Free and low cost business advertising options:
You have got your business idea and your website is almost ready so now what? One of the questions we often get asked is how to advertise your start-up on a small budget and how to gain exposure in such a competitive world. There are so many options to advertise that it can be difficult to develop a clear plan without being overwhelmed. With discipline and some creativity it is possible to launch an effective and low cost campaign. Here are some of our tips...
Create a buzz
Create a buzz before your new website is up and running and make sure you already have social media presence on key platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. This way you can generate a buzz about your business before your actual website or business is launched. You can start by inviting friends from your social networks, become an authority on linkedin or start interacting with your soon to be customers.
Word of mouth
We live in a technological world where most advertising is done online but when you are just starting out don’t forget the old fashioned way of telling friends, family and relatives about your new start–up. Someone may know someone and this is a great way to get your first customers lined up. They are also more likely to be loyal and trusting if they come through a recommendation. Some of the biggest businesses have started this way. The better value you provide the more people they will tell and the more they will come back. Don't forget to carry plenty of business cards with you - you never know when you might need them!
Free networking events
Networking events in your area can greatly help to spread the word about your new start–up. There are free networking events where you are able to bring your child along. For example Bloomsbury babies offer free workshops for parents who are developing or are interested in developing their own business or enterprise. You can find out more information in our directory. Other companies also offer networking events where you can bring your child along or in the evenings. Not only is it a good way to promote what you are doing but it is also a fantastic way to learn new skills and gain more experience. Other groups on Meetup allow you to build up your audience, network or both. Plan ahead of time to ensure you don't miss out as some have limited capacity.
Skill Swapping & Partnerships
Skill Swapping allows people to swap talents and skills. For example, you might be great at Marketing but have no experience in web design. You can then use our free partnership programme to swap skills with another mum who can design websites. In return you would provide Marketing experience. Simply create a profile detailing your experience and talents and you can then get in touch with another mum looking to partner up. This is a great way to improve your business for free and spread the word through associates.
Assuming you have some web presence (even an active facebook page), you can contact relevant companies with a view to forming a partnership, where you promote each others services or products – called “cross-promotion”. You could also potentially form a business partnership with another mum on Mum Plus Business. Working in partnerships can greatly help in diversifying skill sets and growing your busines more efficiently.
Make sure that you have attractive graphics and pictures on your website and social networks. Also make sure that when you have a great image of one of your products, your company and website name are clearly visible. This way people, when people share your image they can see where it came from!
From early on we would always advise you to create or add a blog to your website to post interesting news, pretty images of your products or other engaging content. This is an excellent free way to attract people to your website who would otherwise not have found you.
Many people turn to a business directory first when they have a need. You can advertise you small business for as little as £4 per month in our directory. This includes links and social media profiles and will be featured on our social media networks too.
Create a Linkedin profile and join relevant groups. Make sure you have a professional looking profile in place with a picture of yourself. Publish papers and join in discussions. Linkedin even helps you understand how you can become an influential member attracting even more digital attention.
Remember to always be yourself, be disciplined and consistent and your presence should grow with time!