Starting a new business adventure or growing your existing business is hard work. There is so much you need to do and most of the time it costs money, time or both. I know from experience, as a work at home Mum, time and money are two things I do not have a lot of. So I had to think outside the box and come up with ways to promote and grow my business on little to no budget.
The thing I sacrificed in this was time. It does take time to build or grow a business unfortunately. These posts that sell work less and earn more aren’t exactly telling the whole story. They are true for a business that is established. A business that has it’s customers and income streams already mapped out, in place and working. Unfortunately, if you are just starting out or in the growing phase, it’s all hard work and long hours.
So, if you are prepared to invest a little time in lieu of the dollars you don’t have, then read on. I’ve got 5 free ways to promote your online business that are guaranteed to get you noticed.
1. List Your Business
There are a lot of local business directories and business listing services online. Listing your business in most of these is free. If you are a local business then search for your local directories and list your business there. You may be surprised how many people miss this step these days with social media being on everyone’s mind. But look at it this way. When you do a Google search for say a lawn mowing business, does a Facebook page or Facebook ad come up? No. Most of the time it’s a listing on True Local or Google Maps. So that is where you should be listing your business until your SEO comes into play.
2. Get Social
We live in a “social” world where everyone is online. Namely Facebook and Instagram. You probably have Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn accounts but you need to be active on them. This can take time scheduling posts and creating content. I know this all too well with my socials needing some TLC. But regular posting and sharing helps to build an audience and build a rapport with those who do follow you. You can share blogs, memes, quotes or your latest project or new product release. You never know who is lurking.
3. Join Facebook Groups
You may already be in a few groups, but are you active in them? And by active I don’t just mean posting your latest sale and bugging off. In order to build an audience you need to network and interact in the group. If you are a service based business, then offer advice or support on a post. You are not doing this to drum up business (at least that shouldn’t be your aim). You are doing this to offer support and get your name out there as someone who is approachable, knowledgeable and not all about the sale.
The other plus about being in Facebook groups is the knowledge that is shared. Like I just mentioned, you can also post questions or read posts and learn from others. I have discovered so much invaluable information just lurking in groups. I am selective in the ones I frequent though, otherwise you can get a bit lost in them all.
4. Build a Mailing List
Building Facebook pages and groups is a great networking tool and a must in this day and age. But you don’t own your audience there. What would happen if Facebook shut down overnight or was hacked? I know, scary thought and probably never going to happen, but… you know… Murphy’s Law and all. Building a mailing list ensures you own your audience and you can contact them whenever you need. You can also almost guarantee that they will actually get your email unlike a Facebook post. Your mailing list is a warm audience, so you also have better chance of connecting with them.
Speaking of mailing lists, feel free to join mine below… 😉
I can not stress this enough. Blogging is a great way to attract visitors to your website and even get them to look around a little. You may not think you have an audience, but if you are in a multitude of Facebook Groups like I am (if not, did you read above?!), then you can build one. A lot of Facebook groups have blog days or share your post days. This is the perfect opportunity to share your blog and interact with others in the group. Share a blog that informs or will relate to others in the group. If it’s a mothers group, share your blog about the crappy day you just had with your 2 year old. Mums love to read stories that reassure them they they are not alone in the toddler fight!
6. DIY SEO
I left it to last as it is the hardest and longest of them all. This might sound a little scary and I can totally see why. How can you do your own SEO when professionals charge $1000’s a month. Well, it does take time but there are things you can do to help your SEO and Google rankings along. I will cover them off in more detail in an upcoming blog, but here is some small things you can do in the meantime:
- Research or write down keywords or phrases people will likely type into Google to find your business. These are the words that will need to be used in your website copy. This helps Google rank your business when people type in those words. Ever noticed the highlighted words in the blurb when you do a Google search?
- Label your images. Images are usually uploaded into a website “as is”. So they are labeled “image of me” or “image154692747” and are usually huge in size. Especially if uploaded straight from your phone with high res settings. Label your images for what they actually are. Give them a story and don’t be scared to use a keyword or two in a logical sequence. Keyword stuffing won’t work however. Think “Ladies Prada Black leather boots with gold buckle” or something that will help Google to know what the image actually is. Also be descriptive in your “alt” tags when uploading your images. More on this coming up also.
- Install Yoast SEO if you are on WordPress. This plugin is a great guide to getting your SEO structure better for Google. It won’t make you rank, but it is a great guide to ensure your posts and pages are structured to rank better.
Want to know when my SEO and Image Optimising blogs are out?
So what are you waiting for? Grab a coffee and get started on your own business plan to get your dream flying.
Do you have any suggestions I have missed? Let me know. I’d love to know what is working for you in the free ways to promote your online business realm and what is generating you more leads.
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