Money can certainly make advertising and getting your marketing out there work a lot faster than without, but assuming you’re desperate to get things moving and have severely limited funds that doesn’t mean you need to give up! Here are some ways to get your name out there without a dime of material investment.
Start by gathering up some Budget-friendly tools and signing up for proper free accounts.
- Free Blog / Web Site : I personally recommend WordPress.com because I still find it to be one of the more universally supported and easy to use of the free blog sites out there. The free version will only give you a [name].wordpress.org domain name, but it’s a start! Also there are many people and tools to transfer a free WordPress site to a paid (full domain name) website for cheap.
- Facebook & Twitter Accounts : You are going to be building lots of content. That means you’re going to need places to show that off and interact with people. If you can only pick two, pick these two!
- LinkedIn Account : Okay okay, if you have a third social media, LinkedIn is it. Chances are you’re a very small business, if not a solo-preneur and often people will be searching for YOU, not your business. Having a profile here with a link to your blog / web site will help!
- Other Social Media : Depending on what you do you might also get involved in places like Vine, Tumblr, Google+ and Pinterest. For instance, if you do interior decorating, making a few Pinterest pages might be useful. If you’re an artist or photographer, Tumblr may be a good pick.
- YouTube : This will probably require you having a Google+ account, due to recent changes in how YouTube links with the rest of Google’s empire of software.
- Free Video Editor: Windows Movie Maker (Microsoft) or iMovie (Apple) will serve you well.
- Free Stock Photos: www.rgbstock.com & www.morguefile.com
Now that you have some great tools, divide your time into two projects
First, dedicate 1 hour a day to creating content. Answer questions, write blogs, film videos, find interesting articles from your industry. Put yourself in your prospect’s place and ask “What would I want to learn about?” Something needs to go onto each of your social media accounts and your blog once a week. (If you have a YouTube channel, Twitter, Facebook and a blog that’s 4 pieces of content each week.)
Second, become a research guru for your target audience. What websites and forums do they visit? What do they read? What networking events do they attend? Who do they respect and listen to.
Now that you have content building going in the background, and a list of places to go to find your prospects, make a plan of action. Visit the forums and answer questions. Since you’ve been writing useful blogs, you will often be able to link back to useful information on your website.
The websites and blogs you found that your target audiences like should be investigated. Do they ever allow guest posts? Can you get involved in the comment discussions? Can you offer useful advice?
If your prospects are reading magazines or newspapers, read those publications. Find out what is useful to them. Write blog articles commenting on your own take on these articles, linking back to them. Begin polite, constructive conversations with the writers. Try to become a guest writer.
Finally networking events can be great ways of entering into speaking engagements, partnerships and other useful marketing strategies. Again, because you’ve been creating content, you’ll be shocked how often someone will mention a problem and you can give them a link to your website that helps them. If you –don’t- have a useful link… Congratulations! You now have a new thing to write a blog post about – and then you can email it to your new friend.