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10 Ways to Promote Your Business for Free that Actually Work

First off. We often hear, “Well… what are you doing to promote?” And what comes to mind? Ads. Paid Promotions.

There are more options available!! But how can you use them if you don’t know they exist?

Here’s 10 ways you can promote your startup or business that actually friggin’ work (from 10 years in the industry) for FREE. The cost is your sweat equity and a little creativity.

#1 Talk about it to the point where you're annoying

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This one seems so obvious… But let’s do a little audit shall we?

Look at your socials. How many times are you talking about your business and your offer a week?

Does everyone you talk to know exactly what you do and who you do it for?

If you’re already doing this. Great! Skip to the next one. Otherwise it might be time to re-evaluate.

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#2 Search Quora, Reddit, and industry forums for your target keywords and answer questions

Your business is (ideally) built to solve a problem that people are having everyday.

Forums are made for people to be asking those questions. Dive in and see if you can’t lend your expertise on a relevant subject, then do a little plug – “I talk about this more on my blog.” – at the end.

The traffic you’re hoping for is not just the guy who asked, but everyone else who’s looking at that answer as well.

#3 Reach out to local and relevant news sources with a press release

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So. Before we go out sending what we think is important to every news source we can think of… For this to be successful I want you to think about how your story can make the news source look good.

Remember, you’re pitching to a writer, editor, or journalist that also has a job to do. If you make their job easy, then it’s so much easier to work with you.

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#4 Write a book on it. (literally)

Okay. So it doesn’t have to be a LONG book. But having a piece of literature demonstrating your expertise is a great way to get people to look at you as an authority and start to pay attention to what you’re creating and doing business wise.

It could also be an ebook on a subject that your target market struggle with. Have them sign up with their email and BOOM! Leads.

#5 Host a webinar

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If you’re a SaaS, what problem did you see that was SO burning you said, “This needs a solution!”

Now. Make a curiosity based headline around how your target can solve that problem (including your app!), and talk on it for 30 minutes. Delivering value your people can use whether or not they go with your solution.

Authority is a currency you want to stock up.

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#6 Talk to your local business networking groups (chamber of commerce or industry specific) to host a talk

This goes hand in hand with the webinar for building authority. 

This is also a great chance for you to get immediate feedback and talk to people who may be your ideal target.

A word of caution… If they’re not your ideal target, weigh the feedback carefully. Sometimes outside perspective is helpful, other times it can be a distraction.

#7 Leverage your relationships and network

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Rather than asking your network or personal relationships for business (dicey at best), ask them this instead, “Do you know two people who could use this right now?” If they do, “Would you mind providing an introduction? I would love to chat with them to get their insights.”

I used this back in my days as a business development rep.

The introduction is a powerful way to get your foot in the door with some really cool people.

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#8 Stop. Collaborate and Listen!

But seriously. Collaborations are a GREAT way to promote what you do and your expertise, while also saving money.

This can be co-hosting a podcast, or being a guest on a podcast or blog. It could also be creating a collaboration by reaching out to other leaders you’d like to work with and developing something that both your targets would love.

Gordon Ramsay and the Muppets comes to mind, but that might not be the right example. 😀

#9 Expand your network

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New opportunities hide in the guise of people and conversations.

If you’re posting and posting to social media, but it’s not going anywhere… Maybe it’s time for you to expand your network.

Reaching out to people directly on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, X, Reddit, and any of the others out there is a great way to expand your reach and your influence. Plus you might make a new friend. 😀

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#10 Distribute Flyers and Brochures

This is so 1990’s. Which is why it can work! Especially if your market is B2C. Even if it’s B2B, if put in the right location you will see the increase of awareness to your offer and business.

Did any of these surprise you?

The thing about free promotion is that none of it is hard and some of it just plain obvious, but it does take time, energy, and creativity.

Want to skip the headache and streamline your marketing and promotions with schedules, courses, templates, and more guides (like this!)?

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