Advertising Your Business on a Budget

While I think it’s absolutely critical that you have plenty of money to market your business, I understand that many entrepreneurs are on a tight budget, and have to be very careful with how they spend it. If you’re looking for ideas on how to market your business for free, these ideas won’t be of much help. But if you have a few shillings and are looking to get some good word out there, here are some ideas to help you:

  1. E-mail – Borderline ethical and some ISPs won’t like this but do good research and don’t send out form mail. You can e-mail potential prospects directly with a good offer and they could respond with interest about your product or service. Here is an lead generator that you can use.
  2. Search Engine Optimization – I think the payoff from attracting visitors naturally to your website is great for your business long term. My problem is that it’s just too slow to get results. But if you’re willing to bide your time, start buying some links for a payoff further down the road. Need help on this?
  3. Get a website – Nowadays, having your own website is as important as having a business card or a telephone. There is simply no reason why a small business, should not have a website. Can you do e-commerce if you are not online? No. Can potential customers who hear about you check you out later on the internet if you do not have a website? No again. Can current customers find out what your new offerings are if you lack a website? Not easily. Get one here.
  4. Partnerships – Everyone talks about partnerships but no one talks about how to do it. Here is the method we used to bring in some of our best partners. To reach out to potential partners, you’ll have to e-mail them or send them a letter, so you’ll need to implement something similar to what you would do if you were trying to reach clients directly. But what I like about this is that I think your money go much further sooner since you don’t have to worry about establishing a relationship with your new potential prospects – it’s already done for you.

Marketing Ideas that I Don’t Like
Here are some ideas that you may hear for new businesses on a budget but I don’t like them because they are way too slow to develop and you need some sort of factor that is beyond most people’s control.

  • Networking – Uggghhh. To me this is just about brown-nosing with the hopes of something giving you a break. The problem with this is that it may never develop. You’re not developing a plan with any type of numbers to back you up. You’re just going out on a whim and a prayer. Yes, it has helped some people but it does not work consistently enough for most new businesses to rely on.
  • Give Away Free Stuff – The idea of giving away stuff for free is not a bad idea in general but the problem we are trying to solve here is that we’re just trying to get people to pay attention to a new product or service. We’re just trying to get the eyeballs and this does nothing to help that. Keep it handy down the road but don’t focus on this too much when you’re getting started.

The most important thing to remember when you’re marketing on a budget is to determine what your goal is. If it’s to generate new leads, find the method that will bring you leads at the lowest cost per lead – don’t worry about branding, or creating a foundation to build on in the future. Get leads inexpensively, now.

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