A reality of being an online small businesses is that you often don’t have a big budget to spend on advertising. If any advertising budget at all…
While this may seem a challenge, fortunately there are many simple, creative ways to promote your online small business without breaking the bank — all of which can be managed by yourself. Here’s a few ways we’ve found that might help you do this.
Create social media profiles for your online small business
Creating social media profiles for your business doesn’t cost anything, and is an easy way to get your brand out there. These days, it’s often one of the first things small business owners set up at the time of launching.
Start with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., talk about your business and bring your audience along with you on the journey of launching.
Here’s a great resource just launched by social media management company Buffer on developing a social strategy for your small business.
Design and distribute flyers
In a world that’s increasing digital, it’s easy to dismiss the impact of a simple flyer about your online small business. Distribute through the right channel depending on the proposition of your business, such as at a market or local neighbourhood letterbox drop, a flyer can be one of the simplest methods of advertising your business out there.
All you need to do is; come up with a distinctive design, include a little information about your business such as contact details, social media details, website, etc, make copies and distribute them.
This type of marketing can also extend to any promotions you have at the time, like a two for one sale, 25% off, etc.
Create a website
Setting up a website for your business is a great starting off point for people to learn about you and your product or service.
Free services such as wordpress.com, or spending $5 a month for a Net Virtue hosted WordPress site means it’s east to have a professional presence almost overnight.
Having your own domain/website has SEO benefits also. Start creating content around your product or service and you may start ranking organically, delivering free potential customers.
Start a blog
You don’t need writing experience to start a blog. At the very least, all you need is knowing what you want to say and the ability to put pen to paper — or fingers to keyboard in this case.
But if a written blog isn’t your thing, another great option is a photo blog, where you just take pictures of your product or you in the workplace and post them online so people can see what you do.
Submit content to YouTube and Flickr
Similar to starting a blog or photo blog, you can also quickly set up an account on YouTube or Flickr (both of which are free unless you get a Flickr Pro account) and create and share videos of you at work.
This is one of the more creative ways to promote your business, as the videos you make could be tutorials, videos showing you at work, or day-in-the-life/time-lapse videos showing what a typical day if for you.
Submit a press releases
The idea that press releases are only for big, or even medium sized, companies is a bit of a myth. online An online small business can also use this channel to announce launches, changes or expansions within their business.
Similar to starting a blog, this also doesn’t require any prior studies or great knowledge in how to do it. You just have to be direct, concise in what is happening to your business and what you want to say, and address your client/customer base.
Consider using a service such as PingGo which walks you through the elements of a great press release, then submit to services such as NewsWire or PR Web.
Join a relevant online community and contribute
Joining an online community of people who share your passions and interests can be a great way to connect with like-minded people, promote your online small business, expand your customer base, share ideas, and contribute to blogs about industry information or new ways to create.
Word of Mouth
In business, there are few things more important than a happy customer or client. This is when word-of-mouth kicks in. When a customer/client is happy with work you have done for them or a product they bought from you, they will tell others about you. And then those people will tell others, those some more, and so on until you have a wider net of people aware of and interested in you and your work.
While word of mouth is the outcome of a great product or service experience, it’s worth investigating ways to encourage this sharing behaviour for your specific business, such as making it easy for people to tweet or post to Instagram about your business.