For entrepreneurs just starting out with their small businesses, one of the biggest challenges is boosting your awareness. You need to get more eyes on your brand and attract customers to your website. But how do you do this when your company is unknown, and there’s so much competition out there?
Of course, if you had the budget, you could hire a printing company to make posters and branded merchandise or splash out on paid ads to go directly to your target audience. But businesses that are just starting out rarely have this money to spend.
Fortunately, there are several ways of promoting a small business that are not only effective, but are completely free as well. To help you boost your brand awareness while protecting your business budget, here are five free ways to promote your company.
Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the last decade or so, the concept of using social media for business won’t be new to you. But it’s staggering how many businesses get it wrong. An excellent social media presence will work wonders to draw in fans and potential customers. But make sure not to be overly salesy and promotional about your business, or people will lose interest. You need to entice followers with educational, informative, and entertaining content.
Suppose your business is a pet grooming company. When people type search queries into Google, such as “how to wash my dog,” you ideally want to be right there at the top of the listings. And the way to do this is by being good at search engine optimization (SEO). This means that your website content is optimized for Google’s algorithms to rank it highly so more people see it. There are so many ways to boost your website’s SEO, but you can start by doing some keyword research, improving your site speed, and regularly posting new and original content.
Word of mouth
An excellent way to raise interest in your small business is to spread the word to people in your community. Ask your friends and family to talk up your business to anyone who will listen, and put up signs around your local area. Offer people you know discounted rates or freebies in exchange for telling others about your product or service, and before long, you will see the customers start to trickle in.
Relevant online communities
Whatever industry you are in, you will be able to find a wealth of online communities dedicated to this area of interest. Look for Facebook groups, Twitter hashtags, and forums dedicated to your field of expertise. The more specific, the better. Become actively engaged with these communities and again refrain from being overly self-promotional. Answer questions, help people solve problems, and establish yourself as an industry thought leader before getting your salesperson hat on.
If your small business has a story behind it that will resonate with people, there might be an opportunity to get into the press. Contact your local newspaper or industry publications to find out whether they’d be interested in publishing your story as a press release to their readership base.