By Evan Vitale
Proven fact: Small businesses need more customers (usually now), keep the cash coming in (usually now) and turn a profit.
However, the $64,000 question is always the same: how do you earn more customers, especially when you’re keeping the doors open on a tight budget?
Fortunately, there are many “guerrilla” marketing techniques that any business can implement and spend little to no cash.
Here are a few ideas to help get you started:
* Participate in social media by creating accounts in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and others. Write about your business, products and services, etc. Update customers and have online conversations with them.
* Create a website for your company. You can do this yourself or hire a local freelancer to help. Simple, do-it-yourself websites (WordPress, for example) are easy to set up, edit and update. Keep your website fresh with new stories, articles, pictures and videos.
* Create a blog. A blog is like a diary or sorts for your business and should be included as part of your company’s website. This is where you and staff members can write and publish regular blog posts about your company and your industry. The more you write (2-3 blog posts a week is a good start), the higher your blog and website will be ranked in Google and other search engines. In addition, blog posts provide additional content that you can also use in your social media efforts.
* Create your own marketing materials. If you don’t know software programs like Photoshop, for example, consider hiring a freelance designer who can help you design brochures and business cards. Also, if you have an in-house, color laser printer, you can save a lot of time and money by printing-on-demand what you need before a presentation or small trade show, etc.
* Network. As the saying goes “things won’t get done until you step out of your comfort zone” so it goes in networking with other local business owners. Here, you can attend local networking events, usually hosted by chambers of commerce or other networking groups. You’ll meet other business owners; pass out business cards and rub elbows with potential customers and clients. Be prepared to give a 30- or 60-second elevator speech about your business, what you do and how you help your customers.