Believe it or not there are many ways to market your business online for free. Many Entrepreneurs are in need of small business financial help so if money is tight these techniques can be helpful in bridging the money gap. The specifics of each technique will change with each industry but you will gain a good understanding of what to do.
Join the Conversation
Your business no matter what it is exists to solve a problem. Think about it, what problem does your business exist to solve? If you can’t answer this you are staring off on the wrong foot, if you can, then join the conversation. There are people and communities all over the web discussing the problems in your industry. Sign up with the forums and the leading websites that address these issues and take part in what people are talking about. Additionally you can visit and post on Facebook pages of leading companies and discuss what you can do to help people out. Be careful not to leave shallow comments, add value as much as you can and naturally fill everyone in on who you are and what you do. A comment that is just a link to your website will get you kicked out of the conversation.
The cool thing about forums is that not only are the visitors interested in your niche, the specific threads often deal with the specific problems you can help them solve. The majority of my traffic for an early site that I developed came from one thread on a popular forum discussing my topic. The majority of the people coming from the forum to my site were hungry for what I had to offer.
Step Up the Content on Your Website
Assuming you have a website, one of the easiest ways you can bring in new customers is by building the value of your site. Great content directed towards the needs of your target market is a sure fire way to produce sales. So long as people are looking for what you have to offer, and you continually provide Quality content people will keep coming. As a rule of thumb you want each posing on your site to be directed to a keyword or phrase that has a fair deal of search volume and not a lot of other sites discussing the same thing. If you are 1 out of 10,000 sites discussing the issue, you won’t get the attention that you will if you are 1 out of 10 sites discussing the issue. This usually means you have to be rather specific with your content.
Keep It Fresh. The newer the content is the better. The web is a living organism, your audience and search engines both thrive off of new content. An old outdated site may get some hits but the sites that are constantly ranking for search terms are the ones that are being updated and added to continually.
Tell The World Through Directories
This again assumes you have a website. If you look around the web you will find there are directories of all shapes and sizes. Adding your name to the ones specific to your niche is a great way to increase awareness of your business. Many of these directories want to have you add your name as your addition will help them to grow. The mother of all directories which is not easy to get into is DMOZ. The guys and gals at DMOZ work hard to make sure only quality sites are added so if your site isn’t providing a great deal of value to your niche don’t waste your time.
Exploit Social Networks
Having accounts set up with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other social network you can think of will also help. As you add friends and post comments friends of friends will become aware of your business and check you out. The same goes for sites such as Flicker and YouTube. Adding content to these sites that is related to your industry will help direct interested parties your way. Anytime you are posting comments if you can invoke curiosity it will increase your chances of picking up new traffic.
Give Your Thoughts Away
Many website are looking for quality content associated with the niche you are into, if you know something others would find interesting write articles for other sites. Article directories live off of people providing the quality content that they couldn’t provide themselves. If you can guest post on a popular site or blog people will automatically view you as the guru and guess what, they will be more likely to buy from you when you have an offer. This goes in line with joining the conversation. As you become more and more of a presence your relationship with the people in the market will afford you further opportunities to provide your thoughts on established sites.
StubleUpon? Whats that?
This little site can bring in a ton of traffic fast. StubleUpon.com is a site that takes users to webpages related to their interests at random. If you have a site that could be of interests to others, add it to stumble upon.
Never Stop. “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can”
Persistence is one of the largest factors in getting noticed. The longer you continue to use the above tasks and the more you put your name in front of others, the more your customer base will grow. As I have shared before ShyEntrepreneur.com, like Rome, was not built in a day. A good deal of time was spent identifying the needs of small businesses, writing articles, finding keywords, and optimizing the site. It is very much an organic process that starts slow and continues to grow as you invest your time and resources into it. This is the main reason you must enjoy selling what you sell. If you don’t love what you are pushing it will be hard for you to stay in for the long hall.