10 Free, Creative, Low-cost Marketing Tips

Author:Katrina Sawa

Here are the Top 10 Tips I give small business owners and entrepreneurs on a daily basis when I see them out at networking functions. These 10 things will be the least expensive and probably the most effective forms of marketing that you could do to promote your small business.

1. Display your cards or brochures at coffee shops, book stores, businesses of people you know, membership stores like Costco and Sam\'s Club, anywhere that will allow it; all of these are free. Seek out ones locally that will allow you to do this and replenish them frequently. You can also approach other business professionals that compliment what you do and have a similar target market as you to swap marketing materials, meaning you display or carry theirs and they yours.

2. Hold an Open House, Ribbon Cutting or some kind of an event to attract the public or your specific target market to your business. You can partner with another business to split the cost, you can bring in a charity to raise money for or have a client appreciation night of some sort. Whatever you do, make sure you plan it well in advance and publicize the event to the media and your database. I can help you plan and promote your events in the media and to your database!

3. Networking is the cheapest form of advertising you can do \' find organizations, associations, chambers, groups and monthly meetings that have attendees and members that fit your unique target market client or referral source and visit them first, then join if you see the value. The key to networking is frequency. You need to go to the organization\'s events that you join each month for greater visibility, to be recognized and ultimately to be the go-to person for your particular industry. Visit www.ksawamarketing.com each month for a FREE monthly Networking Calendar and numerous organization links!

4. Put your sales message and/or logo on everything, your car, shirts, nametag, building, invoices, envelopes, sales flyers, receipts, tags, etc. Simple name/logo branding can be a huge asset for a small business (everyone will say 'I\'ve seen your stuff somewhere'). Ask me for a referral for companies who do these things!

5. Invite trade for services for things you may need (bookkeeping help, CPA, financial or attorney advice, marketing, advertising, promotions, signs, promo items, printing, products, services, etc.). This will save you money and give you other avenues to pursue for referrals as well.

6. Go in with other small businesses that compliment your business on advertising opportunities, chamber inserts or in their newsletter, inserts in the local papers, direct mail pieces, target mailing list purchases, door to door flyers, etc. (i.e.; housekeeping business and carpet cleaning business). This will keep your costs lower for these items and give you greater credibility by partnering with other professionals. I can help you design and coordinate these marketing pieces so they STAND OUT!

7. Make sure you are listed on all local area or national website directories necessary that will target your message for you. Do the free ones for sure, but evaluate them if they charge a fee. When you consult with me \' I give you a list of these for FREE!

8. Include links to other people\'s websites on yours and ask to do the same for added exposure. Have an 'I recommend these businesses' page. Reciprocal links helps both websites get higher up on the search engines. I offer low cost advertising on my email newsletters which reach 1,500 business professionals and my clients are listed for no extra charge on my client list on my website!

9. Follow up, Follow up, Follow up with everyone you meet and ask them what their business is all about and how could you work together to promote each other? You need to develop a system for this so it gets done. Whether it\'s add them to your mailing list and mail to them once a month, add them to your email list if they opt-in and email them weekly or calling them, stopping by or faxing them on a monthly basis to keep in touch. Having a system or guideline written down that you can follow easily each month is the key. I can help you put together an effective and efficient, low cost follow up marketing system that\'s easy to follow!

10. Never base your advertising decisions on what YOU do, take yourself out of the picture and think like your customer and what they would generally do. Always ask pertinent questions of any media before buying it such as 'What is their circulation or reach' and 'How do they market themselves or how is their medium distributed'. Research all your options first, figuring out which ones reach your target market the best, then evaluate their cost per thousand. I can put together an Advertising Plan for you so you know where to and NOT to spend your money!

Well, hopefully you are doing everything on that list already in your business, but if not I\'m sure I\'ve only reminded you of what you already know to do. NOW DO IT!

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/business-articles/10-free-creative-lowcost-marketing-tips-394161.html

About the Author

(c) Copyright 2008 K.Sawa Marketing Katrina Sawa is an Award-Winning Relationship Marketing Coach who\'s helped hundreds of small business owners take dramatic steps in their businesses to get them to the next level in business, revenues and life. She offers one-on-one coaching, group coaching and do-it-yourself marketing planning products. Go online now to get started with her Free Report and Free Audio at http://www.jumpstartyourmarketing.com !

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