You may need a growing client list now more than ever before. But if your inflow of cash is down, it may seem tough, even unwise, to put your hard-earned dollars toward marketing. But less marketing can lead to fewer clients.
So what can be done? A lot, actually. Here are six ways to market your business without having to shell out too many of those valuable greens.
1. Start with the Cards
Some websites, such as BIZCard, will send you up to 250 business cards for free. Others allow you to customize your cards and then print them out yourself (e.g., Free Printable Business Cards). Now is a good time to take advantage of these offers. You’ll have a chance to update your look at a low cost.
2. Build Your Online Presence
Sure you’ve got a Web site, but does it need updating? Take some time to study your current site. If you spot areas that need to be changed, make the necessary tweaks right away. Then take it a step further. The Web is full of places where you can advertise your business and your expertise for free. Do you have valuable tips to offer customers? Consider starting a blog on your Web site. Or join a forum and share your expert advice with others. You might even offer to write an article for another Web site or blog. Include your contact information so readers know how to reach you. List your business in online directories, such as Google Local Business Center, so that it comes up in searches.
3. Use Press Releases
They’re fairly easy to write and can go a long way. Think of recent milestones your business has reached. If they are newsworthy, write about them. How to Write an Effective Press Release can help you. You can distribute your press releases for free at Free Press Release.
If you want your press release to reach a larger audience, check out the PR Toolkit offered by PR Newswire. When you sign up, you’ll receive up to $2,000 in discounts and services. If you decide to get an account, read through all of the terms to make sure you can get the most out of it for your business.
4. Give Freebies
Think about giving away free samples to customers or ongoing clients. Get the word out by advertising it on your Web site or even in a local publication. Make the giveaway item small enough to fit in your budget but big enough that it appeals to customers.
5. Beef Up Your Newsletter
Do you send out an occasional newsletter to clients and potential customers? If so, great. If not, it’s time to start one. Send yours out via the Internet and you’ll save on paper costs. Make sure it contains helpful information for readers. Try adding an interview with an expert. For help with the design, head to CampaignMonitor for some free e-mail templates.
6. Plan Events
Want to host a charity event? Take clients out for dinner? Events are a solid opportunity to talk to others about your business. If you’re planning an event, think of how you can use it to build your company’s reputation. Zero in on potential clients, network with others in your industry, and be sure to carry your business cards. Keep building relationships and your business will prosper, not only this year but in the years to come.