10 Ways to Advertise Your Business FREE
There’s nothing wrong with paying to advertise. I’ve heard people say “advertising is a tax for businesses that aren’t remarkable”….but that’s not entirely true.
Let’s not confuse advertising and marketing. Most business owners do. It’s ok. We did it to.
Here’s the difference:
Advertising: the activity or profession of producing advertisements for commercial products or services.
Marketing: the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.
Advertising is telling, not selling.
Think of it this way. The GoDaddy super bowl commercial, is advertising. There’s nothing wrong with advertising, unless you expect sales from it. Advertising is telling, not selling. Any direct sales from “advertising” are typically by accident (direct response not included, but that’s an article for another day).
Marketing is coordinating the telling with data and research, to get sales.
Businesses use advertising as part of their marketing plan, but advertising should never be the entire marketing plan. When advertising is the entire marketing plan, business owners think. “advertising doesn’t work.”
How many domain names does GoDaddy sell when their ad plays during the super bowl? Do YOU buy domain names during the super bowl? Me neither. Now is GoDaddy was YOU, they’d be telling their advertising sales rep, “Advertising doesn’t work.”
Here are 10 Easy Ways to Advertise Your Business FREE:
- Design your 7 word elevator “pitch” (mission statement). Relax, it’s not really a “pitch”. I’ll explain in a moment. This is free and it only takes time. This will save you time and make you loads of money over time. It will also serve to display your professionalism and tight grip on your own expertise. When you meet people, they often ask what you do. If they don’t ask, you should tell them, until everyone knows what you do (which is basically forever). You have a choice, improvise and sound like a putz or craft your 7 word elevator pitch and then practice it until you have it down perfectly. Remember, it’s not about YOU…it’s about who you serve. If you make it sound like it’s about you, you will sound like a self involved jerk and it will repel the very people you want to attract. Keep it short, sweet and to the point…and remember it’s about who you serve.
- Use the free tools in front of you first. Update your Facebook, LinkedIn, Email signature and any other social media with a brief statement about what you do and who can benefit from your product or service. Put your 7 word elevator pitch (mission statement) across all these platforms.
- Get NEW free tools. You don’t need to be on every shiny new social platform, but there are a handful you should be on if you are in business. Get a YouTube Channel/Account for your business videos (this is tied to your Gmail and free Google Website #9). Make sure you have a business page on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Get an instagram or flicker account for pictures and either a SoundCloud or Stitcher account for audio. Put you
- Tell everyone you know. Duh right? This is hugely overlooked and terribly executed by most businesses. The first thing you’re taught when you start in Real Estate, Insurance, and network marketing is to call your friends and family and tell them what you are up to. There are 2 huge problems with this. Problem #1 is most people ignore this advice. Problem #2 is those who tell their friends and family say the wrong thing. Instead of making this announcement “about you”, make it about your friends and family, or more importantly make it about THEIR friends and family. Reach out to your friends and family and let them know what you do and how your product or service will benefit them, and how sharing it can benefit them and those they share it with! Plain and simple.
- Have an event. There’s a reason why chambers do ribbon cuttings and businesses have Grand Openings. It’s to create an excuse to motivate people to take notice, wake up and stop by. A huge problem with these concepts is they are once again confused with SALES events. Business owners tend to obsess about perfection and sales on an event that’s simply designed to tell, not sell. So have a ribbon cutting, or grand opening, or invite people over to paint their hand print on your wall…do something fun to give fun people a reason to come see you and talk about what you do.
- Put out a press release. You don’t need a PR firm to put out a PR. The key to a great press release is one simple ingredient: You must have a hook that appeals to the reader. In other words, the press release is NOT about you or your business. The press release is about your customer and their needs and wants. YOU happen to have a solution at your business. If you appeal to YOUR customer, it will appeal to the media outlet’s reader and your chances of getting it published and promoted go through the roof!
- Partner with a non profit. Offer a discount and get the non profit to let donors know that when they donate to their non profit, they also get a 10% discount with YOUR business. This is word of mouth with a great twist!
- Deputize your staff/team/customers. Empower your staff, vendors and customers to share your 7 word elevator pitch (mission statement) with their friends, family and colleagues. Make it easy for them to do this. Set it up so handouts are made for them, emails are written for them, facebook and linkedin posts are made for them…etc. Then, once the tools are set up for them, share those tools with them, invite and encourage them to tell everyone often, and give them a strong WHY to do so. The why could be just because they care and like you, and they want you to succeed and help others. The why could also be prizes, cash, feel good, influence, points…you name it. Just check with your regulating body to make sure your industry rules are adhered to.
- Get your free Google Website. This one is big. It’s overlooked and under appreciated too of course. Google gives businesses a free website. It’s juiced up with google goodies and very search friendly because it’s done BY GOOGLE. Before you pay hundreds or thousands (barf) on a website that looks pretty and does little more than act as an online brochure for you (which most people will NEVER see), go here and learn how to get your free google website in minutes.
- Get testimonials and reviews and leverage them. There is a huge influence factor among us human beings called social proof. This is the concept that when we see others doing something, our brain tells us it must be ok for us too. The more we have in common with those we see doing “it”, the more social proof influences us to try it. So ask your best customers for testimonials in writing. Once they comply with this very easy effort, escalate and ask them if they’d be willing to let you videotape their endorsement. The minute they say yes, whip out your iphone and do it then and there. Then, ask for them to post their testimonial on Google and Yelp. Send them an email with the step by step, or have someone in your office walk them through it. The more reviews you have, the more you will get found. The more reviews you have, the more it will display social proof to your new prospects so they become customers! Take those videos and put them on your YouTube channel. Post each video in a blog post on your website, link the post from your site in their reviews on Google and Yelp, and share your blog post for EACH testimonial on your business Facebook page and Twitter account. Make sure to put the link for your blog post IN the description of the video on your YouTube account. Make sure to put a link to all these testimonial blog posts on your FREE Google business page. This is SEO that works and doesn’t cost you anything but time, effort and discipline. Later you can even run a loop of the testimonial videos on a TV in your lobby, or office. The audio of the testimonials can run on your message on hold phone system.