Advertising For Free?

April 27, 2009 by  Filed under: Advertising 

There is no shortage of opportunities for paid promotions for your business; however finding free promotions is a different story. Many of us struggle in the beginning to make a profit and accordingly paid advertising, while most important, is usually the last item we pay attention to. Those who have the advantage of being able to pay for advertising are an elite few. For those of us who are not in that position, the following 5 ideas are proven effective strategies for promoting your business for free:

1. Press Releases. Each of us should be very familiar with the art of crafting a press release. To start make a list of all of your local media opportunities. You will want to call each one to find out if they accept press releases and to whose attention you would submit it to. Once you have this information it is time to sit and write it. Picking a newsworthy topic (items 2-5 below are good sources) will help insure your press release gets published. The obvious default subject would be the creation/formation of your business but there a many more subjects one could use instead. In its simplest form a press release covers the five Ws – who, what, when, where and why. Tell the story in that order and you will include all of the required information for a “great” press release (note: always write your press release in the third person).

2. Public Speaking. Research your area for conferences and seminars upcoming. Contact them and ask if they are looking for workshop leaders. You have unique skill sets, experiences, training and knowledge that no one else has. Sell the conference/seminar promoters on your talents to secure a speaking opportunity.

3. Article Writing. Probably the most familiar and certainly one of the most taught methods of obtaining free advertising. Article writing should not be overlooked. Your articles will receive the regional and national coverage you are otherwise unable to take advantage of.

4. Networking. Thanks to the current economic crisis the availability of “quality” networking opportunities are plentiful. Take advantage of them. Specifically join networking groups aligned with your client’s industry trade associations. Never leave the house without an ample supply of business cards. You should strive to only hand one out after you have engaged in a conversation with someone. Consequently you will have more one on one conversations in your efforts to hand out more business cards. Spend time really getting to know the person you are talking to. Ask for their business card. Make important notes on the back of their business card as soon as you are alone and have the opportunity.

5. The Internet. Use the internet to increase your web presence. Having your own domain name is critical. The content on your website should be accurate and current at all times. Avoid the call to add too much “stuff” to your website. You do not want to confuse potential clients or make it hard for them to find out what you do and how to contact you. In addition to your own domain name your email address is another way to advertise for free. When you use you are selling your services to everyone who sees your email. Many times when I see an email address I am not familiar with I will go to the website to see what it is all about. These people are driving traffic to their website just by sending an email.

I hope these tips are helpful to you. Remember you are your number 1 sales agent. You get paid 100% of the commissions and take 100% of the responsibility. You should at a moments notice be able to tell anyone at least 10 reasons why someone should use your service and the top 3 or 4 benefits you can add to their business. No one is going to sell your business the way you can; not even referrals that you may receive. While word of mouth is the best advertising, when it comes from you personally its strength is multiplied.

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