Not all businesses have huge marketing budgets and even if you do, you can still take advantage of our top 10 free things you can do to promote your business. As we have talked about before, marketing for professional services is very different from marketing products, but we can learn a lot from how our cousins promote their businesses. The digital age and the rise of social media have enabled companies to grow their businesses to far wider audiences than ever before. But how can you do it on a small budget? Free tools are always a bonus but the one caveat is that they can take up your valuable time, if time is scarce, these tools can still be a  part of your marketing strategy but outsourcing them to marketing professionals may be the sensible answer.

What can you do?

1. Social Media

There is a raft of platforms available for you to promote your business, and whatever the level of professionalism your company wishes to portray there is a platform with a suitable tone of voice to meet all needs. However, we at Consortium would recommend you don’t stick to just one platform, try a mix of Twitter and LinkedIn for professional updates and perhaps Facebook for general company news. People like to do business with people, so don’t be afraid of showing your personality or the human side of your business. Does it all seem like too much? Well yes, it can be, Social Media can take a lot of time. Thankfully Social Media is also one of the more cost-effective activities you can outsource, Consortium Business Solutions can put a social media strategy together for you.

2. Free Directories

You have to exercise a bit of caution here, as not all free directories are created equal and your Techy friends will argue that you could do damage to your website with links from low-quality directory sites. However, there are still plenty of reputable directory sites that still do a valuable service. Try to pick quality sites serving your niche market. A 10 minute Google search will pull up plenty to get you started.

3. Networking events

There are lots of free-to-attend events out there, this need not be an expensive activity. While not everyone is comfortable being a Social Butterfly, meeting at events with like-minded folk should be enough to put you at ease and make the most of networking.

4. Start a blog

Nothing drives internet traffic better than a well-written blog, search engines love them. But believe it or not, there are lots of real people out there that want to hear your thoughts and ideas and many of those people will be potential customers. Again, Blog writing is something that can be outsourced if time is under-resourced.

5. Speak at industry events

Ok, this is definitely something you can’t outsource, people will want to hear from you, not your stand-in. Speaking at these events will give you the opportunity to promote your business, network with others, but also give you the chance to hear other speakers in your field.

6. Free money

Apply for government grants where possible to help with your marketing strategy and to deliver tactical plans.

7. Cross-Selling

This is a complete subject in its own right and it is obviously dependant on the nature of your business as to how many cross-selling opportunities there could be. Set up procedures in-house which means that existing and new customers are regularly exposed to other products and services you provide. Share contact lists with other departments and make sure they are following them up. There are no leads warmer than customers you already have.

8. Customer reviews

Nothing sells like a glowing happy customer review. In fact, the modern online trading environment is completely based on customer views and feedback. When a happy customer, sends a note of thanks, tell the world (use your social media channels) it will hold a lot more credibility than any carefully crafted PR campaign.

9. Customer Referral Schemes

Reward customers for their new customer referrals. Word of Mouth is still the mainstay of successful companies even offline. A reward scheme to encourage existing customers to put in a good word for you will pay dividends.

10. Be an expert

Promote your business through your experience and expertise. We have already mentioned speaking at industry events but this can be extended. Join forums and actively join in and comment. Continue your networking online. Offer your services and guess write on blogs. Be yourself and let your personality and expertise shine through, your credibility online will grow and naturally spill out into the real world giving customers the assurance you are indeed the expert they need.

What’s next

Ok so we have given you 10 top things you can do for free to promote your business (or nearly free), but there are many more strategies available, if you would like to develop these or any other strategic marketing plans you have in mind, or would like help to implement them call us on 01903 530787 or email Lara. If you want to speak to Lara specifically then call 07958 773555.

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Business DevelopmentMarketing for small businessesMarketing StrategyPromotionSocial Media