When I first started Charlie Moo’s back in 2008 I had a young family, time and money were considerably lacking. To promote my small business I had to become creative and learn new skills. Fast forward over 10 years and more children and I still don’t like to spend money on marketing to promote my small business. There is seriously nothing wrong with bootstrapping your small business, in fact, it makes perfect sense and increases your profit margins. I’m a big believer in outsourcing things you can’t do yourself BUT there are so many ways you can promote your small business for free why wouldn’t you be doing it!?
10 Ways to Promote Your Small Business For Free (Or On a Small Budget)
- Get Social: Social media is free to join the only outlay is your time. Social media is a great way to engage with other small business owners as well as potential customers/clients. Social media can help your business to attract customers, get customer feedback and build customer loyalty. Read more here 21 Facebook Business Page Tips To Turbocharge Your Following
- Use a Mass Emailing Service: Grow your email list having a customer’s email address enables you to send out offers, previews, and discount codes specific to them. Your emailing system will enable you to track how successful certain offers, and discount codes are.
- Press Release: Write and send a press release about your small business to local newspapers and magazines.
- Referral Programmes: Reward loyal customers with discounts, freebies, or money-off vouchers, either way, keeping customers happy will mean they tell all of their friends.
- Networking: Meet and build relationships with other small business owners both face-to-face and online. Networking helps you develop new skills, grow your business but also eases the loneliness of working from home.
- Promotional Advertising Leaflets: Not strictly free but certainly low cost. You can get 1,000 flyers printed for under £50, or why not team up with another small business? You take the front they take the back saving yourself some money plus you only have to deliver 500. Do a leaflet drop door to door, put them out in libraries, and hang them in schools, cafes, and local notice boards.
- Blogging: Writing a blog is a great way to give your small business personality and make you relatable to your customers. It’s also the perfect platform to promote upcoming events, achievements, award wins, and new products.
- Reviews/Testimonials: Ask your customers to leave your business reviews on Facebook, Google, or your website. Reviews play a big role in building a brand, developing credibility and loyalty, and customer service but also for SEO (search engine optimisation). Reviews and testimonials provide customers with a voice, by allowing and enabling them to express their voice you increase customer engagement/interaction as well as loyalty. Both Facebook and Google favour businesses with reviews. According to MOZ’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey (2018), online reviews could make up 10% of how Google (plus other search engines) rank search results. You can then use customer testimonials as social proof within your social media.
- Free Online Listings: Especially good if you organise events you will find lots of local websites that provide a free listing section – Netmums, local newspapers, Raring2Go!
- Displays: In the early years of Charlie Moo’s I used to take my wares as a display to many a toddler group, I could advertise my business, maybe sell a few products, and hand out some promotional leaflets but I could also take my children to play. Or make up baskets where products can be purchased or ordered and organise them being put in staff rooms/offices etc.
If you are feeling the pinch this month then why not try a couple of these suggestions out? If you have any more to add do leave them in the comments below. ⤵️⤵️
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