If you’re a business owner or are working to expand a side hustle, you understand the struggle that comes with getting in front of the right audience. Maybe you’ve worked with those less than ideal clients in the past or you simply aren’t at capacity for work. Whatever your heartache, here are 7 free strategies to try for promoting your business and connecting with new clients. I’d suggest dabbling in these areas before investing huge budgets on paid ads or AdWords.
1. Social Media
This first one is probably pretty obvious but social media is a great way to connect with potential customers or leads. And I just don’t mean mindlessly posting to post. If it’s possible with your schedule, take a few hours each week to consistently post quality content. Ask your past clients to leave reviews for you on Facebook. Research hashtags and use ones your ideal audience follows. Study other successful businesses in your space. And above all, engage with people! Social media is social for a reason. Comments on other’s photos, message back strangers who send you questions, tag other businesses who may want to repost your content. It all works together in the larger picture.
2. Email Marketing
Next up is Email Marketing. If you already have an email list, you’re one step ahead. If you don’t, you first must build your subscriber list. I recommend starting with a free platform like Mailchimp. As your subscribers and business grow, you can always upgrade to a different tool. The best way to build your email list? I’d suggest creating a free resource people actually want to download. Users on your website simply exchange their email address for that free piece of collateral, be it an ebook, whitepaper, checklist, or something else.
Once you have your subscriber list, send regular emails to stay top of mind. Share new blog posts, recaps of events, news happening in your field, and any other relevant and valuable information, the key being valuable. If you wouldn’t want to read your newsletter, what makes you think your customers want to? Try not to be too focused on sale-y language and offer insight your audience would truly appreciate and use.
3. Blogging On Your Website
SEO blogs are also a great way to connect with new users and a larger audience. Not sure about SEO or what it means? I get it, it can be scary and kind of vague. As the internet and Google are constantly changing, so are the parameters around SEO. Want a surefire way to actually connect with what people are searching for? Answer their questions.
Think about it- I bet you’ve done this before yourself. Users go to Google and search questions right into the queue. What questions are your users asking? And that’s not a rhetorical question. Get together with your sales team and figure out what questions people are always asking your team. Next step? Answer those questions in blog posts.
4. Guest Blogging
Much like SEO blogs, guest blogs are a great way to connect with new users. So what is a guest blog? Well, a guest blog can mean you’re writing a blog and ask someone else to “guest write” and collaborate on the post. It could also mean you’re the one writing a guest post for another business or organization.
The best part of guest blogging is getting to utilize the partners’ audience. If you feature them in a guest post or include a quote, let them know! They’ll be excited to share the post on their website, social media, etc. If you write a post for someone else, their audience will be exposed to it. Most importantly, get a backlink to your website. A backlink is just a link to your website in the post that allows readers to learn more about you and also helps with Google rankings.
5. PR Publication Placement
In addition to guest blogs, getting in front of new audiences through public relations efforts is a great way to promote your business. If you have something newsworthy to say, a press release could be beneficial in your promotion process. Write a press release, send it to local media, and push it out to national aggregators.
You may get placed in a local newspaper, interviewed by a TV station, featured in an industry publication, or noted by an online news editor. All wins in my book.
6. Discussion Board Comments
Another great outlet- have you ever visited Reddit.com? The rabbit hole of things you can find is endless. If there is something to talk about, you better believe a niche group of people on Reddit is already discussing that topic.
Find discussion boards where your ideal audience posts and get in on the conversation. If someone is asking for advice or a service, feel free to share your business. If others are simply discussing a topic, engage in the conversation, however try not to make it a sales pitch. Organic and natural relationships are the ones that flourish.
7. Facebook Groups
Much like discussion boards, Facebook groups are a great place to connect with your audience and share your business. In other words, Facebook groups exist for just about everything- check it out someday! Find a Facebook group where people are talking about topics you can add insight to or are looking for services or products that you offer.
And there you have it- 7 new strategies for promoting your business! To sum it up, utilize the free tools you have at your disposal. If you’ve had success with any of these outlets in your experience, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Take a swing for yourself and know that you can always hire someone to support you in these areas, as well. Good luck!