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Free Advertising, How to get it?

Posted by Linda Chambers on Fri, Apr 19, 2013 @ 09:30 AM

Everyone loves something for free but as they say "Nothing is Free" realistically.

The same can be said for advertising. The only true free advertising is "Word of Mouth" but even then you as a business person did something that cost you money to earn that free recommendation "Who shared it with their friends".wordofmouth resized 600

But here are some ways for just a little effort of your time you can and should get as much FREE advertising as possible.

First and foremost use every no cost on line asset you can find. This will include all business phone directories that are out there. "Yellow Pages" at yellowpagecity.com or Superpages.com are some of the largest but there are many others as well; Whitepages.com, Yelp.com, Kudzu.com, dexknows, Tupalo.com, Hotfrog.com, mojopages.com, linktown.azfamily.com, 411.info, switchboard.com. Local city and business groups have listing, here we have atlanta.citysearch.com, locallife.com, local.com, citysquares.com, showmelocal.com, company.com, ziplocal.com, directorycentral.com, justdial.com, 2findlocal.com, insiderspages.com, tree.com, go.hubbiz.com, getfave.com and I am sure even more. Even local newspapers and magazines can have on line listings, here we have local.post-gazette.com and radarfrog.gatehousemedia.com to name just a few.

To find the directories being used in your area first look up your competition and see where they pop up, then be sure to register your business there too. If you can get in some they have not heard of yet all the better. I have a local customer that doesn't even have his own web site yet he can be found in over 25 directories when you type in "pressure washing Monroe GA". Then if you end up putting in his business name and search he covers over three whole "Google" search pages. And make sure to do searches in more than one search engine. Try Bing.com and Yahoo.com as well.

Then there are all the business contact sites you can list your business in like Merchantcircle.com, Foursquare.com, Manta.com, Linkedin.com, Stik.com. Some that you may pay for like the BBB.org or must be added by customers only like Angislist.com.

Make sure you update and check your listings at least a few times a year. Keep an excel spreadsheet of all the sites addresses to your listing and with any sign in or listed features you can use on that site. For example some let you list coupons or have blog entries. You must know which have what and post on a calendar or a to do list of when to go back to each one to make changes or additions.

Next post I will talk about another free way to advertise; to create and plubish news releases about your business and what you do.

Since all of these cost you noting but your time they will be about as free as you will every find for ways to expand and improve your business.

Tags: marketing, Business, advertise, free advertising, advertising, business directory

Building Success in Twenty Minutes a Day.

Posted by Trey Miller on Wed, Jan 02, 2013 @ 12:02 PM

Now twenty minutes a day does not sound like much and I am sure you hear advertising claims every day asking you to spend just 20 minutes a day to achieve some goal like; weight loss, firmer abs, more money, etc. Well in a way I too will be promising you more money, because it has been proven that if a small business spends over 15 minutes each day on marketing they will increase their revenue significantly, more than if they even focused this same amount of time in one lump, such as 90 minutes a week. The key is consistency and receptiveness.

First by spending time each day you will create a habit to take this small amount of time out of your day. Second if you are marketing more frequently the chances will increase dramatical that a likely consumer will try your business due to this fact.

Now if you think you can't very well do much in just 20 minutes, here are some ideas of what you can accomplish in this short amount of time.

Order new or additional business cards. Business cards are one of the least expensive, with the largest chance of ROI, of almost ANY marketing item. For the new year think about making a slight change to a card to help track the effectiveness of your card campaigns. For instance, have a card with a slightly different order of information, orientation, size or color imprint of your phone or web site address just for cards you give to current customers for referrals. Make a card with a different tag line you only give to Building Management or Realtors or plan to hand out at a show or event. Cards can be ordered very cheaply from places like Vistaprint.com so that you could have 4-5 different ones available to hand out at any time. Just be sure to keep the feel of the cards and your logo the same so that no customer is ever confused as to who you are and whom they are contacting.

Open a separate Facebook page for your business, away from your personal one. It takes very little time and is a newer option that will make you look more professional and make it easier to gain, interact and relate to your customers.

Even if you do not text, like I don't, open a Twitter account for your business. It takes just a few minutes to link it to your Facebook business account so that when you post on one it also appears on the other. You can also link posts to LinkedIn.

Have a LinkedIn account if you do a lot of B2B business. Since this is more of a business vs. only a personal social media, you will gain better business contacts and SEO with it with these types of customers.

Post often to your Facebook business page or Twitter. With help from programs like TweetDeck, you can spend the 20 minutes scheduling a week or more of posts at just one sitting and then do other things for your 20 minutes on the other days.

Make a blog post some where at least once a week. If you do not have a blog area on your own web site you should really think about making one, but if not you can still blog. Use the blog feature found at many of the industry on line forums, on LinkedIn and other web sites. As long as you are consistent with your tags and links back to your own site or Facebook business page this type of organic SEO will help and build over time.

Become a member, look for and answer consumer questions at web sites like Yahoo answers at http://answers.yahoo.com/ or www.ask.com/. You can look in the categories you want to be associated with to find questions you want to answer. Once you start answering and get likes to your answers you will build an on site reputation and can even have questions e-mailed to you to be answered. Being helpful with out looking for gain can bring you customers from your area.

Search for and buy a new or reliable give-a-way marketing item. There are some great sites out there that you can subscribe to for sales, product alerts and ideas for items. We use 4imprint.com a lot.

Send out a newsletter. It doesn't have to be long. Just make sure you are giving your customers some free tips, home help or advise, no sales pitch needs to be included. Mention up coming events you will be attending, like a home show, link to interesting sites your customers may enjoy, mention a certification class you took or industry event you attended. Once your open rates are up then the occasial sales offer will more likely be opened and acted on.

Send out a targeted e-mail for a specific reason or campaign. With a well segmented customer e-mail list, sending short targeted e-mails with messages or offers will take little time but can generate huge benefits. Once a month send all your customer's birthday message, customer anniversaries, off season offers etc.

If you do not already have a well segmented list, spend your 20 minutes at least once a week making some using the resources you have available, Quickbooks, Salesforce or other CMR software.

I hope you start spending your 20 minutes a day working on marketing for a profitable New Year.

Tags: Business, marketing, business cards, business plan, Newsletter, advertise, referral, e-mail

The weather is heating up, so is your business?

Posted by Linda Chambers on Mon, Jun 01, 2009 @ 11:43 AM

Already it is June, kids out of school and temperatures are rising and hopefully the number of your jobs and profits with it.

We all know it was a very slow start to this year with the bad winter hanging on in the Northeast and the rains in the South and Midwest. But things are starting to slowly pick up.

I was hoping that I could get a discussion going on what each of you are seeing in your area, good and bad so you can see that there are others out there just like you.

For us at Soap Warehouse the economic, environmental regulation and weather issues that effect you directly effect us.

We also want to bring you information that will help you meet these challenges and hopefully aid you in over coming some of them. Here are some links to information that may help or at least inform you during these times.

For environmental regulation info go to http://www.washwater.org/ or http://www.epa.gov/

For business building join one or more networking groups. Here is an article about Kudzu:
http://www.entrepreneur.com/magazine/entrepreneur/2008/september/196302.html

Links to different sites are here:
Kudzu http://www.kudzu.com/
Merchant Circle http://www.merchantcircle.com/corporate/
Linkedin http://www.linkedin.com/


Is that Yellow page ad just not bring you in the business any more? Try these other places:
http://www.entrepreneur.com/marketing/marketingcolumnistkimtgordon/article199484.html

I hope some so these ideas help you reve up your revenues this summer.

Tags: marketing, network, advertise

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