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The One Stop Guide To Cheap Marketing For the Small Business

Written by Amy Chan


Posted on June 24 2014

Unless you’re Coca-Cola or Budweiser, you need to worry about the money you spend on advertising. It’s an important part of your budget and one that causes the most stress, because the results are intangible and the decision of where to allocate your spending is so hard to make. Do you focus online? Or do you focus on real world arenas? You can spend months and months coming up with your own set of metrics that are probably faulty on their own, or you can peruse this handy guide of all the quick and easy things you can do to spread your advertising money wisely.



Social media. Never underestimate the power of Twitter and Instagram, and the newfangled hashtag. What’s a hashtag? Here is neither the time or place (you’re on a computer after all), but there’s no doubt a concentrated social media presence is important – and cheap!

Free info. As a businessperson you might think everything should be sold, but in this day and age, a freebie to lure a potential customer in is important. That leads us to:

YouTube. Informational videos on your business’s expertise are a free way of getting your name – and your expertise or specialty – out in the open.



Old-fashioned Networking. Can’t overlook the handshake and the look into the eye. Go ahead and ask your friends in relevant fields to help a brother out and introduce you to the right people.

The Follow-Up. If you meet someone either on the internet or in real life, always shoot them an email or a text to reinforce who you are and the fact that you even met. No one will be bothered by a quick 2-3 sentence follow-up, and when you contact them again down the road, they’re more likely to remember you.

Linked-In. Linked-in is like real life handshakes, but online. You can find people who may help your cause there, and ask to be introduced. It never hurts to ask and you never know what connections you can make.

Encourage a phone call. In this day and age, folks want to do everything over email and electronically. Encourage your clients to pick up the phone and call. The old-fashioned approach will yield results.

Surprise freebies. Anyone can earn freebies with a rewards program, or rewards points. But even better is to have some freebies available for all from time to time. Not all the time. But you never know who might be in there and who is a potential dedicated lifetime customer, swayed by a really nice and inexpensive freebie.

Cross promote. If you’re a law firm, team up with a local restaurant. If you’re a restaurant, team up with another local business. Hold an event, or cross promote on each other’s social media networks You’re helping each other and helping build a community, which itself is a magnet to new customers.

Online listings. There are so many places, both local and national, that list small businesses – for free. Take some time and make sure you’re on all of them, even if it’s just the local neighborhood paper with 1000 readership.

Share your genius. You can get some free publicity by writing for trade magazines relevant to your field. It may be a freebie, or a small stipend for you, but getting your name and company out there is worth the time and effort.

Yelpin. Encourage your happy customers to say positive things about you on Yelp! and other crowd-sourced content arenas. So what if you get a negative review here and there, more often than not the review will be positive – assuming you’re taking care to make your business attractive.

Professional website. You don’t have to be well versed in HTML and Java to have a nice looking website, but you need to have a nice looking website to seem credible to potential customers. Many people will Google you before they ever visit you, so be sure to have the website up and running.