5 Budget-Friendly Ways to Grow Your Business
by Renee Payne
Increase…Growth…Profits! Those goals are circling around in your head right now! But, how can you get the exposure you need to accomplish these goals and not break the bank at the same time? Of course! Why not go where scores of potential customers and clients gather every minute of every day. That's right…the internet…today's most effective, cost efficient tool you can use to market your business.
In today's business world, having a functional website is crucial for your marketing success. An online presence is a vital necessity for generating new business. It also provides an easily accessible information source for both current and new customers and clients. In addition, it maximizes your control over promoting your products and services.
If you do not have a website up and running already, you need to bite the bullet and get started on setting one up today. If your budget is limited and you cannot afford to have a professional website developer customize your website for you, then all is not lost. There are other options available for you which range from free to various monthly or annual pricing plans that you can choose to fit your budget. Here is a list of companies providing simple templates and tools that can help you set up your own website. Come on now, don't be shy. Just give it a try.
You may be scratching your head and asking, "What in the world is a blog?" Well, a blog is simply a webpage where you share your views on a subject. Blogs help to establish your presence in the business world by driving home your expertise in a particular field. From a marketing perspective, blogging is a fantastic way to create content that zeros in on your ideal customer/client base. A blog answers questions or provides advice that satisfies specific needs. Somewhat like a journal, you create content on a continuous basis (i.e. daily, weekly, monthly). This has the potential of driving new prospects to your website and helping to develop loyal customer/client relationships with you and your business.
Whether long in length or short, a blog coupled with Search Engine Optimization or SEO (the use of relevant keywords and phrases to rank high in search engines) is a valuable tool to get you on the right road to success. This can make it easier for your business to be found in search engines like Google and Bing. Therefore, blogging is a popular way to get noticed by prospective customers and clients and a great way to keep current customers and clients interested.
3. Guest Blog
With your website's blog booming, why not step up your game a little. Become a guest blogger for other non-competitor businesses within your industry or field. Now, wait a minute. Don't start shaking your head and backing off from the challenge. Why is guest blogging important? Consider these benefits. When you post as a guest blogger, you will
- Build relationships with other key figures in your industry or field
- Establish higher clout with search engines by using reliable external links
- Reach a brand new audience and attract them back to your website
- Boost awareness of your products and services
- Advance your reputation and expertise in your field
In turn, why not invite guest bloggers to contribute to your blog page? Every blog needs a little dusting off once in a while. New, diverse viewpoints ensure fresh and engaging content that will entice customers and clients to keep coming back for more. And don't forget, there is also a free marketing advantage in having someone guest blog for you. The guest bloggers will of course share these posts with their in-crowd. And you, my friend, will be connected to a new network of potential customers and clients for free. Doesn't that sound like something you want? Of course it does. You know what they say. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. So, step up to the plate and swing that bat. You just might hit a home run.
4. Social Media
Social media isn't just what everyone is using to connect with family and friends, but it is one of the best and least expensive ways to promote your business. Not only are people using social media to keep tabs on Uncle Bob's latest surgery or Cousin Ginger's failed romance, they are also using these platforms as ways to make informed decisions about products and services they need. Therefore, why not try a little fishing in this vast sea of prospects? Using social media is a great way to connect with customers and clients you might not have been able to reach otherwise.
A few of the more popular social media sites are
5. Online Business Directories
Remember when you "let your fingers do the walking" through the big Yellow Pages directory to find the phone number or address of a business? Well, guess what! Your fingers can still do the walking today, but in a more high tech way. Online business directories make it possible for your business to be more visible and therefore, more discoverable. Creating listings on these directories is yet another way to strengthen your presence online and boost your credibility, not to mention increasing the probability of being found on a search engine more easily.
Get those fingers walking and look at some of these online directories. Don't forget to look into local directories as well.
- Google My Business
- Bing Places for Business
- Yahoo! Small Business
In order to compete today, building your online presence is essential. It's really not as hard as you think. Go ahead and take the plunge. Remember...increase…growth…profits…not breaking the bank! The internet is one of your best, cost effective ways to accomplish these dream goals!