Tuesday, June 26, 2007
No Marketing Budget? No Problem!
Forget "bang for your buck." You can market yourself and your services for free with these easy self- promotion tips:
1. Create a signature line and append it to all outgoing e-mail messages. Include your name, the name of your business or something to identify your services, your website address, and contact information. Make it very easy for potential clients to contact you and pass your name along to others.
2. Participate actively in free e-mail discussion lists and online forums related to your target market or area of expertise. Asking questions makes you approachable, answering them gives you credibility, and reading others' comments is like a dozen free marketing and business courses rolled into one. Include your signature in every post.
3. Submit your website to the major search engines and indexes: Google, MSN, Yahoo!, Open Directory, Looksmart, and others. It's not particularly difficult to do it manually, but you may benefit from checking out a service like the one offered by Robert Woodhead at SelfPromotion.com. He provides straightforward search engine optimization (SEO) info and explains the entire submission process. The articles and advice on the site are fantastic, and a free account there is, well, free!
4. Start a blog or free, subscription-based e-mail newsletter to build recognition, credibility, and relationships, and to drive traffic to your website.
5. Write letters to the editor and op-ed columns about subjects that may interest your potential clients or that establish you as an expert. Be sure to include your URL or professional e-mail address in the author bio blurb.
6. Sell or volunteer articles for newsletters and websites read by potential clients. Include a bio that identifies your business and expertise and include your e-mail address and/or URL.
7. Write a few short "evergreen" articles and submit them to content distributors like EzineArticles.com. You may pick up a few dollars along the way, and you'll increase your visibility as your articles are reprinted by various publications.
8. Take advantage of www.PRWeb.com's free press release distribution services to get your name out there and keep your business in front of your audience.
9. Visit Craigslist.org and post a short, well-written ad in the Services section for your city or region. Include a link to your website, and use your real e-mail address (not one of those anonymized ones).
Marketing doesn't have to be expensive. Bite the bullet and shell out a few bucks for your website and a new batch of business cards every now and then -- but otherwise, save your money for things that aren't so easy to get for free.
Kristen King is a freelance writer-editor and consultant from Northern Virginia, and the author of InkThinker, which was named one of the top 10 blogs for writers in 2006.
Article Source ezinearticles.com. Subscribe to Kristen's f.ree e-newsletter here