In my last small business article, I shared two key questions you should ask yourself before starting your own business. Today I want to talk about a few free resources for marketing your new business.
When I started Dear Olympia Furniture Revivals, I spent $400 to buy paint supplies but I didn’t have a budget for marketing or advertising. I ended up making a profit and paying myself for the $400 by using the following free marketing tools, and to this day I still haven’t paid for graphic design or print advertising, although I would like to in the near future when I build up my marketing budget. Here are a few tips I have for new small business owners who don’t have a budget for all of the fun stuff.
- Use free Facebook options. You can start a Facebook page for your business for free. Facebook has a page dedicated to helping business owners setting up a business Facebook page with lots of good information and a step-by-step option for setting up your page. Facebook offers paid advertising options but you can set up a free page, add your logo and start posting and sharing your business info! Be sure to choose “business” or “blog” for your category and add all relevant information like when you are open and how people can reach you. How do you get “likes” for your business page without paying for advertising? I recommend sharing on your personal Facebook page and tagging your business page. To do this, type @YourBusinessFacebookPageName when you’re creating a status update. This way, friends and family on your personal page will know that you have a business page and many will support it with a “like.” You can also join local buy, sell and trade Facebook groups and share your products on those pages. Be sure to tag your Facebook page when you share! Also, make sure to follow the rules for each group – you don’t want to be that annoying person who is spamming their group. That said, don’t be afraid to promote your great products according to their guidelines!
- Design your own graphic images and use them. Paying graphic designers are totally worth it, but doing so is not in my budget right now and is not in the budget of many business owners who are starting up on a small scale like I did. So I’ve created all of my own banners and images that I use for marketing. They don’t look professional but they are better than nothing as I save to pay a graphic designer. I use a website called PicMonkey.com to design images. They have a free option and a $5/month option. I recently upgraded to the $5/month option but you can create nice images with the free one as well. I don’t have time to learn Photo Shop or the budget to buy a DSLR camera. So my strategy is to use images that I take of my furniture and overlay text on them to create marketing tools. If you have no graphic design skills like me, start out with nice pictures of your products with some basic text written over them – let the products do the talking! All of my sidebar images are just pictures I’ve taken with text overlaid on them. I created all of those pictures and the banner on PicMonkey. Also, every time I share an image on free social media sites like Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter, I always include text on the picture with my website. This drives people to my business blog/website and makes sure they know who created the product that is featured.
I have so many other tips for marketing your business for free and can’t wait to share them in my next business article!
© 2013 – 2014, Taylor Hoffman. All rights reserved. Love it? Please share, pin, tweet or email but do not use my work without permission.