipping on purchases for a limited time, etc.
9. Social Media Outreach. There are tons of free buzz-building tactics you can employ. It's also a great way to stay abreast of the latest trends on your industry while building credibility for yourself and your business. Some methods include:
- Scouring the blogosphere and other social networks for relevant posts, groups, etc. and contributing valuable relevant content (being careful not to SPAM!).
- Creating your own groups and discussions around your product/service. Start a conversation with your customers, gain valuable feedback, and drive traffic to your site.
10. Create a Squidoo Lens. Squidoo basically allows you to create your own online page. Highlight the benefits of your service or showcase your expertise in an area related to your field. You can also point to photos on Flickr, Google maps, your blog, eBay auctions, YouTube, etc. Squidoo also shares their advertising revenue with you. Check out our Cheap Revolution page for additional ideas.