How to advertise on a budget or for free.
There are many ways in today’s world to advertise free or at reasonable cost. Social media is the first big freebie. Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter can be used to your advantage. I myself find Facebook to be my useful tool. I can share new events, products, deals, and so much more to keep followers and customers coming back for more. The biggest lesson I have learned with social media is it cannot all be business, people want to see pictures of what is going on, funny memes, and cute videos as well. You can take the opportunity for a few dollars to use the promote options Facebook and Instagram gives you, it’s not a bad deal, I’m just not sure how much it really helps.
Make sure you are utilizing search engines. Make sure to list and confirm your business with Google Maps. If people search for your company, you want Google to show your company information. A website, address, ratings, and even products will be swiftly attached to the business name if you do it right. They charge nothing for the service and it helps people to find you with ease. Make sure to fill out all the information, confirm ownership, and verify the business after you receive the postcard in the mail from Google.
Now here you can start to spend a bit of money if you’re not careful. First, make no printed material until you have all the business information set and ready. We made a big mistake with this early on. Let me explain we were using a free website through Weebly.com, my cell phone number for business, and our Facebook was still tied to an old farm name idea when we bought the first business cards. That was only our first mistake my second was ordering 500 cards. Within a month, we had our legal business name, purchased a Weebly account and received a free .com, got a business only phone number, and renamed our Facebook link. We were then stuck with 400 business cards that all had outdated information on them…..uggghhh. Talk about putting the cart before the horse.
Think Quality not Quantity
We use Vista Print for most everything; we love the quality and the ease of the site. They typically have a deal going on to help cover some of the cost. In addition, if you’re not happy with their product they make it right with you. They have a great referral program as well! If you click the referral program link and order something, we get $20 worth of free merchandise that is huge for a startup company! Once you have an account you can use the referral program too. We purchase our signs, posters, rack cards, and business cards through them.
Advertise with Word of Mouth
The best advertising is selling a quality product that clients, friends, and family want to tell all their friends and family about. Give business cards to your clients they will hand them out sending business your way. Great products will truly sell themselves over time. Do not be afraid to ask a local business if they would carry some of your products. The worst their going to say is no. For us, we do not have a storefront and some people are not comfortable coming to our home to go shopping. We do have an online store however, some people want to touch, smell, or try the products before they purchase them.
The most important part of advertising is to spend your money wisely. Utilize referral programs when you can to save a bit of money on products and companies you already adore using. If you can help another company, you believe in while helping yourself in return go for it!