10 Ways to Promote Your Business for Free
Shopping locally has become increasingly crucial for today’s socially conscious consumer.
As a business owner, I am well aware that advertising may quickly become outrageously expensive due to the ever rising cost’s around the world.
Plus that’s what I do and the costs have gone up significantly (thank you inflation).
When we first start out, few of us have a budget, however I wanted to provide some helpful advice on how to promote here in Monterey County and across the world if my reach is that good (comment where you’re from).
Do you think this doesn’t apply to you because you only have a storefront or online store well it’s for both of you? This marketing advice does apply to all businesses and it is important, so keep on reading…
Once upon a time, you could just place an advertisement in your local newspaper and assume that you had done a good job of marketing and that people were seeing it.
However, since the rise of platforms like Facebook and TikTok those fairy-tale days are long gone, and many small business owners are taking marketing into their own hands.
Traditional print magazines and newspapers are losing readers around the world.
People prefer to access their news instantaneously online and on their phones. While we all miss the “simplistic” times, it has been extremely advantageous to business owners.
This isn’t a guidebook to paying to play. You may certainly grow your business locally without spending a dime.
Let Monterey Bay Deals provide a little help.
Here are ten great ways to market your business for free in Monterey County
1. Ensure that your website adds value and is simple to navigate!
Your website should clearly describe what you do, be easy to locate and browse, and be appealing, whether you’re targeting local clients or people all over the world that come to visit our beautiful area.
Your website’s job is to convert visitors into customers!
Whether that is generating a new lead or a transactional customer, a conversion should be your goal! Anything above that is an added bonus!
Let’s take a closer look. Is your website effectively communicating your brand’s identity (example of a site I created)?
Is it user-friendly on mobile devices?
Is SEO (search engine optimization) something you’re doing?
Many business owners are unaware of how search engines work.
They construct a website and then become perplexed when they receive no traffic.
The good news is that a few little modifications to your website’s text can significantly improve your search engine results.
If you Google “restaurants” or “Italian Restaurants,” you’ll get millions of results from all around the world.
However, by including location tags like “Italian Restaurants Near Me” or even better, “Italian Restaurants – Monterey, CA” your competition is significantly reduced.
2. Prioritize blogging and guest posting,!
If you want to get noticed, you must produce new content on a regular basis.
This is why including a blog on your website is a fantastic idea.
Adding a blog and writing on a regular basis improves your chances of being discovered, and it also aids SEO by allowing you to incorporate your keywords and phrases in your blog entries.
Because websites are crawled on a regular basis, having fresh, high-quality information is always advantageous.
In addition, writing a blog allows your customers to learn more about you and your business.
These blog entries can also be repurposed as email newsletters or lead magnets, as well as various social media posts.
Write a few blog entries per month and you might find that you’re drawing more readers or consumers to your business since you’re providing value and insight on a topic that’s essential to your target audience!
It’s a good idea to include social sharing buttons in your blog content.
This allows readers to simply share your pieces, resulting in more people learning about you and your company!
Blogging for someone else’s website can also help you acquire more exposure for your company and establish a reputation as an expert – especially if they’re well-known in your area.
It’s almost like a secret hack to increase your wealth by leveraging the efforts of other people’s audiences!
Guest writing provides you with an excellent opportunity to network with other businesses and, maybe, gain some dedicated followers.
These readers could easily become consumers, and you’re assisting rather than competing with your local community.
3. Create a mailing list
These days, everyone is so busy.
Customers may adore your items, but their attention spans are brief.
People will move on to more engaging companies if you don’t stay in touch.
That’s why asking them to join an email list is a fantastic idea.
Furthermore, as many of us have learned, global catastrophes such as pandemics and government shutdowns can have a significant impact on how you conduct business and connect with your consumers!
Sending an email is similar to calling a friend at home, and it is the most effective approach to inform clients about new products, services, or special offers.
Because less than 5% of your consumers are likely to view your most recent Facebook post, it’s critical to be in their inbox.
Are you stumped as to what to write about? We’ve got you covered!
You can highlight a new product or include a case study in addition to monthly happenings and events.
Sharing tiny anecdotes about some of your most valuable clients demonstrates to others that you care about more than just the bottom line.
Do you require assistance with this? We’d be thrilled to have you!
4. Communicate with your local media!
It’s critical to stay in touch with your local newspaper/podcast/radio station and submit press releases that could result in you being featured in print for free.
These might be about anything from hiring new employees to gaining a new client — it doesn’t have to be major news, just something to let the community know you’ve arrived.
If you have an event coming up that falls on a national holiday or overlaps with a major news story, this is very crucial to discuss with local press via TV / print / radio how ever you can get them to feature your business!
Not sure how to get in touch with them?
Look at their websites for contact forms or a community editor.
Make sure your subject line is intriguing enough to entice them to open the email!
If you begin to cultivate relationships with the editors and journalists, your business could be featured more often and for FREE!
5. Provide in-store incentives!
It’s a wise plan to give loyal consumers reasons to keep raving about you!
Word-of-mouth marketing is sparked by offering a reduced, a BOGO sale, buy one get half off.
Customers believe suggestions from friends and family are trustworthy.
It’s worth noting that a single person with a large network can have significant impact on your company.
Getting Your Business Listed in Local Directories (No. 6)
It’s critical for potential consumers to know where you are, and one of the greatest methods for local businesses to be found online is to submit their information to top online business directories.
Google is the most well-known.
Creating and maintaining a Google Business Profile can help your company achieve remarkable results when done the proper way.
It’s also critical to have your company verified on Google.
Not sure how to go about it? Please contact me! I’d be delighted to assist!
Google is no longer the only game in town! Trip Advisor, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Yelp, Facebook, and other major web directories are just a few examples.
Make sure you list your contact information on all of them, because if you only publish on the top few, you’ll miss out on opportunities to be discovered by customers and clients looking for your services.
Tip: Make sure the information in your listing is consistent across all directories! “NAP” ask me about it.
It’s also a good idea to make sure you’re listed in these directories because most of them are for customers seeking for items and services you provide locally.
7. Participate in social media
Any business must have a presence on social media!
You can promote any news or events about your company or sector on social media!
Through the most popular social media platforms, such as TikTok, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter, you can interact with your audience and share your awesome blog content and current sales/specials that you may be running.
You can use Instagram to search for local hashtags and interact with those who have posted them!
Giving yourself a few minutes each day to do so, you may literally see folks who are around and create that relationship.
8. Attend local networking events to strengthen your connections.
Getting out there at Local Networking Events is the best method to meet new local contacts (and possible customers)!
Make it a point to attend local meet-ups and activities.
Participating in conversations by asking questions or volunteering to speak at an event is a good idea.
Yes, the pandemic and local shut-downs have made things difficult in recent years, but the world is opening up again, and people are eager to get back in front of other people and businesses!
Don’t know where to look for upcoming events in your area?
On Facebook, you may look for local events by region, county, town, or city, or use Eventbrite to get started.
Networking events, workshops, seminars, and business exhibits are also options.
9. Inquire about online reviews!
Making certain your company makes a great first impression on customers who are researching your company online is also a wise decision!
Having a consistent system in place to ask your customers and clients to write or post reviews about you and your business should be part of your operational procedures when you set up accounts with internet directories like Yelp and TripAdvisor!
Customers who praise about your products in person are less likely to submit reviews (but you can bet they’ll leave a negative one if they have a horrible experience!).
Most of the time, simply asking motivates customers to leave a positive review.
Include a call to action at the bottom of your email newsletters with a simple link to a review form!
It’s an excellent idea to encourage new customers to post a review or recommendation after every customer encounter.
Requesting a review as soon as possible following a purchase or engagement with you keeps the experience fresh in their thoughts.
If any of your consumers have a significant online following, their appreciation can bring you a lot of new business.
10. Organizing events, classes, or demonstrations
Adding value to the lives of your prospects ahead of time typically leads to more business!
Hosting online or in-person events, workshops, or demos is a simple and inexpensive way to do this!
Doing so on a regular basis and consistently can be really beneficial in terms of generating awareness and promoting sales!
Talking to your customers about common obstacles or questions they have, and then formulating a way to teach them how to overcome those common obstacles through your event, is a great way to do this.
As a small business owner, you’re probably a subject matter expert who can solve most of your customers’ concerns.
Whatever you know, put it to good use in order to earn clients’ trust.
With a short class demonstrating how to solve a problem, concentrate on how you can help others.
At the same time, you have the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and highlight specific goods.
Customers who attend should be given a clear call to action.
Set up a display with all of the products used in the presentation, and chat to people one-on-one about your business whenever you have the opportunity.
Don’t forget to collect email addresses, too!
You’ll be able to continue to add value and communicate with your current and potential customers if you do so!
I hope these ten suggestions have given you some great ideas for promoting your local business in the future.
Please contact me if you need assistance putting any of these ideas into action. I’d be delighted to help!