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5 Free or Cheap Small Business Marketing Tactics

It’s easy to get caught up in the newest marketing options available, but sometimes it pays off much more to focus on the basics.

Facebook… Email marketing… Twitter… Vimeo… YouTube… Flickr… Yelp… FourSquare… Groupon… Google+…
Does it ever end??

Let’s face it, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when it comes to marketing your business. Or to spend a lot of time getting caught up in the next “big thing”—especially online. Because new tactics are sexy and have buzz. Plus everyone else is doing it, so you feel as if you probably should, too.    

When you’re an entrepreneur, the real problem with all these bright, shiny options is they’re so distracting that you end up overlooking the low-hanging fruit. So you spend too much time and/or money on the new trendy stuff compared to the results you create (i.e., sales, clients, customers and revenues).   

To help put an end to this costly syndrome, today I’m sharing five powerful marketing tactics with you. Each is either free, or really darned cheap. Plus, all are simple to implement and can pack a powerful punch.

1. Email Address Marketing

Get an email address that’s attached to your Website domain so it reads [email protected] (Your Web hosting service should provide at least a few emails for free). This looks more professional. It get’s your name and URL in front of prospects. Plus people are going to go to your Website because they see it in your email. If you like getting your email via Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail or some other service, simply have your email forwarded there from your corporate email address.

2. Business Card Marketing

You have to invest in business cards no matter what. It’s worth the tiny additional investment to make use of the back side. You can put: an offer for something they can download from your Website in exchange for their name and email (a great choice to build your list!)…A list of your specialties…A helpful tip along with info on how they can get more…A special discount coupon…All your locations… Really, the sky is the limit depending on your target market’s needs and your goals.

3. Telephone Marketing

In this age of electronic communication, picking up the phone and calling clients and customers is an especially powerful tactic. Sure, it takes a bit of your time. But you’d be amazed how much they appreciate it. And how many more sales you get as a result. Depending on your business, you may be able to have an employee make calls for you.

4. One-Sheet Marketing

Don’t think cheap, brightly colored flyer here…Think helpful, informative or entertaining material combined with a powerful call to action—all on one of sheet of paper you can print in your office. For example, you might provide a short article with 5-7 tips plus a call to action to contact you. Or a sales sheet with product information and details on how to order. Even a short sales letter sharing what your products or services can do for them can work. Again, the sky is the limit as long as it’s of interest and value to your prospect, and convinces them to take an action that helps you achieve your goals.

5. Marketing Tables

Many networking meetings offer the option to display your wares on free or paid marketing tables. Even if you sell services, you can still have your business cards, one-sheets, portfolio samples, a prize drawing (a great way to collect contact info), etc. I launched my old copywriting business and landed most of my initial clients this way. Just make sure your ideal clients, customers and/or potential referral partners are there. Then commit to having a table at least three times in a row. Do this and you’re bound to start seeing results.

As you can see, marketing tactics don’t have to be difficult, time sucking, new or expensive to be effective. And there are loads more free or cheap, and easy, tactics out there.

The key is to pick three that work together well to achieve your goals, and then implement them. Be sure to keep track of your results (list growth, calls, sales), so you know which tactics work best for you and you are able to allocate your future marketing funds and efforts accordingly.

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