Free Small Business Marketing Tips – 3 Ideas for Fast Results

In this article, I have 3 free small business marketing tips for you, because marketing shouldn’t have to set you back a bundle. And any one of them may make you a serious sum of money when you put them to work for you.

That’s a considerable promise, I know, but it’s one I stand behind and mean to keep.

But there is one warning: simply skimming through this article and “learning about” these tips won’t do a thing for you. You actually have to roll your sleeves up and put them to work for you.

Free Small Marketing Tips No 1: Bump up your fees

There are probably three people in the whole world who commonly buy on price only (and you really don’t want them as clients anyway). The rest of us have better things to bother with, like suitability, trustworthiness, delivery time, excellence, service, back up and all the rest. In one analysis only 14% of participants said price was the most important factor for them; that means 86% of them had different, more weighty concerns.

If you tack on 10% to your prices from this moment on, I would be shocked if you experienced any decrease in sales at all. What you WILL see, though, is a significant increase in your profits (because that 10 % boost is all profit). Yeah, it’s conceivable the odd client or two will moan and put on the weeps about it and perhaps even go somewhere else… but if that happens, then they’ve done you a kindness. Price buyers are sheer murder to deal with and will in the end drive you to an early grave.

Free Small Marketing Tips No. 2: Become the media darling

Read the newspapers, both national and local, switch on the Television or tune in to the radio stations and you’ll see ‘expert’ after ‘expert’ wheeled on to give his or her thoughts on everything from daycare and chilblains, to party ideas and pork pies. But what gives these folks this ‘ace’ status and why are they in the news? Well, their authority status comes from the fact they’re simply in the news. That’s it. That’s the only difference between them and you.

Precisely how do they get there? Exactly how does this come about? By their contacting the local media and saying, essentially, “I’m an expert on thingamajigs, and I’ve got strategies and information on whatchamacallits your audience would definitely like and benefit from”.

This is all a hell of a lot easier than it seems and a lot less scary, too. Some years ago I had a regular monthly piece in the local monthly rag. It added up to possibly 30 minutes’ work a month to create, and yielded thousands of Euro in business.

Free Small Marketing Tips No. 3: Ask for referrals

Referred business is the most profitable business to get, and the easiest to close the sale on — because all the hard work of nurturing trust has been done for you by whomever referred the business to you. In my own business, I don’t take on private clients from anything BUT referrals, because the business is such top quality.

Alas, while we all love ’em… we don’t tend to do much to ensure we get lots of them.

Although we can change all this simply by asking our present customers and clients this simple question: “whom else do you know whom I may be able to help in the same way I’ve helped you?”. You could send that email or letter now and be getting more business within minutes.

You can also take this one step further and set the scene for recommendations at the beginning of your relationship with a new customer: “I grow my business with referrals. So if I do a great job for you I hope and expect you will recommend at least 3 people to me whom I may be able to help”. The majority of business owners are too intimidated to make this a stipulation of doing business with clients… although that’s their affair.

See? Three free small business marketing tips that could be making you money by the end of today.

But the onus is on YOU to pull your finger out and make them work for you — they won’t do it by themselves.

Advertise My Business – Important Tips That Helped Me And That Can Help You Too

If you are like any serious business owner, one of the most important questions on your mind should be “how can I advertise my business”. This is definitely a very important question that every business owner needs to ask and answer. If you find the right ways to advertise, then your business will surely succeed. And if you don’t, failure is obviously inevitable.

And for those people who think advertising is not compulsory, here’s an analogy I read sometime back about people who don’t advertise. The analogy says that a business without advertisement is like a man winking at a lady in the dark.

Stop a minute and think about that. What you will notice is that if a man winks at a lady in the dark, no one will know what he is doing, except him. So, a business that doesn’t advertise is only selling basically to “itself” as no one else will know what it is offering, let alone buy from it. A business like that will only keep losing money – hiring staff, buying inventory, etc, and it won’t make the money and profit that it deserves to make.

So, if you really want to achieve success and make money in your business, you have to advertise it. And thankfully if you want to advertise on the Internet you don’t have to spend a fortune to achieve results. Gone are the days when you would have to spend a whole lot of money for radio, television or newspaper/magazine advertisement. Yes, many still think it will cost a fortune to get started advertising, but that’s not true. Don’t let anyone try to convince you that it’s true. It’s certainly not.

Below is a listing of 4 popular methods that I use to advertise my business.

1. Buying banners in high traffic websites
2. Buying ad spots in high traffic blogs
3. Buying ad spots in high traffic ezines
4. Buying ad spots with Google AdWords

Depending on your budget and the type of business you want to advertise you should take the time to look into each of these methods to find the one that will work best for you. I personally got better results from buying banners in high traffic websites like Yahoo. Your results might differ depending on your budget and the type of business you are operating. You can also decide to advertise on classified ads sites… the good news is that many of them are completely free to advertise in.

Top Five Tips Small Business Owners Can Learn From JK Rowling

J. K. Rowling is the English writer who has authored all seven beloved and widely read Harry Potter novels. At age 41, her rise to fame and fortune is inspiring. She has sold over 325 million books. The final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was the fastest-selling book of all time.

Her fortune is estimated at $1 billion. She is ranked as the 136th richest person in the world. In 2006, Forbes named Rowling the second richest female entertainer in the world and ranked her as 48th on the 100 most powerful celebrities list of 2007.

When this all began in 1990, however, things were very different for J. K. Rowling. She was not a published author. She did not have a lot of money. She was living in London, working as a researcher and bi-lingual secretary for Amnesty International, and her mother had just died. How she got from there to where she is today is a story filled with invaluable tips for small business owners.

Tip # 1: Don’t Rush to Roll Out Your Product.

Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences. – Rowling

Although J. K. Rowling had been a writer all her life, she was slow to publish. “I had written two novels before I had the idea for Harry, though I’d never tried to get them published (and a good job too, I don’t think they were very good).”

All too often, as small business owners, we rush to get a product out before its time, before it’s been fully considered or tested. Rowling sets a great example of getting a product just right before presenting it to the world.

Tip # 2: When a Great Idea Grabs You — Grab Back.

You sort of start thinking anythings possible if you’ve got enough nerve. – Rowling

Great ideas are unmistakably powerful in their announcement and come when least expected. Rowling says:

Where the idea for Harry Potter actually came from, I really couldn’t tell you. I was traveling on a train between Manchester and London and it just popped into my head. I spent four hours thinking about what Hogwarts would be like. By the time I got off at King’s Cross, many of the characters in the books had already been invented.

As small business owners, we know when a great idea is upon us. The problem is, we often question it, second-guess it, and rationalize it away. Not Rowling. She recognized the mark of a powerful idea, seized upon it and went with it.

Tip # 3: Persevere, Persevere, and Persevere.

It is our choices . . . that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. – Rowling

Rowling moved to Portugal to teach English as a Second Language in 1991 and married her first husband in 1992. They divorced in 1993. The next year, she moved to Scotland. At this point, she was an unemployed single mother living on welfare. In 1995, she completed her manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, typing it out on an old manual typewriter. She handed in the book to twelve publishing houses. They all rejected it.

Rowling never gave up. She did not stop just because life was hard. Despite all the changes and setbacks she was experiencing, she carried on. She persevered. As small business owners, we would do well to keep her example in mind.

Tip # 4: Don’t Let Anyone, Including Yourself, Sidetrack You from Your Goal.

If you’re holding out for universal popularity, I’m afraid you will be in this cabin for a very long time. – Rowling

Finally, Bloomsbury, a small publisher, agreed to publish the first book. Her editor, though, says that he “advised Rowling to get a day job, since she had little chance of making money in children’s books.”

It’s a good thing she didn’t listen. All seven volumes of the Harry Potter series have broken sales records and have been translated into 65 languages. What a shining role model Rowling is for small business owners. She didn’t let anyone stand in the way of her goal-not even herself.

Tip # 5: Each of Us Has a Unique Contribution to Make to the World.

I just write what I wanted to write. I write what amuses me. It’s totally for myself. – Rowling

J. K. Rowling never went searching for the kind of success she’s received. “I just wrote the sort of thing I liked reading when I was younger (and still enjoy now!). I didn’t expect lots of people to like them, in fact, I never really thought much past getting them published.”

It wasn’t fame or wealth that J. K. Rowling sought. No. She simply wanted to contribute to the world in general, and to children specifically. As small business owners, this is so important to learn. Focus on the unique something we have to offer to the world. The rest will surely come, in ways we may not even be able to imagine.

Advertising a Business Online at No Cost

There is a lot that can be cone without any expense when advertising a business online.

Perhaps one of the main thoughts that puts many of us off advertising a business online is the expense associated with it. We are all aware how expensive even short TV ads are. Placing even a small ad in a local paper can become costly if ran over a long period of time too. In the online world there is a variety of ways to advertise. Some ads pop up on our screens, others are apparent on most Web sites, some you read, some you watch and listen to, and some take you to another site. In this article only free forms of advertising will be touched upon.

As can be expected in the physical world, as well as online, certain ads are more powerful, than others. The reasons for these are in some instances patently clear, and sometimes not so obvious. When an online business is started with a limited budget, it is natural to begin with fairly basic forms of advertising. The simplest way to do so is to include a four to six line ad for your business in an e-mail signature. You can choose to include this in every e-mail you send. To increase its effectiveness you could offer an incentive, such as a free e-book or a video to encourage visitors to go to your site.

Another simple way is to include a Tell-A-Friend feature on your Web site. If your content is viewed as good by others, they will happily recommend it onwards. Those who have been recommended a certain Web site, blog, or other, are less hesitant to visit them. A bribe, i.e. an incentive, giving them something for free gives a good reason to do so.

Classified Ads are another way to attract traffic. Visitors to these sites are already looking for what you are offering, and in many cases they are ready to buy. There are many of these sites and it can become rather tedious to keep placing ads on them, as they expire after a few days. In addition you also want your ad to appear as high up the list as possible. It is a good idea to get used to classified ads, as they do produce traffic. However due to their time-consuming nature, there are other forms of free advertising which are more effective with regards to the effort invested in them.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is what you should logically pour a lot of hours into. When done properly and consistently you can end up on the first page of Google without any financial investment. If you consider the fact that 80% of people do not look further than the first page of their search results, this is definitely worth investing in. Free traffic is a goldmine. Apart from that, SEO is a component of most other forms of advertising. You should even consider looking into SEO before deciding how or what to name your business. Getting familiar with SEO sooner than later in your online marketing career will pay dividends.

Article marketing is a good way forward especially if you have some information to share and know how to put this down on paper in an interesting and clear manner. The more intriguing this piece of writing is, the more likely it is that it will be added as content to various Web sites. Greater exposure can be achieved by article syndication, i.e. posting an article to several article marketing sites.

Press Relapses are a great way to promote your Web site, and so increase traffic to it. Writing them will take some practice and getting used to if this is something you have not done before. It is worth the effort, as press releases can remain on the Internet for years.

At the time of writing this, videos are all the rage. Again they are a great off-page SEO technique. Uploading a video to YouTube with your URL gives you a link pointing to your Web site from a page rank nine site. Admittedly it can take a few hours to get to grips with how to go about making them and getting hold of all the required software, graphics, etc. After the production of a couple of videos it becomes a lot easier. The only remaining challenge is content. Aim to make it as high in quality as you can and include valuable information in order to attract traffic to your Web site.

Reality style videos need not take long to make, however you will need a video camera. If you are new to this, practise until you feel comfortable and appear natural to the rest of the world. It is well worth remembering that first impressions have a long-lasting effect. A messy background, a dishevelled look, unsavoury use of any language, unclear audio, and other distractions should all be avoided. A good video can get lots of views, and this can happen in a short period of time. The faster you establish a good reputation in your niche, the more frequently your video will get viewed.

Social Networking is another area of online advertising that has climbed to new heights in no time at all. We have all heard of Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. There are countless others. Signing up with them enables you to have your URL in your profile.

The main reason to have a Web site is to promote a business be it a product/s, a service, or both. Like customers in a shop, visitors are the lifeblood of an online business. In order for the visitors to find our virtual shop we need to take steps to make it easier for them. This is where advertising comes in. To get organic traffic, SEO needs to be fully employed and put in place – the best possible way forward. In addition there are several other free ways of advertising a business online that will keep your Web site busy with visitors, and potential customers.