When people hear about promoting their business, their first thought jumps to what it will cost them to do so. What if many were free or inexpensive?

Here are our top picks to get your name out there, without it costing you a fortune.

Our 14 Favorite Strategies to Promote Your Business

  • 1

    Donate some of your products or your services to a charitable event like an auction. It will get your name in the public eye and tie it with something altruistic and warmhearted – two traits which couldn’t hurt your business to have no?

  • 2

    Get a magnetic sign printed for your car with your logo/brand and your site or number. It will pay for itself (provided, of course you don’t drive like an absolute looney-bin – in which case, all bets are off) if even one person finds you this way.

  • 3

    Hiring someone to hold up a sandwich board style sign all day doesn’t cost much. Paying someone once a week to stand on the busiest corner could get you plenty of new clients.

  • 4

    Community events are a long-known secret of the corporate marketing world. Putting your name on balloons, or sponsoring a local little league team or other sports, are always a great way to get your name out, and some don’t cost much.

  • 5

    Demos Demos Demos, people love demo videos which show them how to get something done. This could be anything from replacing a leaky faucet, to learning how to program a computer. You can make these in your area of expertise!

  • 6

    Host a contest on any/all of your social media channels, there are plenty of sites out there made just for this purpose which can bring you new followers, new subscribers, and new sales.

  • 7

    Offer a product or service to a local radio station as a prize to give away.

  • 8

    Get active in online forums in your area of expertise. One trick though – you can’t sell to them here, it’s to give away your expertise for nothing. That ‘nothing’ becomes something because you’re offering something of value to people, which earns trust. Trust is worth everything.

  • 9

    Review local businesses leaving shining, stunning reviews – many will happily return the favor. You can even choose to “follow” your competition, you have nothing to lose and plenty to gain by making strong business connections – yep, even with the competition.

  • 10

    There is a site called “Help a Reporter Out or Haro” which you can sign up as an expert in your field on. Then, reporters will search for experts and you can give answers which can earn you points and exposure.

  • 11

    Send thank you notes. Yes, use real mail. This never happens anymore, but how happy would you be to open your mailbox and have an actual card from anyone? People really appreciate the human touch now more than ever, when things are largely automated, and responses are canned.

  • 12

    If you have a social media presence, pay to boost posts which are performing well, or to get bigger reach from posts which are not. Analytics are important here though, since you will want to run split tests to see which types of posts perform best. If you don’t have a social media presence, you need one.

  • 13

    Business cards are still a thing. People can easily put it in their purse or wallet and get back to you when they see it, better even – is that they’ll be more likely to remember you as standing out later as well. Hand them out to everyone you know, everywhere you go. Try to keep it widely in your industry though, it wouldn’t make any sense to sell a baker a welding torch, or a telescope, but if you sold baking dishes – that’s a great opportunity.

  • 14

    YouTube videos are free to create and can bring you plenty of new visitors, and get your name out there. Be sure you have a decent webcam at minimum, or some form of video-creation software which can make it look professional and sleek, or opt for a slideshow as you speak in the background.