This is a good subject for start-ups and very small businesses who don’t have a large budget to work with..
The first free marketing method is networking. Go to as many meetings as possible, particularly the free events or those that don’t require a big entrance fee. But to make these successful you must arm yourself with a good pitch, both 10 and 60 second versions, the first to grab attention to yourself, and the second if you get a chance to address the whole room. If you can create something that is different, easily understandable, poignant and relevant to your listeners’ needs, then you have a head start above many others.
It is important to get yourself as visible as possible in the business world. There are two possibilities: blogging and social networking group pages. It is very easy to create a free blog, and social networking sites allow you to create groups or fanpages which you can devote to your business. In these you must regularly post up information about your business, and then, as with the blog, use RSS feeds to inform your followers of your new posts, or email through the social networking system to your followers that you have recently contributed new material for them to read.
And then there’s Twitter, equally free, which is an excellent way to promote your business, not forgetting that you can feed your blog to it, and now your posts can be automatically replicated on your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.
Writing articles and publishing them around the net is another way to spread your expertise. Make sure the resource boxes direct the reader back to your website, blog or social networking profile pages, so they can find out more about you. Take advantage of keywords to improve your search engine optimisation, and careful attention to the headlines and first paragraph will increase the likelihood of a response.
If you do have a website, get as many links back to it as possible from other websites and web directories. The more high profile the link source, the more respect search engines give your website, not to mention providing more portals for the spiders to crawl over your site and report back pages for indexing.
Create a good signature for your emails, to publicise your website, blog and social networking profiles. Don’t forget that the space at the bottom of your communication is just waiting to be filled with promotional written material and links, and everybody you write to will get a chance to see them.