How to advertise your business for free
Firstly we'd like to say we are using the term "free" loosely as simply put YOU cannot do anything to promote your business for FREE. If you do something then you are using YOUR time which is a resource - a resource is worth something - i.e. you can translate it into equivalent money. So this article is really about doing things for not a lot of money or where just your time is involved.
So let's look at ways you can advertise your business on the cheap!
Submitting articles can be a good way of getting the word out about your website, it also has the added bonus of making you appear to be an expert on a particular subject matter whether you are or not. There are hundreds of article sites out there - you can even buy software to submit your articles for you as well as help create new articles from a single article - using "spinning". All web sites love new content, it creates more traffic for them and they usually get paid by people clicking their ads or clicking on banners. You benefit from getting a back link or links to your website. These can help give you a little boost in the search engines or just give you some natural free web traffic from people who read the article and then visit your website.
If you are having trouble writing an article there are lots of people who are willing to write articles for you for next to nothing...we would advise writing your own though as you are unlikely to know the full source of the articles you are paying for.
Donate a gift / or your services to a raffle or charity - this has many benefits, apart from the downside of your time and the cost of any products you give this is all positive advertising. Your company will be seen in a good light, you might generate more work from it, you might get some more links and more promotion from it , you might sell some products off the back of it.
In a similar way you can find bloggers who blog on a particualr niche - you can give them the product or pay them a fee and ask them to promote it for you - some blogs have massive followings.
Get listed locally - search engines are all going local so if you have a bricks and mortar business make sure your business shows up when people search for whatever it is you sell and the location - e.g. if you sell tyres in a particular region - make sure you show up - after all it is free.
PR articles - This is pretty similar to writing your own articles - except there are a whole load of different websites you can submit your press release too - there are quite a few free ones you can use as well as paid press release articles sites. As well as websites if you are doing something local - then it's well worth writing an article for a local newspaper - they are constantly looking for fresh copy and interesting local stories...so if you have something of interest this can be a good joint venture.
Get the t-shirt - Have your business website / phone number printed on a t-shirt - you can be a walking advertisement for your business - a t-shirt costs next to nothing to print up - and you have to wear clothes anyway - so why not advertise your own business...let's face it you can pay a small fortune for sports t-shirts like Nike and Adidas just to advertise their business!
Get a car bumper sticker or decal - With phone surfers on the increase, more and more people are likely to find your website in this way in the future.
Promotional gifts - give away t-shirts, pencils , pens, mouse mats with your company information on them - these can be low cost to produce on mass and who doesn't like being given free stuff?
Focussed forums - There is a forum on pretty much anything you can think of. Simply find the forum that relates to your business the most and get posting - make sure you post good content though - as you want to be reflected in a good light - don't just spam either - if you're first post is - we are great visit our site - chance are you'll get removed straight away.
Viral Advertising - Can you post a funny video with your company mentioned at the start and end - or even better in the video itself?
Help Videos - Can you post a video that shows how your product or service can solve a problem?
Free Directories - There are lots of free directories where you can list your website by simply providing a few details about your site - remember to try to change your copy to be unique.
Branding - Whenever people mention branding people automatically think of huge advertising budgets, but it doesn't have to be this way. If you create a brand, image or position in the marketplace. To do this you might concentrate on providing a product solely for one category - this might be gender, age, or class - price your products at the high end of the market and people will feel superior about themselves as they can afford your high class products, aim your products at the low end and people feel they are getting value for money. Sell your products in specific shops only - sell high end bicycles in pro-cycling shops only.
Networking - Use websites such as twitter and facebook to shout out about new products, sales or anything about your business. It's important to also mention other interesting things that the people who are likely to use your products and services might also be interested - this way you can keep these followers/likers and also add to them. It's also worthwhile attending network meetings where you can meet like minded people as well as having a good time at these places.
Word of mouth - This can be a "normal conversation" where you get to know somebody and "just by accident" you mention what your company does.
Get links to your website from similar themed websites. It's essentially a vote for your site - you can read more about weblinks here.
If you have a bit of cash to invest in your business why not take a look at how to advertise your business.