5 Low-Cost Ways to Promote Your Small Business Today

If you’re a small business owner and need low-cost marketing recommendations, tips on how to stand apart from your competition, and strategies to attract the right clients, then this is for you.

Most of what I’ll discuss in this article are actually no-cost ways to promote your business. However, I labeled them low-cost because even if you don’t pay money out of your pocket, they will cost you at least something in terms of your time and energy.

If you regularly execute these strategies, your chances for success grow exponentially. The key is to be consistent, targeted, and strategic in your approach.

You can choose which ones are right for your business and personal style. If you’re not sure what will work, pick one or two and start executing them consistently.

If you’re seeing positive results from your efforts, great! If not, then try some new tactics until you find the ones that best resonate with your customers.

It’s common to go through a trial-and-error process and that’s ok. Marketing strategies and people’s tastes change. What is effective today may not be effective next month.

Despite all the changes taking place, there are some proven and practical marketing techniques you can use to promote your small business.

Here are 5 ways you can effectively and efficiently market your business.

#1) Write Authority Content: Blog Articles and Emails

A blog is an effective way to increase traffic to your website and build authority. Websites that have a blog have been shown to increase indexed pages by as much as 434%. Optinmonster Blog Stats.

You can position yourself as the knowledgeable industry expert you are by writing blog articles often. If writing blog articles isn’t your thing, you may consider hiring a writer to help you.

Blogs are especially helpful if you have a complex business offering that requires a certain level of explanation to your prospective customers. However, any business can benefit from having a blog.

Another effective, widely used, and low-cost marketing tactic is email marketing. Email marketing is as strong as it’s ever been. If someone signs up to receive emails from your business, you already have knowledge that they are there to learn more. 

#2) Post Shareable Content on Relevant Social Media Channels

As with blogs and emails, you can use social media to further increase your profile and establish your business as a trusted authority in your field.

I say “shareable” because that is essential nowadays. It important to create engaging and useful content that your prospective customers would want to share with others.

This is especially true if you do not have the budget for an advertising campaign. However, if you have organic content that people find useful and want to share, this increases your business profile in a meaningful way.

It’s nearly impossible for any business to reach 100% of their followers with organic (non-paid posts). The major social media platforms such as FB, Instagram, and Twitter operate on a “pay to play” basis. This means if you do not purchase advertising on these platforms, you will only reach a small percentage of your total followers. Usually that percentage is low single digits.

The only real way to partially get around not buying ads is if you post content that people find so entertaining, useful, or interesting that they want to share it with their followers. This requires your careful thought, planning, and execution.

For example, if you’re an accountant, you can publish a list of items people need to better prepare to file their next tax return. Or you can publish little-known tips that can help people save money on their taxes.

OR

If you’re a freelance copywriter, you can write a free report on the major do’s and don’t of writing copy for small business websites.

Keep in mind: you should tailor your content to your specific target audience. Then chose how you’ll best disseminate your content.

Focus on the social media platforms that are best for your business. Most businesses don’t need to post on every major social media platform to effectively reach their customers.

Decide whether you use LinkedIn, Facebook, your blog, or any combination of these or other platforms. It all depends on where your customers spend their time and where your marketing messages get the best responses.

You have to weigh the pros and cons of posting on each platform with your investment of time and energy. Even if you outsource this function, it may not make sense to pay someone to post on TikTok or Snap, for example, if your target customers don’t spend their time and attention there.

#3) Attend Industry Conferences and Speak on Panels

In-person conferences are making their comeback. Attending industry conferences can be a critical step in building your business. However, they can also be a waste of time and money if you don’t do your homework in advance.

It’s a wise idea to be focused on exactly what you want to achieve by attending a given industry conference. This way, you can help avoid attending a bunch of random ones and wasting your time and money.

One way to help defray the cost of attending a new or unfamiliar conference that sounds interesting to you, but you’re not sure about, is to offer to speak on a panel about your area of expertise.

If you’re a speaker on a panel, you can display your business talents, knowledge, and offering in an effective, but non-salesy manner. In addition, you almost always get the attendance fee waived if you agree to be a speaker at the conference.

#4) Turn Your Best Clients and Customers into Advocates for Your Business

There is nothing more powerful than receiving a positive and credible customer review for your business. If you receive a stellar Yelp or Google Review, make the most of it. And take action on this as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the review becomes a few months old or obsolete for one reason or another.

Place great reviews on your website, include them in your email blasts, or in social media posts to further spread the word.

#5) Networking

Networking can be time-consuming, but it can also be one of your best long-term career assets. As you age, your chances of getting your next client, job, or new business opportunity through someone you know increase dramatically.

During the pandemic, in-person networking became nearly non-existent for a period of time.

However, virtual networking has also opened up unique opportunities to meet more people of different backgrounds and in different locations. It has also provided more opportunities for deeper 1:1 networking with a variety of people.

Like Zoom and Docusign, the growth of Lunchclub during the past two years has been staggering. Lunchclub is a free 1:1 video networking powered by AI.

Here’s how it works. You sign up for a free account and fill out what your goals and interests are. Then you are paired with various people where you can set up a 45-minute networking session if you so choose.

Lunchclub originally started as an in-person networking group in 2017 in cities like New York and San Francisco. During the pandemic, it went all virtual.

I reluctantly signed up for Lunchclub at a friend’s suggestion during the pandemic and was pleasantly surprised. I met some of the most fascinating people who shared similar interests and goals. LunchClub CNBC 

One thing I especially liked about Lunchclub is how you can select what your goals and interests are in your profile. Perhaps you joined just to meet new and interesting people in your field or a field that is different from your current one.

However, if you’re there to grow or promote your business, there’s no need to be shy about it. You will likely get paired up with networking opportunities of people who want to learn more about your business or help you grow your business.

Market Your Business Consistently Whether You Think You Need It or Not

Small business owners like you should consistently market your products or services, whether or not you see an immediate need. Even if you’re enjoying a steady flow of business, there may come a time when your prospects are few and far between.

By testing and selecting low-cost or no-cost marketing tactics that work best for your business, you can ensure you’re placing your precious time, energy, and resources in the best possible strategies to generate more revenue consistently.

P.S. If you’re a marketer or small business owner and need help with any of this, feel free to message me, Dina Marovich, on LinkedIn.

Dina Marovich

Marketing Consultant, Direct Response Copywriter & Advertising Strategist. Meaningful results for your business.

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