40 Low Budget Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business

These Low to No Cost Marketing Ideas Can Have Big Results

Businessman using megaphone
Budget marketing ideas. Paul Bradbury / Getty Images

They say you have to spend money to make money, and that's certainly true of marketing. But if you've only got a small budget to market your business, these ideas can help you get the best marketing bang for your limited buck.

1) Learn how to ask for referrals  - and do it. You're much more likely to get something if you ask for it. Nervous or new to it? The linked article has a script to help you out.

 

2) Learn how to tell prospective clients what you do. Rambling or being flustered won't win you any converts. Learn how to win them over by emphasizing the benefits.

3) Then learn the most likely places to find clients - and go to those places. 

4) Give free workshops or classes related to your products/services. People love to learn so classes on topics related to your products and services can be a big win. 

5) Create a snazzy logo and tagline for your business and use them on all your documents (including email).

6) Create a brochure. Brochures can be great sales tools. They give potential customers who want to think over your pitch to have something to take away with them. They give you some in-hand marketing material when you're discussing your products or services with customers. And something you can send out as advertising too. 

7) Get free publicity for your business by involving the media (including social media!) in your grand openings, moves, or charity events.

Don't have one of these happening in the near future? You can always get heavily involved in someone else's charity event by becoming a sponsor. 

8) Create a website for your small business if you don't have one. Even if all your website does is present the who,what,where and why of your business at least it gives you a home on the web and a chance of coming up in local search - critical for getting your business found nowadays.

(Increase your chances of being found in local search by listing your business in all possible web directories.)

9) Create a blog for your business. Blogging can create a bigger market for your products or services if you do it right (do it regularly and have something of value to share).

10) Visit and comment on other relevant blogs regularly. (Be smart; pick the ones your customers are likely to be visiting too.)

11) Develop a social media plan and implement it. Developing a presence on social media can be great low budget marketing.

12) Create a Facebook page for your business.

13) Tweet about your business on Twitter.

14) Use Pinterest to promote your business.

15) Use LinkedIn to connect with potential clients/customers.

16) Spend some money on social media advertising. All the major platforms offer forms of inexpensive advertising, often with incredible targeting options. Learn about Facebook ads. Learn about Twitter ads.

17) Create a video about your product or service and post it on YouTube - or even get your own YouTube channel up and running.

18) Become a radio guest. Radio is far from dead and can be both a very effective way of targeting your potential customers and a much more inexpensive form of advertising compared to other channels such as television.

19) Develop business partnerships and do cross-promotion with other businesses. Cross-promotion is a great way to cut down on the cost of advertising and can create valuable synergies that benefit all the partners.

20) Participate in a joint venture. Another great way to cut down on costs.

21) Send out promotions with your invoices. A no-brainer. You're sending out a document anyhow so why not include a promotion?

22) Learn how to write a killer sales letter. Direct mail or email, this will work for both. And once you've written one, be sure to learn how to maximize the response to your sales letter

23) Create an email newsletter. This gives you a great opportunity to stay in regular contact with your customers.

24) Sponsor (or at least be a big part of) a community charitable event.

25) Network on the web.

26) Join a face-to-face networking group. If you're running a local business, and you're not already a member of at least one local networking group, put this at the top of your to-do list in capital letters and move on it. There's no faster, easier way to make contacts and get known in your local community.

27) Join professional and/or business organizations. See #26. A must do. 

28) Participate in local business mixers/trade fairs. (And by the way, this advice about creating effective trade show displays will make your table or booth the center of attention.)

29) Save money by learning how to properly prepare for a trade show before you attend any.

30) Apply for business awards. Many business organizations choose top businesses each year, for example, and top businesses in particular categories such as customer service. There's nothing wrong with a nomination from a friend - or even nominating yourself.

31) Learn how to create a powerful sales presentation that persuades customers to buy.

32) Learn what the worst sales blunders are - and avoid them.

33) Write articles on topics related to your business and encourage people to post them for free.

34) Go cold calling

35) Advertise your business on your vehicle.

36) Put a plastic business card holder on the side of your vehicle.

37) Blow your own horn. Get over being shy and promote yourself. Everyone has something they can be proud of. Whether it's an award, a new skill, a milestone or work for the community, practice self promotion by speaking and writing about your accomplishments. Add a line about something you're proud of to your email signature and to your stationery. Announce it on Facebook, tweet about it, add it to your LinkedIn profile. Let other people know about it!

38) Learn how to present a price increase to a client - and keep the client.

39) Remember that when you run a small business, you are your business. Review this PAK system and use it every day.

40) Create/update a marketing plan for your small business. Have you even looked at your marketing plan lately? Haul it out. Have a look. Are those marketing objectives still what you're trying to achieve? Do you have new ones? And what are you doing to achieve them now? At the least it's time for a new marketing campaign. And maybe it's even time for a whole marketing makeover. Here's How to Improve on Your Current Marketing Strategies.