Sunday, October 28, 2007

How to Market on a Shoestring Budget

The best way to make money with your website, no matter what the business, is to get it noticed. To get it noticed, you need to market. But how do you do that when you are on a budget that is so tight it’s worse than squeezing a turnip? Getting and keeping customers is the key to success in any business. By being very resourceful, you can utilize these five proven ways – which are free - to promote your business.

  1. Spread the word! Tell all of your past business employers. Let them know that you have embarked upon your Virtual Assistant business. Who knows, they may bring some business to you! Give them your business card with all of your contact information on the card. Also, ask them to tell everyone they know. Word of mouth is a great way to promote your business – and best of all it is free!

  1. Write and submit press releases to your local media and online media. This is another free avenue to explore. Because in the press release, you will include your website link. If you do not know how to write a press release, there are many websites that offer FREE lessons! In addition, most of these same sites offer free press release submission. Once you do have the press release written, ask others to review it for you. Then review it for spelling and grammatical errors. Then submit! It will take some time to do the searching and submitting. However, once you have registered for these sites, you can do it monthly without going through the set up process.

  1. Learn how to “optimize” your website. Search Engine Optimization will take some time but it is well worth it. There is such an exhaustive supply of information on how to do this for free. You can join groups on Yahoo!. You can obtain books from the library. You can join many forums on the web which will teach you about SEO. There are also software programs that offer free 30-day trials!

  1. Write articles and submit them online. What me?! Write an article. Well, at first I did not think I would be capable of writing. Then I challenged myself and began to learn. Yes, you can even find free information on the web on not only how to write articles, but how and where to post them. Again, as with press releases, be sure to include a link to your website. This will give you visibility and credibility. More people will want to do business with you.

  1. Create a follow-up plan to those who do respond. With everyone so busy these days, they can easily forget you. Along with the follow-up plan, devise ways to help their business. Maybe you can offer a free newsletter on ways to improve their business. Or a discount on a service they may need. The more you will be able to keep your business in front of potential customers, the more likely they will be to choose your business.

These are not all of the ways to market on a tight budget. However, these can get you started. As with any successful business, it will take time. It will not happen overnight, but if you persevere and really work hard, you will eventually have a successful business.

Roxanne Tidmore

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