To sell your products and services as a small business, you need the right information. I have distilled the vast information available online to make it easy for you to promote your business and attract customers on a shoestring budget.
This information comprises of some old school methods of promotion combined with some modern and innovative methods. All of these activities together will yield wonderful results. I have tried to make sure that the tips suggested here are proven yet low cost methods to promote your business and attract your customers.
All of the methods listed here may not be suitable for your business type, so focus on the ways that would work best for your business.
These methods can broadly be divided into three major categories.
- Offline Promotion
- SEO and digital marketing
- Other innovative methods
A. Offline Promotion
As far as offline methods of promotion are concerned, we can again divide it into the following points:
1. Volunteer work
Start volunteering for community services in your neighborhood. Arrange free health checkup camps or simply sponsor an event. Just try it, your community, church or mosque is waiting for your services. Its worldly incentives include free publicity.
2. Host community meetings
In spite of the fact that it’s prevalent mostly in the Western countries you can try it in the East as well. Invite groups such as book clubs, football fans, local groups, and political and religious groups for a meet up or get-together. Offer freebies, discounts, donuts and coffee. They will likely come back to buy from you.
3. Distribute leaflets and flyers
One of the most powerful weapons of the old school marketing arsenal, leaflets and flyers are still relevant and effective.
4. Do some charity and conduct charity shows
Arrange charity shows and invite children and other artists to organize the show. Distribute the proceeds to the poor and the weak and get free publicity.
5. Hold in person events
Get outside your premises and offer your services outside, or simply organize an event and invite people to your place. Collect their contact information, offer freebies and discount coupons, or send coupons to their mailing address.
6. Partner with other related businesses
If you are a wedding planner, partner with music bands, flower shops, decorators, caterers and other event organizers. Partner with these businesses and distribute discount coupons and membership cards to their customers. Offer a free appetizer on their first visit.
7. Offer great customer service
Customer service is the key to success in any business – big or small. Offer exceptional customer service, so that you get a lot of referrals and word of mouth promotion.
8. Nurture existing customers and expand your customer base
Use your existing customers to expand your customer base. Give personalized gifts to your customers on their marriage anniversaries and birthdays. Offer incentives to your customers to bring more customers for you. It may be a jumbo discount or a free offer.
B. Digital marketing
Digital marketing is one of the most effective ways to attract customers to your startup or small business. Try the following action tips and experience a flood of customers pouring in:
- Create a website
It’s the first step of digital marketing and a platform for all your future campaigns. Later on, you can create a blog and a video log on YouTube.
- Go for directory listing
List your business on all local and popular online directories to improve your visibility. Hire an SEO professional, if it’s too much for you.
- Create your presence on “Google My Business”
It’s Google’s own way of local listing and SEO for your business. It will not only create your online presence, but also increase your visibility in organic searches.
- Create your presence on social channels
Choose a social media channel that is popular among your customers and audiences and use it fully to promote your brand. It can be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or WhatsApp.
- Do some online advertising
Try Facebook and Google advertising. It instantly brings results, leads and traffic. This is the fastest way to convert your prospects well before you appear on organic searches.
C. Other innovative methods
Apart from these, there are some other innovative methods as well that you can try to attract customers.
- Leverage influencer marketing through word of mouth
Use your existing customers to act as your brand ambassadors. Offer “real” and “valuable” incentives for every sale you close through those customers. You can also use them to distribute your flyers etc. Reward the people, who mention your brand in their public meetings and social gatherings. Run campaigns like, bring 5 customers and take your free gift, etc.
- Offer free gifts, discounts and deals
This is a great way to promote your business. “Free” is a magic word in the world of business, use it to your advantage. Look for opportunities to offer freebies.
- Arrange contests
- Leverage influencer marketing through word of mouth
Contests are a great way to attract customers. Arrange both offline and online contest. Use your creativity.
4. Share your knowledge
Sharing knowledge is a great way to promote yourself and your business. You can use a blog, a Vlog(video blog) or an event to share your knowledge. Make sure it offers value to your customers.
There is a long list of tips you can try to promote your business and attract customers. We have tried to present all the valuable information at one place. Most of these tips can be tried by startups and cash strapped small businesses. You can learn digital marketing through Google itself. Pour some passion into it and see the magic.