Posted: Wed 3rd Apr 2013
Business cards are an essential aid to word-of-mouth promotion. There are plenty of online sites where you can design and order your business cards in minutes - and many offer your first 50 cards for free. Check out Enterprise Nation and Moo's business card offer.
Working with other businesses that complement what you do will pay off for everyone - including your customers. Create joint promotions that keep customers loyal and coming back for more.
Your local Chamber of Commerce is a great way to meet other business contacts active in your local community. Check out what professional groups are in the area - or try networking with others in the same line of work to see if you can handle each other's workload overspills.
Join the new Enterprise Nation Club for a 25% discount on all our start-up workshops and other events. For just Â£20 per year, we also provide more than Â£500 of exclusive offers from great brands, free business guides, your chance to get your voice heard - and a marvellous Enterprise Nation mug. Sign up now!
Your local and trade media are always hungry for news. If you're sponsoring a charity event or reaching a key milestone or anniversary, why not put out a press release and work your media contact list? Don't ignore parish magazines, local community newsletters or 'what's on listings' - all greats way to build awareness of your business.
There are lots of places you can set up a free listing for your business so potential clients can find you on the internet or in local search directories. Check out Google+ Local, Bing Local, Yahoo Local, Yell.com, Yelp, Scoot, FreeIndex, ThomsonLocal and BT.
A picture paints a thousand words - and sites like Animoto now make it easy to create a video for free. Create weekly podcasts packed with tips or demos, bring customer testimonials to life, or post your videos on YouTube and Vimeo and drive increased traffic to your website.
Email marketing is a flexible and cost-effective way to stay in contact with customers and prospects. There are plenty of easy to use online options such as MailChimp that enable you to manage contacts, create email campaigns and track results.Â Create a mailing list and send out newsletters, product announcements or hot offers - or create a blog and invite people to subscribe. Read Enterprise Nation's full guide to setting up an email newsletter.
Promoting your business online has never been easier. Set up a page on Facebook and post regular updates to all your subscribers - you can ask followers to post photos, share their favourite buys, or 'like' your business. Use Twitter to engage with 'followers' - you can even send out short tips or post video links. For marketing to businesses, LinkedIn is a must. Connect with everyone you know, regularly update your profile and join LinkedIn 'groups.' Finally, Pinterest is a great place to create a visual storyboard of who you are and what you do that others can easily share.
Everyone likes a deal and creating a special offer is a great way to boost business during traditionally quiet times. Use sites like My Voucher Codes, LivingSocial and Amazon to launch and run special offers, posting links to your Facebook and Pinterest pages so your followers can take advantage, too.
More and more people are using their mobile phones to search for local businesses on the move, and a mobile-friendly and search-optimised website that displays perfectly on a smartphone is becoming a must have. Ideally, you'll want to create your own mobile website with a 'click to call' feature, business overview plus the option to link to your full website and social network feeds or special offer coupons.
Ian Bowen-Morris is chief marketing officer at Telnames, a leader in self-service mobile-ready website creation that makes it possible for professionals and businesses of all sizes to get online and 'go mobile in minutes'.
49 Quick Ways to Market Your Business for Free by Sarah Jane White does exactly what it says on the cover - and it's completely free to download from the Enterprise Nation shop. Just click on the link below. [product id="56618"] Photo Credit: Michael Kappel via Compfight cc