Low-Cost Advertising Methods for Owners of Small Businesses

Business owners who need to economize on marketing expenses can help themselves by leveraging some free and low-cost techniques. For example, when used correctly, business cards can actually bring customers through your door. Additionally, other strategies like sponsoring amateur sporting events, becoming active in online discussion forums, and giving away bumper stickers can be very easy on the wallet.

Closeup portrait of two successful business executive exchanging business card

Use Business Cards Like a Pro

When it comes to using business cards the right way, it’s important to remember a couple of guidelines that will prevent waste and poor results. First, don’t give them to every living creature you meet. The goal is to think more along the lines of placing a card rather than just giving it away. It helps to embrace the concept of the card as an advertising piece that has a right time and place to achieve maximum effect. Second, spend the extra few bucks to get top of the line printing done by a professional. Spend time on design, color schemes, and other attention-grabbing details. Put contact information where it won’t be missed.

Hire an SEO Freelancer

Don’t balk at hourly or flat fees charged by SEO pros. It might take a few weeks for results to start rolling in, but expert search-engine optimization work can make huge difference. Once your website starts ranking higher, you’ll see an increase in online visitors, digital sales, and in-store traffic. Hire an SEO freelancer with confidence. There’s no need to make a long-term commitment. That way, you can judge their work after a month or two and decide whether you want to continue with the same person or hire a fresh face. SEO pros can optimize your content and bring more eyes to your pages. The end result, when the job is done right, is not just more visitors but more sales.

Work the Online Forums and Chat Rooms

Spend at least a half-hour each day in relevant chat rooms. Whatever product or service you sell, there’s an interest group discussing it online. Find them and take part. It’s a simple as that. Note that many rooms have strict rules about what you can say and not say. Usually, if you avoid direct sales attempts, you’re okay. The goal is to offer help to questioners and include your company contact byline within your signature. Try to frequent several different forums and rooms for the best results.

Sponsor Local Bicycle and Running Events

For just a few hundred dollars a pop, or less, it’s possible to get your company’s name in front of a huge demographic: active young adults who exercise frequently. If you want to sell to that group, consider investing some of your advertising capital in sponsorship.

Learn Bumper Sticker Tactics

Bumper stickers are cheap, potentially very effective means of increasing profits. The secret is to make sure you give them to people who will, in fact, put them on their bumpers. Don’t hand stickers out to everyone you meet, nor should you leave them on tables at conferences and expos. Use a targeted approach and you’ll get good results.

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