“What is the best and most effective way to advertise for free?”
This is a question I recently saw posted on Manta and I think it makes an excellent topic for a blog post. Here goes!
- Classified ads – Craigslist.org, Olx.com, Ebayclassifieds.com, and Backpage.com all allow you to post a free ad that will run anywhere from 1 week to several months. Try different ads, use your keywords in your title and see what works.
- Youtube – make a video series on Youtube with each video answering a different FAQ in your line of work. Share “how to” advice and educate your consumer. You’ll build rapport and gain clients.
- Website – while hosting a site and setting it up are not free, both WordPress.com and Blogger.com allow for excellent blogging platforms. Use the same content strategy as suggested above (Youtube). I like to transcribe videos, which helps with SEO value.
- SEO – And while we’re at it, there is tons of free advice online for how to do your own SEO in order to get your new blogging website found by potential customers.
- Email – Write an email and send it to all of your friends. Tell them what you’re doing and give them EXPLICIT DIRECTION on how they can help you. People love to help out and your friends are a great place to ask for business.
- LinkedIn – Setup and optimize your free LinkedIn profile. Use the built-in email scraping to connect with as many people as you can. Ask for recommendations. Be aggressive and join groups related to your field of expertise.
- Blog commenting – Search online for relevant blogs to your business. Take the time to read the posts and make replies that add something to the conversation. Be a giver and see what you get.
- Business cards – You can get free business cards from companies like vistaprint.com – all you have to pay for is shipping. Then keep them with you and hand them out at every opportunity. I have a friend who manages to hand out at least 1 business card in every social situation I see him in. Even if it’s just to keep in touch, your card is your personal billboard.
- Press Releases – I use prlog.org to author free press releases on behalf of my SEO clients and it works very well. An associate of mine recently generated 4 phone calls to his client because he cleverly wrote about his clients services in conjunction with Hurricane Isaac. Make your news topical and newsworthy, and you might generate some of your own phone calls.
This is just a short list, I’m sure there are many others.
The main thing I do is test, test, test, and repeat what works. And always ask how someone found out about you.