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6 Free and Amazing Ways to Promote Your Business

As a cash-strapped small business owner, I had to come up with creative ways of promoting my business. And by creative, I mean free 🙂  And no, this is not going to be another post on how to use Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to promote your business.

There are many ways you can promote your business for free, but there is one thing that ties them all together. And that’s YOU. The first step to making your small business amazing is to realize that YOU are amazing! You are an expert, an industry leader…you know your business, and you know it well. So why not leverage your expertise when promoting your business? Keep this in mind as you read on.

Start a Blog

So you’ve got a company website up. The website has information about your company, your products and services, pricing information, contact information, and maybe a cool video or two. But no one is visiting your website. That’s because they don’t know you exist!

The easiest way for people to discover your website is to start a blog. Blog about things people in your industry care about. Help others solve common problems on their own. Provide useful tips and tricks. Think about what someone who is in need of your product or service would search for in Google. Remember, you’re an expert. The key is to make the blog about them, not you (that’s what your website is for).

Guest Post on Other Blogs

Find other blogs in your industry and ask if you can write a guest post for them. Your guest post will include a brief description of who you are, and a link back to your website. Most blog owners are happy to take guest posts because it increases the value of their blog. And by doing so, you will drive customers back to your site. This also adds to your credibility as an industry expert. Feel free to contact me if you would like to experiment with guest posting on my blog.

Publish Free eBooks

So you’re an expert, right? And don’t forget, amazing! Why not use your knowledge to publish free eBooks on topics of interest to your target audience. By making them free, you exponentially increase the number of people that will read them…free eBooks spread like wildfire online. Remember, your goal here is to build awareness of your small business, not to make a few bucks. Make sure to include your business logo and information in the eBook to remind people where it came from.

For a quick primer on eBooks, check out Why eBooks Are Better Than Whitepapers, and for some ideas and inspiration browse through Hubspot’s free eBooks.

Create Videos

Videos are another great form of sharing content. Sometimes it’s easier to show someone how to do something than it is to describe it in words. Videos are also a nice break from the usual blog post. I recommend you upload your video to YouTube and then embed it on your website. The reason is that you will benefit from all the traffic YouTube already gets.

Again, you want to think about what your audience is interested in learning about. For example, if you make jewelry, create a video that shows others how to make a simple necklace. If you’re an artist, show others how to master a particular technique. To see a good example of how to use videos on your website, take a look at Lori McNee’s blog

Participate in Online Forums

Becoming an active member of an online community is a great way to prove yourself as an expert in your field, and drive traffic back to your website. People are always looking for answers online, why not it be you they trust?

I’m a member of several online forums, including a Q&A site for startups, and it has been a very rewarding experience. It’s a great feeling knowing that you helped another small business owner succeed.

There are tons of forums and Q&A sites online. You just have to find the ones that line up with your line of business. To get you started, take a look at the list of official StackExchange sites. StackExchange is a network of Q&A websites on a wide range of topics – who knows, you may find one in your area of expertise. LinkedIn answers and Yahoo! Answers are two other good places to visit.

Submit Articles to Article Directories

Article directories are websites that allow people to submit their articles to them for free. Like with the other techniques, submitting to article directories increases your credibility as an expert in your business field, and will drive customers back to your website. Ezine Articles is the largest, and most respected, article directory online. To see more, a list of the top 50 article directories can be found here.

Now It’s Your Turn

I hope some of the ideas and examples I shared will help you promote your business. The nice thing is that they are all free – they just require a bit of your time. Now it’s your turn to go out there and try!

Remember, be creative. Be amazing!

Have you had success with any of these techniques? What other free ways have you used to promote your business?

VOTE for this post HERE and also Leave a Comment to win great prizes!

This post is part of the HP SugarTone contest: “Making your business amazing”, sponsored by Hewlett Packard


I am the co-founder of Light Point Security, LLC – a startup company developing the next generation in web security products. I am also a project manager for multi-million dollar government contracts. I blog about startups, small businesses, and internet security. http://lightpointsecurity.com

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Comments
  • Mags

    Thanks for this luzy, some great tips there. I’d add that there is no such thing as free-you’re giving your time and when you’re in business your time is a cost so make sure that you’re using it wisely and getting a return from your free tools.

  • Yes, great point! Funny, I actually planned on mentioning that in the article, but I decided against it because it was getting too long.

    The way I decide if it makes sense is by taking into account my hourly rate. Lets say my time is worth $50/hour and it’s going to take me 2 hours to write an article for Ezine Articles. That’s $100 worth of time. Then I think, can I invest $100 somewhere else and get a better return?

    Of course this is a very simplistic example because much more goes into my decision making process than just that, like the likelihood that I’ll hit my target, and personal satisfaction. I spend time answering small business and startup questions online mostly because I want to help others, not because I expect to get anything out of it. But if I do get a lead or two, it makes it that much better!

  • Anonymous

    Nice post Zuly

    One more to add …

    Offer to talk at related business events …

    Paul

  • Hi Zuly, welcome to Bloggertone, great post and super tips! By the way folks, we are creating an cool Ebook at the end of this comp so I’m happy to say we are following Zuly’s advice 🙂

  • Welcome to Bloggertone Zuly, nice post and great tips. I’m in the process of implementing some of the ideas this month that I’m not already doing. I agree with Margaret, your time is money, however you can also turn that around by adding that it is a free gift worth €xxxx.

  • Yes, thanks for adding that. What better way to show leadership in your industry!

  • Thanks Niall! That’s a great idea! I would love to share all the other great articles.

  • Thanks Mairead, I’m looking forward to contributing again! That’s a great suggestion about putting a value on your free gift! I think I might have to steal that idea 🙂

  • Good post,I started a company blog for my personal training business a year ago and I can honestly say that blogging has increased my business, position me as the expert, developed a cult like following, and made it easier to pitch my services to my list. It’s the most cheapest way to get free targeted traffic in your local area and a great marketing tool because people don’t see blogs marketing to them. I love it because blogging is such an sneaky under the radar marketing tool that most business owners don’t get. Thanks for the info

  • Hi Zuly. The point you’re mentioning here is also great generating traffic to any type of website and blog 🙂

  • Yes, very true. These ideas don’t just apply to business websites, you can certainly use them to drive traffic to any site. Thanks for commenting!

  • I agree, a blog is an excellent marketing tool. Thanks for sharing your experience with us Christian! I always enjoy hearing real life success stories!

  • Thanks for this! Question regarding Article Directories, do you guys get business from these sites? or is this to increase backlinks to your site – SEO/google benefits?

  • John

    Hi Zuly,

    I take your points on board and think some of your ideas are really good. Would love to talk to you more about lightpoint drop me an email [email protected].

    John

  • Paddy gahan

    Hi Julie great post and some really easy practical ideas

  • Jenny

    These are great ideas. Don’t forget traditional PR – getting an article written about your product or service can be a game-changer. You can get a media list of contacts at HandleYourOwnPR.com

  • Joseph

    Happy to inform that DirectoryGist.Com is compiling searcheable List of Web/Article Directories, Social Bookmarking Sites & Search engines. Right now, there are about 6000 directories in the database.

    This is one of free and effecive ways you can use to promote your business.
    If you want more traffic to your resources, then getting listed on DirectoryGist.Com is a must.

    You can add your web directory or other resources to the database here: http://www.directorygist.com/add-new-web-directory.php

    Thanks

    Joseph
    author and publisher,
    http://www.josytal.com – Affordable software for small business.
    http://www.directorygist.com – Directory of Directories.

  • post free ad

    The best way for individuals to find your website is to start a site. Blog about things individuals in your market care about. Help others fix typical issues on their own.




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