You can promote and advertise your business for free (or almost free). It’s easy to do, and the payback can be tremendous. It’s the best idea I have yet if you own a small business and want to retire rich. When you pay for advertising, it has low credibility and it’s expensive to communicate everything you really want your customers to really know about you. Effective marketing using the techniques I’m going to share has more credibility and gives you the chance to give much more relevant information to your prospective clients.
If you create a blog and manage it wisely, it can pay off handsomely. It’s a time-consuming endeavor and not a good option if you can’t commit to it. But if you like writing and helping people, starting a blog is a fantastic way to grow your business.
The key to this is to check your ego at the door. I learned (the hard way) that people don’t care about what I think. They want answers. It is much more effective to write about what readers care about than to write about what I think they should care about. They know better what they care about than I do (duh).
Another mistake I made was with Facebook. From the get-go, I should have worked on a page for my business rather than for me as an individual. I’ll admit it’s really fun to reconnect with my buddies from middle school, but it’s not very effective. It also exposes you to Facebook identity theft.
Here are some tips for being effective on Facebook:
a. Limit your time.
b. Be clear about your objectives, and don’t waste time on activities that aren’t consistent with those objectives.
c. Be helpful, but don’t give away the store.
Facebook is a great tool if you promote a service. Talk about what kinds of issues your clients are facing and some of the innovative ways you’ve helped them. Don’t be aggressive – be helpful.
When I first discovered Twitter, I loved it, but it quickly became a huge time-waster. It allows people to ping you 24/7 with requests, so that’s what people do. The thing that Twitter did help me with was to develop good relations with other bloggers, and that has been an invaluable resource and a great way to bounce entrepreneurial ideas off other like-minded people.
The key to Twitter is to use a tool like Tweet Deck. This allows you to make thousands of friends – but only really watch the people you most care about. This tool saved me lots of time, and without Tweet Deck, I would have found Twitter too overwhelming to really use.
I will admit that I use Twitter very rarely now. The people I have relationships with know how to get a hold of me when they need something. But it was invaluable when I started.
Social media is all about mutual assistance. And you have to give before you get. Become invaluable to people who are more successful than you are. Comment on their blogs. Offer to write guest posts for them – and don’t load them up with inappropriate links. Get to know other bloggers in your space. Be kind, respectful, giving and honest. In no time, you’ll have new friends – even very established bloggers who will be happy to assist you.
Find forums where like-minded people congregate on the net and get involved. What’s most important is to not become a pain in the rear to these people. Remember, you only get to make a first impression one time, so don’t blow it. Don’t promote yourself. Be humble and helpful – like I suggested above.
Becoming successful on the internet is a fantastic way of advertising your business for free. But it takes a lot of time and patience. It requires being willing to help others and to ask for help when you need it.
Disclaimer – By some people’s standards, my blog Wealth Pilgrim is successful. But I have a great distance to travel and much to learn. I consider myself very early on the path to learning how to harness the internet in order to market effectively.
What other ways have you promoted your business for free? What has worked best? Have there been other tools you’ve used and paid for that are worth it?