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James Hance
Marketing Designer & Copywriter
St Petersburg, Florida
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100 Ways to Promote Your Business

If you feel "stuck" trying to develop your business? Here are some ideas on how to promote your business. Not all ideas are great for your business, but they can get you thinking about what you can do.
Written Nov 18, 2008, read 22712 times since then.
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Need  to build business right now? Need to make a different impression with your customers? Need to build sales in one area of your product line? Let's get busy!

(1) Give Away Freebies With Your Business’s Name and Contact Information. 
Go to where your target customers hang out and set up a booth or table. Give out some freebies and a flyer or leaflet as well. Some examples of freebies include free magnets, rubber bands, rulers, note pads, etc. All of these items should have your information printed on them.

(2) Create a Targeted Sales Brochure. 
It is better to deliver a targeted message to a few people than a general message to everyone. Identify what you have to offer to specific groups of customers, and make your sales pitch to them specifically.s well.

(3) Make Yourself Available for Speaking Engagements.
Contact local schools and associations about classes, colleges, seminars, lectures that you can speak or teach at.

(4) Go to Your Local Library or Book Store and Place Business Cards in Relevant Books.
Okay, here is a real “guerrilla marketing” tactic. Go to your local book stores and libraries and find books that a potential customer might read and place your business card in it.

(5) Shave Your Logo into Your Hair or Get a Logo Tattoo.

(6) Get Involved with Flyer/Business Card Exchanges.

(7) Incorporate a Referral Incentive Program.
Offer your customers an incentive for referring customers to you. An incentive could be a discount on future business, a gift certificate, a gift, or whatever you decide that they incentive should be. You might also consider implementing a referral fee.

(8) Hold a Contest. 

(9) Get Listed in Directories.

(10) Wear Your Business Information.
Create t-shirts, hats, buttons, and bags with your company’s information and Website listed on them. You might feel like a walking advertisement, but that is the point. 

(11) Put a Magnetic Sign or Advertising Wrap on Your Vehicle.

(12) Sponsor a Charitable Event.

(13) Sponsor a Client’s Event.
Sponsoring a client’s event can get your name out to all of the client’s contacts as well as remind your client that you are a valuable resource to them.

(14) Offer Free Consultations to Potential Customers.

(15) Use Your Friends and Family.
Ask friends and family to spread the word about your business.

(16) Print a Coupon on the back of your business card.

(17) Promote Your Business in the Press.
Find interesting angles about your company to send press releases about your business.

(18) Set Up An Account on Flickr and Other Photo Sharing Sites.

(19) Print a Calendar for Your Customers.

(20) Get Networking.
Continuously give your business card out to as many people as you can. The easiest way to do this is by asking people that you talk with for their business card. Take notes and if you were able to get a business card, take the time to send them a short email to thank them for their time.

(21) Print a Newsletter.

(22) Buy a Yellow Pages Ad.
Get yourself a yellow pages listing. Many people rely on the phone book.

(23) Promote Yourself on Printed Materials.
Promote yourself by placing your contact information on all of your printed materials.

(24) Join and Attend Professional Groups.

(25) Contact Local Companies Which Could Refer Business To You.
Consider paying a referral fee for business referrals.

(26) Participate in Trade Shows.

(27) Create a Holiday Promotion.
The holidays are a great time to send out a card or gift to past and current customers to show them that you appreciate their past business and to remind them that you still exist. Be innovative and you can think of a low priced option, even if it means homemade cookies with your logo baked into the middle.

(28) Write a Book.

(29) Get Involved in Social Events.

(30) Make Sure to Incorporate ‘Thank You’ into Your Marketing Plan.

(31) Stay in Contact with People You Used to Work With.

(32) Newsletter Cross-Promotion Works.

(33) Learn More and Get More Business.

(34) Market to Past and Present Clients. 

(35) Offer an Online Newsletter.

(36) Start and Write an Informative Blog. 

(37) Launch a Website.

(38) Offer a Lower Cost Version of Your Services.

(39) Offer a Discount for Orders Via Your Web Site.
Offer a discount for orders place through your web site.

(40) Offer a Very Low Price on One Service in the Expectations of The Customer Buying More.

(41) Incorporate Video on Your Site and Go Viral with a Video. 

(42) Post Free Ads on BackPage.com.
Post free ads on BackPage.com to see if this gets you any work.

(43) Improve Your Website Content..

(44) Implement Social Bookmarking and Social Networking Tactics.

(45) Placing ‘Invite Friends’ or ‘Send Article to Friends’ Buttons on Your Web Site.

(46) Get Articles Published in Online Magazines/e-Zines.
Try to get your articles published in online trade magazines and e-zines.

(47) Use Google AdWords or Similar Advertising Services.

(48) Start an Affiliate Program.

(49) Ask for Testimonials.
Ask for testimonials from existing clients. Good testimonials are perfect for your web page and promotional items.

(50) Send Promotional Items for Your Services Along With Your Invoices.

(51) Join a Word-of-Mouth Referral Club. 

(52) Visit Topic Specific Chat Rooms.

(53) Create Your Own Locally Published Directory.
Create your own local business directory to get to network with other local business owners and to get your name out there in a unique way, online or off.

(54) Find an Agent to Promote You.

(55) Utilize Special Media.
Have you thought of getting the word out of about your special event to visitor information centers, published event calendars, clubs and chambers of commerce? Add to the list influential contacts for your potential attendees.

(56) Start Podcasting.

(57) Submit Abridged Articles to Article Banks. 

(58) Submit Helpful Tutorials.

(59) Offer Free Information; Write an e-Book.

(60) Pull a Publicity Stunt.

(61) Use a Signature on all Emails.

(62) Get Listed with Trade Associations.
Sign up with relevant trade associations and get listed in their online and offline directories.

(63) Comment on Blogs.
Visit blogs and make thoughtful comments to lead people back to your business’s blog or web site.

(64) Call into Radio Shows. Free PR.

(65) Write a Useful Guide that People Must Subscribe to In Order to Read It.

(66) Exchange Links.

(67) Cold Call Potential Customers.

(68) Ask Questions on Your Site and Hide the Answers in the Site’s Content.

(69) Write a Column in Your Local Newspapers and Magazines.

(70) Ask to Be a Guest Blogger on Other Blogs.

(71) Submit Your Web Site and Blog to Directories and Search Engines. 

(72) Join Listservs for Related Business Professionals.
Listservs are a great way to network with other professionals.

(73) Create an Online Video Seminar and Invite People to Attend.

(74) Create Positive Testimonials for Services and Software You Try. 

(75) Create an Elevator Commercial. 
You may have 10-seconds to give it, so make it short and sweet.

(76) Offer a Guarantee.

(77) Get a List of New Businesses in Your Area and Contact Them.

(78) Host or Join a Blog Carnival.

(79) Provide Monthly Advice Chats.

(80) Positive Profiles on Customers on Your Blog.

(81) Link Back to Your Web Sites and Profiles From Social Networking Sites.

(82) Link to As Many Other Similar Blogs from Your Own Blog.

(83) Use Linkbait.
Create useful and fun top 10 lists (or top 100 lists) to bring in lots of traffic. Submit these articles to social networking sites like Digg.com and see if it goes viral.

(84) Make Sure to Provide an RSS Web Feed.

(85) Go Controversial.
Say things that are really controversial to strike up free publicity.

(86) Try Getting a Review.
Use ReviewMe.com to get reviewed.

(87) Build a Funny 404 Page.

(88) Sponsor a Local Little League or Other Sports Team.
Buy uniforms for a local sports team with your branding on them.

(89) Place Your Business Card in a Restaurant’s Card Bowl.

(90) Offer an Exchange of Services..

(91) Get on the Radio.

(92) Get Articles Published in Magazines.

(93) Forwarding Viral Emails.

(94) Stand on a Corner with Balloons and a Sign.

(95) Become an Expert on Q/A Sites. 
Some Q/A sites are:

· AllExperts.com

· Yahoo Answers

· Answers.com

· Experts Exchange

· Wiki Answers

· MyLot

· CareerBuds

(96) Hang a flag, banner or magnetic sign.
A friend of mine says, “A business without a sign is a sign of no business.”

(97) Promote Sales with a Two-For-One Coupon.

(98) Send Out a Direct Mail Piece.

(99) Sell Gift Certificates.

(100) Brand Yourself.
Define your business with consistent graphics, business style, and messaging.

Not all of these ideas are right for your business or organization. Evaluate what you want to do -- build marketplace awareness, promote sales now, position your company differently -- and adopt a tactic which will help you do that. Fine tune that tactic, and test the results. You will be on your way to business promotion!

Learn more about the author, James Hance.

Comment on this article

  • Marriage and Family Therapist 
Seattle, Washington 
Matthew Gittleman
    Posted by Matthew Gittleman, Seattle, Washington | Nov 20, 2008

    Man! You are quite creative, and worked really hard to hit 100! There are tons of great ideas in there to help people market themselves, and I honor you for listing a flat 100 of them.

  • Marketing Designer & Copywriter 
St Petersburg, Florida 
James Hance
    Posted by James Hance, St Petersburg, Florida | Nov 20, 2008

    Thanks! I am constantly looking for ways to build my own business, and putting them down in an article motivates me to actually try some of them! It's great if it helps others to look at different ways they haven't tried to promote their own businesses. Thanks for your post!

  • photography production manager 
Vancouver, Washington 
Deanna Ramage
    Posted by Deanna Ramage, Vancouver, Washington | Nov 20, 2008

    Great ideas! I especially like #96. Thanks very much! Deanna, PromoPhoto

  • Marketing Designer & Copywriter 
St Petersburg, Florida 
James Hance
    Posted by James Hance, St Petersburg, Florida | Nov 20, 2008

    Thanks. I think it is just "cynical" enough to get us thinking! :-)

  • Brand Consultant 
Phoenix, Arizona 
Ken Peters
    Posted by Ken Peters, Phoenix, Arizona | Nov 21, 2008

    James,

    Good advice. There should be something in that list for everyone. Although, as a graphic designer and brand strategist, I think number 100 should be moved to number 1! :)

    In all seriousness, comprehensive branding will help boost the return on all of the other efforts you mentioned. Every business is a brand. It's how well you manage that brand that makes a big difference.

  • Marketing Designer & Copywriter 
St Petersburg, Florida 
James Hance
    Posted by James Hance, St Petersburg, Florida | Nov 21, 2008

    I would agree, Ken. Thanks for your comment!

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