I know a lot of small business owners are worried right now and with good reason. Things are so uncertain, people are out of jobs, spending less, we can’t leave the house to buy things, etc. so I wanted to provide some FREE ways to market your business! I’ve wanted to write this blog for a while, even before all the craziness went down, but I think it will be especially helpful now.
Social media – since we’re all at home during this time, it’s only natural that social media usage would go up! I mean who doesn’t love a good Tik Tok video right about now? 🙂 Organic social media is a great way to raise awareness of your business, connect with current + potential customers and show your business’s personality! You might think right now might not be the best time to “sell” to people and you’re right- everyone is a little on edge right now because everything is so uncertain- but it’s a great time to start and grow relationships! You don’t even have to share what you’ve got going on right now, you can start conversations, provide answers and share inspiration, humor and positivity! Be sure to use your time wisely- are you on the social platforms that your audience is on?
Networking – now I understand that we can’t go out and hit our usual networking events (which usually aren’t free, but they are WORTH the money and you should totally look into them when things are back to normal!), but have you tried online networking? There are so many groups on Facebook and Linkedin that are perfect for networking! I have joined ones that have my buyer persona (not sure what that is? It’s important, learn more here) and they are comprised of hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs (not even kidding)! I have gotten business out of networking in these groups, increased my social following significantly and also grown my email list! Research ones that would be a good fit for you and your business! Even hopping on some of the virtual happy hours that many businesses are doing can be a great way to connect with people!
HARO– this is a free service where reporters are looking for input for their articles. You can sign up here and they will send multiple emails a day looking for answers to include in various articles! There are national publications like the New York Post, Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest and the Huffington Post, just to name a few! This is a great way to raise brand awareness and showcase your expertise to their audiences! Bonus: it also helps with your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) if you get backlinks from authoritative websites!
Google My Business– that kind of leads into my next point, Google!! Do you have a Google My Business listing? Is it completely filled out? Do you post upcoming events, updates and new products/services? Do you add photos? You should be doing all of these things! It’s a great way to drive customer engagement with local customers across Google Search and Maps. So, if you are a brick and mortar, this is super critical to come up in local search! (Tip: while you’re at it, you could create and optimize your free Yahoo, Bing and other relevant online listings to your business. Those would be things like Yelp, Tripadvisor, etc.)
Referrals- these are one of the most effective ways to market because people trust their friends and families’ recommendations. A super simple way to get more is to ask! You can put together an email, or take it a step further and write a handwritten note, sharing that you’re hoping to take on more clients/grow your business/launch a new product and that you would appreciate any referrals that they might have- that’s really it! I think oftentimes we feel bad asking people for things like this, but honestly, most are so happy to help and don’t think about it like we do! Nothing complicated- just be sure to thank them!
I hope these tips help in this weird time in our lives. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out!