5 free ways to promote your start up business
Advertising and promoting a start up can be challenging to say the least.
Unlike well-established brands, your new company might not have any budget set aside for huge ad campaigns; you may be investing most of your money in other areas such as stock. However, if you don't market yourself, no one else will. It is therefore important, especially in the early stages, to take advantage of free ways to reach your potential clients and advertise your start up. Making use of free marketing tools should be something you maintain even as your business grows, but getting into good habits from the very beginning is always wise. Here are a few ways you can promote your new business for free.
Harness the power of social media to draw attention to your new business. There are many social channels you could choose from; which ones you use largely depends on your target audience. Unsurprisingly, the main social sites to focus on are Twitter and Facebook. When tweeting, strike the right balance between professional and fun; the main thing is to give people a reason to follow your business, so ensure your tweets are engaging, interesting and relevant to your audience. Your Facebook page is also free; use it for any lengthier posts and offer special Facebook-only deals to your followers. You should try and share other useful content from around the web too, rather than pushing out your own content all of the time. Try allocating an hour or so a day to focus on building your social media activity.
Free directory listings
Although directories may seem 'old hat', they are still a good, free way to make it easier for customers to find your new business online, provided you choose ones which are relevant to your niche. The best way to start is to search for the highest-ranked directories dedicated to your industry. Also look to add your business to local directories, and ensure you are listed wherever your competitors feature.
You should ensure you are making the most of your website. With Google's search algorithms constantly changing, it's important to make sure your website's content is fresh, unique and regularly updated. One of the best ways to do this is via a blog; use your expertise to create insightful pieces that will keep users coming back. This could include how to guides, questions you are frequently asked by your customers and your own comments on industry changes.
Local press are often interested to hear of entrepreneurial stories, particular ones which involve an innovative offering or something completely new. Pitch your story to local media outlets such as newspapers, local magazines, broadcast news and radio shows to see if they are interested in covering you.
As well as what you know, it's also about who you know. Professional networking is a free way to launch your company and can open up numerous opportunities. As well as networking online (via LinkedIn, for example), attend as many relevant networking events as possible. You could even consider teaming up with complementary businesses and refer your customers to one another.
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