free ways to market your business

10 free ways to get new customers online

Don’t have the money to start marketing your business to new customers? There are actually plenty of creative ways to get your brand known. We break down 10 of the most popular ideas right here.

1. Content marketing

There are loads of ways you can start to engage potential customers through content. This is why most businesses run a blog. Write articles with tips based on your industry, best practices or just industry news! You will be really surprised at how many people will read through and then end up sharing.

2. Instructional videos

Every day thousands, if not millions of people are looking for help online. YouTube has become a huge resource for this sort of knowledge. Whatever your industry, potential customers will be asking questions. Write a small list of 5-10 ideas and start to talk in front of a camera. You don’t even need the latest camera technology to do this. Many YouTube creators just use their standard smart phone. You may well become the most well known person for help in your industry.

3. Create a local business profile

Make sure you create a profile for your business using Google My Business. This is a local map listing which will get you found by local people. When you create this make sure you fill in every relevant field. The more information you provide, the more Google will favour your listing.

4. Social media groups

Facebook groups are powerful things. There is usually a group which has been created for every local community and people love to discuss and recommend local businesses. If you’re business isn’t so local, there are likely going to be Facebook groups based on your niche. If not, create one and begin to share tips and information!

5. Email marketing

Create a mailing list and begin to mail out useful information. Take all the emails of your previous customers and ask if they will be happy to receive relevant emails from you (this ensures you are GDPR complaint). You should also have an email submission field on your website.

From experience, your emails should never always work as a hard sell. Whilst these are good occasionally, make sure you are sending out information that people value. This could convert them into paying customers later on and it will lower your ‘unsubscribes’.

6. Get chatting on LinkedIn

There are thousands of people on LinkedIn who spend way too much time scrolling through their feeds. The good news is though, they’re happy to chat and connect. They might not be your ideal customer but they will certainly recommend you to others if you get chatting. It’s basically a huge online networking breakfast club but you can sound off at any time of day. Again, keep posting useful information about your industry or ask others for advice.

7. Customer referrals

Word of mouth is one of the most powerful forms of advertising. Already built up a small audience on social media? Maybe you have a mailing list already set up? Advertise an online gift voucher if a previous customer refers a friend to your business. Granted, this isn’t entirely free but you would only pay when the new customer signs up with you or makes a purchase.

8. Social media engagement

Create a post on social media which will generate engagement. Most networks like Facebook or Instagram will prioritise posts which have engagement. Post something which people will be inclined to comment on. Maybe ask their opinion on a particular look? Perhaps get them to tag their friends relating to somewhere they want to visit. Your post doesn’t have to related directly to your business but should have some sort of context in relation to your industry. Experiment and see how much engagement you can get.

9. Host a class

Since COVID-19 there has been a huge uptake in Zoom classes. If you have information to share based on your industry then why not host a free class? Provide useful training or give hints and tips. Then create a mailing list to keep these potential customers engaged. Many people will convert into paying customers once you give them free advice, even if it is a year later.

10. Try Reddit

Posting on Reddit can be a real boost for your brand. Again, don’t make it a hard sell. Post a good news story about the progress of your business or perhaps mention a good deed you did for a customer. There are literally millions of threads on Reddit, all ready for you to share a story.

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