13 Free or Cheap Effective Advertising Methods
by Donnie Baird
Advertising is the life blood of any business, no matter how big or how small. No advertising usually means no business. Large companies have an almost unlimited source of advertising dollars. Small business owners on the other hand, are limited in the amount of money they have for advertising. So, the problem is how to make ones advertising dollar get the most bang for the buck. It's not enough to advertise. Your advertising must be effective. So, once you have a website or an ad to advertise, check out the following ways to advertise for little or no cost.
1. Advertising coop- Many businesses, especially work at home businesses, offer advertising coops. They will send people to your business for a fee. Usually the fee is relatively small. This is nice because you already know that these people have at least some interest in your business. Although they may not spend a penny with you, you at least get the exposure.
2. Website-The age of the internet has expanded the possibility of owning your own business to an almost unlimited number of people. It also has expanded the advertising audience to a tremendous amount of new people, world wide, who otherwise you would never have been able to reach. Although websites will cost you to get hosted, you can advertise it many ways for free. Things like link exchanges and article submissions allow you to get exposure to your website with no cost except for you time. And as we will see in a moment, your website can be advertised many other ways for free. The advantage of a website is that it centralizes all your business and products into one central location. It gives you somewhere to send people so that you don't have to do as much selling because you let your website do the selling for you.
3. Answering Machine-Change the message on your answering machine to reflect the fact that you are now in business for yourself. You could say something like," Hello. You have reached the home office of John Doe of My Business.com….." That way when you call that person back, they may ask you about your business and thus the door is open to discussing your business.
4. Put a sign in your front yard or in the yard of a friend or relative with your name and website address on it. This is a good way for your neighbors to find out about your new business as well as any people that ride by your house.
5. Place a magnetic sign or bumper sticker on your car. Now, when you are riding down the road, sitting at a stop sign, or leaving your car parked at the mall or grocery store, you are getting free advertising.
6. Wear your ad-Place your website on a sweatshirt, tee-shirt, or a hat. So, when you are out in public, people will see you ad and again it will open up the door to discussing your new business.
7. Flyers-There are many places that will allow you to place a flyer about your business. Businesses like grocery stores, libraries, laundromats, hair salons and others will let you place a free ad on their public bulletin board.
8. Business cards-Don't leave home without them. You never now when the chance to hand one out will happen. You may see an old friend, meet someone looking to get out of the 9-5 rut or who is in need of a new opportunity.
9. Free Classifieds-Use the internet and the many free classified ads on it to advertise your business. A search using "free classifieds" will give you an almost limitless number of places to submit your website and ad.
10.Ezines or electronic magazines are also a good place to advertise your business. Some charge a fee for placing your ad in the best location, some let you advertise for free. Again a web search will allow you find numerous ezines to place you ad in.
11.Place your web address in your e-mail signature.
12.Place a flyer or business card in your out going mail.
13.Word of Mouth-The least expensive form of advertising and maybe the most effective way to advertise your business is word of mouth. Simply tell those you come in contact with that you are in business for yourself. They will tell others and they will tell others and it can go on and on. Sooner or later someone will take a look at what you are doing.
Obviously, there are many more ways to advertise your business for little or no money. The point is you don't have to have the big bucks to successfully advertise you business or product. There are many people who have started and become extremely successful in their business on a shoe string advertising budget. There is hope for the small business owner. All you need is a website or add, a little creativity, a little time, and you too can advertise your way to success without going to the poor house.