Written by Alessandra Pollina from
Promoting your small business can feel daunting when you don't feel like you have any extra time or money to spare, or you simply don't have any ideas of where to start. But here's the good news: it doesn't have to be expensive or hard. It could even be fun, and easy enough that you can get started today!
You know that promoting your business is important. There's no point in running a business if nobody knows about it or you don't have any customers. All it takes is just making a push to get started, and then following through. You can promote your business and you can get started easily, right now. I'm sharing four easy promotion ideas that won't cost you anything, and all you have to do is customize them to fit your product or service and brand.
#1 Cross promote
Arguably my favorite promotion strategy, cross promotion is when you team up with a like-minded brand that offers a different product or service from yours but has the same customer base. You can organize something like a real live event, or just talk about each other on your social media channels- it can be as big or as simple as you want, but the idea is that you each share info about the other so that your audience becomes aware of the other brand, and their audience becomes aware of yours (and then theoretically choose to follow you and become a customer). Reach out to a business that you admire and invite them to cross-promote with you. That's all it takes.
#2 Hold an event
A great way to build buzz and gain new brand followers, an event is an overall fun way to promote your business. For example, figure out if there is a holiday or celebration of some kind taking place in your community, and then build an event around it (for example, host a Valentine's themed ‘speed dating' event where people can come get matched with one of your products to try out for a few minutes before deciding if they want to bring it home or move on to try another). You can literally come up with an event based around anything! Promote the event through your social media channels and any local media that you can. An event is a great reason to reach out to press. During the event you also get tons of great photos for use on social media and future promotion, as well as tons of people talking about you and your brand leading up to, during, and after the event.
#3 Send some samples
This is potentially one of the easiest things to do if you have a product based business. Make a list of some of the editors of local (or not local, depending on your business) magazines, newspapers, and blogs/websites that are applicable to your business, and send them a sample! Include some information about your business and put it all in pretty packaging. Don't expect that this will necessarily result in written coverage of your business, but just getting it in front of these influential people will benefit you in the long run. And when they have a story that your product fits into, they will remember it.
#4 Blogger outreach
Similar to #3, this one is just what is sounds like. Research bloggers in your niche, and reach out to them. Bloggers may be more likely to write about your product because, a) they often post every day and are always looking for quality content, b) they have such flexibility to write about whatever they truly like, because it doesn't have to be approved by editors and publishers, so as long as they see value in it they'll want to share it with their followers and they will, and c) they can post almost instantly, theoretically, so while they probably have an editorial calendar with planned posts, if something comes up they can get a post up in a matter of hours. If you think you've already missed a window of opportunity to get into relevant print media, it's often not too late for blogs. You will usually have to send a sample to them as well, but can also try reaching out with just your information via email or even social media, see what they think about your business, and only send them a sample if they are interested in it.
Hopefully these ideas got your wheels turning and you thought of some ways to apply these to your business just from reading through this. Now take some time to really think about it and do a written brainstorm for some more specific ways you can implement some of these. The beauty of these is that you could literally just practice these same four ideas (or even only two of them) over and over throughout the year and be successfully promoting your business. At most, these will cost you the price of a few samples of your product, (unless you go crazy with the event, which you absolutely could but don't have to!) and otherwise they're completely free. No excuses not to start promoting your business immediately and bringing in brand new customers, right?
Connect with Alessandra:
Something else to boost your business
If you don't already, I would recommend growing an email list. This can be done for free and is the ultimate way of promoting yourself to people that really want to know about what you are doing. Here are a few other resources for you to look over.
As the founder and CEO of Mums With Hustle, I have the best day job in the world: teaching entrepreneurs how to grow their beautiful businesses online. When I started the business, that was everything I wanted, but since then, it has grown into something much bigger. Now, I get my joy from helping women find their zones of genius within a community that truly celebrates their success. I truly believe that when women choose to band together, we can do anything - and if you feel the same, there’s a place in the MWH community for you.
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