The better way to sell online

How to promote your business for free

Do you want to promote your business on a budget? These five methods will save you money and bring in new customers.

1. Social Media

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have millions of users; and they’re free. If you want to connect your products to an audience, then social media is a must have tool. Using it, you can engage with users, promote your products and create eye-catching advertisements.

If you’d like to connect with other businesses and professionals, then LinkedIn is the social media for you. Where Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are designed to connect friends and individuals, LinkedIn is a professional networking website. If you’re looking to expand your professional network, LinkedIn can help.

2. Press releases

Do you think your business isn’t newsworthy? It might be! Are you creating anything innovative? Are you launching a new product? Are you pushing any boundaries? Whenever your business does something exciting, consider sending out a press release. If your business excites you, it might excite someone with a blog, a news site or an online following!

There are many sites online which will let you post press release for free. The process may seem old fashioned, but press releases have stood the test of time and they’re proven to be effective.

3. Online forums

Through online community forums, people can connect and discuss issues, products and ideas. As a business, these forums can provide a great way to get to know an audience or potential customer base.

The easiest way to find online forums is through Facebook. Simply search for something related to your business using the site (if you sell cameras, try looking up ‘Photography + your city, etc). By joining groups, you can build up a real rapport with communities.

Keep in mind that simply posting links to your business in groups will annoy people. Your goal shouldn’t be to place advertisements in forums, but to engage in conversations and add value. Promote your business by mentioning it when relevant, or by including a signature link in your posts. That way people will find your business organically.

Through online forums, people can connect and discuss issues, products and ideas. As a business, these forums can provide a great way to get to know a community or potential customer base.

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4. Blogging

A blog can be time-consuming and slow growing, but once established it can be a great way to funnel traffic to your business. My top three tips for blogging are:

1. Use SEO. Search Engine Optimization will help your posts come up in search results. There are many online how-to-guides which can help you master SEO. Without SEO your blog will be a business without a driveway; people might stumble across it, but your chances at success will be limited.

2. Answer questions. Instead of posting about only your products, you must create posts around your products. For example, if you sell homewares you could write articles about how to style rooms, what items are trending and tips for homeowners. Try to predict which questions your target demographic will be searching for. It is far more likely that someone will google ‘cheap ways to decorate bedroom’ than ‘new lamp on sale’.

3. Every post should teach a lesson. Instead of simply sharing updates or images, include new information or advice in every post. If you want customers to read what you write, make it worth their while.

To be successful at blogging you must write original content, answer questions and share relevant information. Building up a blog can take years, but a good blog will become the heart of your online business and organically bring you traffic.

5. Tutorials

If you’d like to engage your audience, use tutorials. Teaching your customers how to use your products or learn related skills is a great way to get them interested. It’ll illustrate that you’re an authority figure, and it will help you and your products gain attention and fans.

Using sites like YouTube is free, and you can embed videos you post there onto other sites. Try to go as in depth as possible when you make tutorials. Video tutorials are one of the most effective free marketing tools when it comes to attracting your desired demographic.

Make sure your videos are well lit and easy to listen to, and avoid any unnecessary introductions or chatter.

- Lena Klein

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