Written By Tejas Ajmeri

Edited by Ranelli Williams, CPA, MBA

All business owners know how valuable marketing is to their business. It is one of the most important aspects of any business venture, as it is the foundation to how your business promotes itself, engages customers, and most importantly, helps your business grow. The importance of marketing is unquestioned, but for many self-starters or relatively new business owners, it can be quite difficult to successfully come up with a marketing plan. Thankfully, you don’t have to be an expert to implement some of these inexpensive marketing strategies into your own business!

Building Local Awareness:

The community in which your business is located can be the difference maker in helping your business grow. There are number of ways that you can raise public awareness for you and your brand, and honestly, it is very easy! Sponsorships for local teams and events can easily go a long way, and so can setting up a table at a local event as well! People are always open to learning about new things, and helping those within your community. Showing up and representing your business in instances like these will allow you to answer any questions that potential customers may have, and can help you influence the people you meet to buy your product. This is especially true if you promote benefits as opposed to appearing “salesy.”

There are also other ways to build local awareness, such as handing out flyers, putting your business on a local billboard, newspaper, magazine, etc. Networking events are also a great way to build local awareness, as other business owners, people who live within the community, and travelers all come together to share ideas, products, and services. Ultimately, the main objective of attending a networking event as a business owner is to increase awareness of your business, build connections with other business owners or clients, and to provide value to those potential clients.

As you seek to build awareness, the possibilities are endless! Moreover, by cementing your legacy within your community, your business will benefit from this marketing technique.

Obtain Referrals:

Put all of your pride aside, and ask customers or friends for referrals! Asking for referrals is an honest and potentially big way that you can build awareness for your business. Customer service is always key, so before you ask a customer to refer a friend to you, be sure that you give the best possible experience to the customer, so that they can share it with those who are looking for something similar. Build relationships with your customers, and you will see more customers come your way, and see your business prosper.

Use Social Media Outlets to Your Advantage:

Social Media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have become some of the most cost efficient means for businesses to promote themselves. All it takes is a well-articulated post to try to grab your target market’s attention. When starting off, there may be a few “bumps in the road” as understanding what captures your audience’s attention takes a few tries.

A few important tips to marketing your business through social outlets, is to always focus on a core target market, as trying to promote a product to every single person on your social media feed will more likely get lost, and won’t result in much success. With tools like Facebook ads, you can easily select your desired target market, and pay Facebook to include your ads/promotions on people’s feeds who have similar interests to your target market. The more money you pay Facebook to promote your ad, the more it will reach. However, before you do so, please formulate a well thought out post before you do so.

Leverage Coupons and Discounts:

A simple way to get people to look at your product is if you offer a discounted price. Not many people will know about the quality of your product if you’re just starting, which makes it quite difficult for people who see your product, but may think that it is overpriced for what it is for.

In order to prove them wrong, and to build more awareness about your product, offer discounts as promotional leverage to lure potential customers in. For some people, offering discounts to customers can negatively affect the progress that a new business owner initially planned, but it is a long-term investment when considering that if the product or service that you are selling is good, then people who have already purchased it will refer their friends to you, and potentially come back as regular customers.

Create A Blog:

Blogging is a simply way to prove to your audience that you understand, and have a wide knowledge on the field that your business is currently in. Whichever field that may be, writing articles about the latest trends, giving advice, or simply updating everyone about new products, or talking about initiatives that your business is taking can really go a long way. People appreciate consistency, honesty, and are always open to advice; so if you have an idea of some articles that may promote your expertise, then do so!

Even if you do not have a blog, or a media platform to begin one, creating a website is easier than ever, and can take just a few hours of your time to get it going. From there, begin building your library of articles, and continue to get the word out about your business!

Offer Free or Low Cost Webinars:

Webinars are a great way to spread the word about your business and its services. People all around the world are always seeking advice on variety of different topics, and find webinars to be extremely convenient being that they can participate in them from virtually anywhere. With that said, offering a free or low cost webinar would bring the opportunity to bring value to your audience, showcase your expertise, and efficiently market your products or services. Not only can this increase sales, but the more people who understand and value your knowledge, the more they will spread the word, and refer their friends and family to you.