Monday, February 1, 2016

Easy, cheaper ways to promote

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     Promote inexpensively to grow and expand your business. Gone are the days when it cost an arm and a leg to advertise. 

     Here are three easy and inexpensive ways to promote. Reduce your advertising budget and use the cash for other things.

     Social media: Much of social media is free. You don't have to buy an advertisement in order to take advantage of the power of social media. Facebook is a very good example. Many small businesses have jumped on the Facebook bandwagon to spread the word about their products and services. You'll need pictures, but you're snapping pictures all the time anyway. Pictures posted need not be professional. A closeup of a decorated cake will certainly attract attention, as well as a bouquet of flowers, a piece of jewelry, a trendy new outfit. More than Facebook is waiting for you to explore--Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and more. All of these can direct attention--and new buyers--to your business. You should have a website, and it should be up to date.

     Events: People are hungry for information, and you are expert at what you do. Put these two together, and you can promote your business very inexpensively. Hold an open house and give free demos and explain the benefits of acupuncture, massage, yoga, healthy diets, or whatever it is you offer. Hold informational meetings at clubs, senior centers, non-profit group meetings and other gatherings. Computer experts can advise dealing with viruses and how to recover from a crash. Accountants can explain new tax laws. Attorneys can advise what to do when you get sued. Chiropractors explain the benefits of chiropractic and answer all the questions. 

     Classes: Classes can take the public's hunger for information to the next level. Schedule a series of classes for beginners and another series for advanced students. Bakers teach cake baking and decorating. Potters teach throwing pots and making glazes. Accountants teach people how to simplify record-keeping. Landscapers teach garden design and how to lay pavers for walkways and seating areas. Any business can schedule classes evenings and weekends when people have free time. Attendees will pay you for classes, help spread the word about your business, and bring in referrals.

     Promotions can cost next to nothing. Of course, you'll be spending your time and maybe coffee and cookies. But social media, events and classes cost less than print ads. And the argument can be made that these are more effective.   

     Social media has revolutionized advertising. You might still use print ads, mailers, and other things that still have appeal. But don't neglect the elephant in the room--social media.    

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