Running a business already comes with many hidden (and not so hidden) costs. Advertising is a necessary “evil” when it comes to building a successful business. The problem is that you can sink just about any amount of money into it and that is still no guarantee of success. To be successful in your business, you have to learn to ride the razor’s edge in spending just enough on advertising in order to still make a profit. We’ll explore some ways that you can start drumming up interest and awareness in your business right now that won’t take much start up capital (if any) and has great ROI!
Help a Reporter (And Your Business) Out
HARO, or “Help a Reporter Out” has been around for a over a decade now and is a powerhouse in online aid for journalists across the globe. That’s great, but what does that have to do with promoting your business, you ask? Well, with HARO, you can register to become an “expert” in a certain field and you can be called upon for a quote or for background information for a journalist’s story. Once the story is published, (and if they use your quote) then you will be credited in the article, which can include your business name. BAM! Your business just got a free mention in a national or internationally syndicated news article and you didn’t have to pay a dime.
HARO is a great way to build buzz for your business and establish you as an authority in your field. Everytime you get mentioned in an article, you can share that article out on your social media platforms and shout it from the proverbial rooftops. You can even make a section on your site dedicated to all the times you were quoted by the press as an expert in your field. This is a solid win-win.
Give Your Product Away: Create Brand Ambassadors
If your business provides a product or service, consider giving some of your product away for free… with a small catch. Reach out to local influencers or minor celebrities over social media and tell them that you would love to give them some free products. Tell them that if they like the product, then to please do you the favor of taking a moment to share the product with their audience on social media. You’re only out of pocket for the gifted products and you may get yourself a brief time in the spotlight that could have your business and product seen by thousands. You can use Followerwonk to find influencers for free on Twitter!
If you play your cards right, this could turn into a repeat gig for you and the influencer that will continue to pay dividends well into the future. Also, once you get one high profile influencer to endorse your product, you can then leverage that fact in your outreach to other, higher profile influencers. Again, this is all very low cost and can be done rather quickly through a little bit of research for social media influencers in your niche.
Teach a Class/Seminar
This idea takes the most capital and legwork of the other suggestions, but it can pay off in a huge way. Take some time and sketch out a short one or two hour tutorial that you can do for a group of people that is in line with your business niche. If you are a health insurance broker, then you can give a free class about open enrollment, or if you’re a commercial real estate agent, then you can teach a small class on how to find the perfect location for your office or storefront. Then, you can put together a short slide deck and advertise the class on NextDoor, Facebook, Craigslist, etc. Everywhere you can think of!
Once you get your first class together and you have finished your presentation, you can stick around for questions and have pamphlets and information about your business ready and you can interact with a captive audience right there. This is also a great way to interact with the community and to build your network. It’s a little more involved, but can have huge payoffs in the long run.
All in all, you are the expert in your business. Leverage all of your hard work and knowledge in the above ways and you can really transform your business into a money making powerhouse. It just takes a little brains, a little guts, and a lot of legwork.