Unemployment is rising, graduates are struggling to find work and those of us lucky enough to be in work are facing pay freezes. There has never been a better time to bite the proverbial bullet and start your own business. But if you’re low on funds, as so many start-ups are, how can you get your business off the ground? Here are 10 free ways to promote your startup:
Perhaps the best way to get your new business ‘out there’ is to network with other industry professionals. Connect with other companies in your local area, as they may be able to direct business your way. Attend networking events, or organize one of your own. You can get publicity for your start-up, as well as meet other professionals.
2. Local Online Listing
As soon as you can, you should make sure you add your business to the ‘Big Three’ online directories. Google, Yahoo, and Bing are the search engine giants, and you can create free listings on these sites. This way you can reach out to customers in your local area. The beauty of these listings is that they can feature recommendations which will only add to your presence. Also, check our write-up on improving your search engine rankings to get more information about this.
3. Classified Ads
Websites such as Gumtree, and traditional outlets like the Yellow Pages, are also locations where you should list your company. Creating your page on these, as well as a number of online directories, is an easy – and free – way to promote your start up. Depending on the particular site, you may be able to add a large listing. Some however, require payment to reap the full benefits.
4. Social Media
Your start-up should have an active social media presence. Setting up a Twitter account is free, and you can easily communicate with peers, customers, and industry influencers. Likewise, Facebook is a great place to promote your company. You can run promotions via these sites to help promote new products or services. In turn, this will get your company name ‘out there’ as people talk about your competitions.
5. (Guest) Blogging
You’ve launched your own business because you’re an expert in that industry, right? So you should be sharing this insider knowledge with other people on your company blog. As a start-up, it’s also a great idea to get involved with guest blogging. This way you’ll be able to cement your reputation as an expert in the industry, whilst promoting your new company.
6. Press Releases
Online and offline, press releases are still one of the best ways to promote your new business venture. You don’t have to pay a PR company to write your releases, as there are loads of online templates you can follow. Submit them to free PR sites, send them to bloggers, and even to your local press to get maximum coverage.
7. SEO Your Site
Promoting your site online is becoming increasingly difficult with the ever-updating Google algorithms. The basics of SEO are pretty easy to grasp so you should take the time to learn the basics. It is one of the more effective ways to market your business online for nothing.
Start-ups grow from word-of-mouth and recommendations. If you maintain high standards of quality and customer service, your customers are always going to rave about you to their friends. This is one of the best ways of free promotion, and you can make it easier for people to choose you. Offer discounts to those who recommend you, and those they send your way. This will encourage positive, word-of-mouth.
9. Multimedia Sites
YouTube, Pinterest, and Flickr are great multimedia sites to promote your startup. Provided of course, that you have some great visual content to share. Pinterest especially is hugely popular right now, as well as a great tool for SEO.
10. On-the-Go Promo
While vehicle graphics for example aren’t free per se, they only need the one initial payment. Once you’ve purchased your magnets or stickers , you have an on-the-go promotion that advertises your start up every day. If you have company cars – and the funds to invest initially – this is a great option.
It isn’t really expensive to Promote your startup business. Using these methods, as well as a few more, you’ll be able to gain maximum exposure for your business. Once you’re name is ‘out there’, it will be much easier to invest in other marketing methods.