As a business, you know it is important to get your name out there. You need to attract customers before you can sell them a product or service. It can be challenge just getting them in the door, and proper marketing can be expensive and time consuming. However, not all solutions are necessarily expensive and some can be creative and easy to do.
Getting your business visibility with physical marketing is a good way of informing the immediate area of your business about what products and services you offer. This kind of marketing is great for public places that receive a lot traffic. Roadways are common, but sometimes parks and places with a lot of foot-traffic (like a university campus) are great as well. Temporary events, like carnivals, may allow you to advertise as well but will usually come with a fee.
Signs, Banners, and Flags
Signs are very typical and common but they work. They’re usually easy to place, last for a while (so long as they don’t receive a lot of abuse where they’re placed), and offer a good amount of space to spread your message.
Flags are great for gathering a bit more attention than a sign could. Although designing custom flags might be slightly more expensive due to printing, they move with the wind which is enough to catch someone’s eye.
While it may seem silly, a business card can greatly expand your marketability. Just simply handing one out to a customer, potential customer, or anyone, gives them a means of contacting you, finding you, and referring you to their friends. While it may require a graphic designer, it would be a one-time thing, and printing them is easy and cheap.
Build a Website and a Blog
Online marketing is great for any business, regardless of size. While it may seem fruitless to display yourself on a global level, when your customer base might be more local, it is still worth the effort. Putting your information online makes it easier for customers to find you when they start searching for products or services you provide as all of the information you wish to share in an easily accessible place.
Although this requires regular effort on your part, putting yourself out there on social media is a free and an easy way to market. However, you have to be dedicated to voicing yourself on the platforms you choose to use.
Blogging, although it sounds silly, is actually a great way of promoting your business. If you have a website with a blog, and regularly post on it, you greatly increase your chances of your website showing up in search results. It’s a great way of promoting yourself while also sounding more personal and social. Even if you don’t have a place you can reliably blog from, you can guest blog, or ask others to post on their blogs, showing a level of related expertise, while also promoting yourself. By doing this, you are exposing someone’s established audience to your business and greatly expanding your customer base by doing so.
Network and Engage the (Business) Community
There are some activities and cooperative events that you could attend and use to market yourself. These are great because they allow you to connect with the community in person and build lasting relationship with customers, or they allow you to cooperate with friendly businesses in mutually beneficial efforts. Even something as simple as befriending someone could end up greatly expanding your customer base.
Referral programs, like business cards, use your customer base to market your business. All they require is a business card and something to motivate customers into referring your business to their friends, family, or colleagues. Usually this will be a prize or a temporary discount, but it’s one small cost for several new customers.
Affiliation and partner programs are great for communicating with other businesses and getting endorsements or referrals. You can also try to contact local celebrities or well-known personalities about sharing your business. Influencer marketing is a great way for a business to get off the ground and it can even be low-cost.
Almost everyone with a car listens to radio. Local stations can sponsor endorsements which can grab the attention of locals in your area. Chances are you will have to pay them, but it will greatly expand your local target audience and it’s much cheaper than paying for a TV commercial.
Attend local events, like sporting or concerts, and hand out pamphlets or talk with attendants. This might seem tedious, but why not make use of so many people in one place? Even attending seminars or networking events greatly expands a local audience and just being there is almost always low-cost.