If your business is like many other small businesses today, particularly in today’s economic climate, money for marketing may be a tight commodity. But marketing is a must if you want your business to grow. Thankfully, there are several things you can do, at little or no cost, to get your message out to prospective and existing customers.
The most basic requirement today, of course, is a website. It should effectively describe the benefits of your product and service and include a “call to action” to motivate browsers and prospects to become customers. And it needs to be easy to find, which means (1) broadcasting its existence so that search engines like Google (www.google.com), Bing (www.bing.com), Yahoo (www.yahoo.com ) and Ask (www.ask.com), just to name a few, can find it and (2) optimizing it so that those search engines place it at or near the top of the results when prospects search for your products or services.
Website hosting and building has become much less expensive and much simpler to implement with tools available from a wide variety of Internet service providers (ISPs). Registering your own domain name for your website is also a straightforward process. And having your own domain, instead of being a subset of something like “sites/provider.com/site/your-domain-name” for example, is critically important if you want to be able to measure the effectiveness of your website’s performance since many analytic tools don’t work for sub-directory sites. Plus you’ll want your own domain-specific email addresses. While free email accounts are great for personal use, they don’t make a very good impression when used for your business.
You’ll also want to take advantage of social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and the like, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on the type of business you are in. Are you using all of the tools available to you in marketing your small business? Which ones are working best for you? Can you share any tips that other small businesses can use? I’d love to hear from you.
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