How to Advertise Your Small Business For Free

How to Advertise Your Small Business For Free
  • Opening Intro -

    New small businesses may find it difficult to get started with advertising costs playing a significant part of that start-up expense.

    You need to "get the word out" and advertising is one of the sure ways to tell people about your business.


Fortunately, not all advertising will cost you, with some options coming in free or nearly so if you account for your time and incidental expenses. Besides your paid advertising strategy, you can explore some free options that are designed to help you inform your customers about your business.

1. Get involved with your community — Successful businesses are engaged with their communities, giving back as an act of goodwill. Directly, you can volunteer your services to help a non-profit organization, contributing your time to help meet a need. When volunteering on behalf of your business, people will know what you’re about and may patronize your enterprise because of the help that you provided. Beyond sweat equity, you may want to contribute tangible items in the name of your business. Of course, what you have provided will cost you, but it can also come with much gratitude and business recognition.

2. Distribute business cards — You’ve already incurred the cost of publishing your business cards, but have you been distributing them or are they gathering dust? Take bunches of cards with you to your next public outing and hand them out. If you attend business meetings, volunteer your services or otherwise meet with people, then you’ll want to pass your cards out to people who might be interested in your services.

3. Post an advert online — Websites such as Craigslist, allow users to post messages about their businesses. Most such messages can be posted for free and must be placed in the right category, otherwise you risk deletion. Think of a thoughtful and interesting ad that you would like to run and place it online. Update it or replace it from time to time to provide information that is accurate and fresh.

4. Connect socially online — Many of your customers are active online and you should be too. Every business should have a LinkedIn page and a Facebook page too. Use Twitter to announce your current specials and if you have advice to share, then create a YouTube video and post it on your dedicated channel. You can automate tweets and Facebook updates, freeing you up to manage other responsibilities. Join forums and user groups too as a way to connect with like-minded individuals.

5. Write and submit articles — You may not get instant recognition by writing and submitting quality articles and submitting these to related websites or article directories, but you’ll soon be recognized as an expert in your field, attracting a steady stream of people to your website. Contact websites that allow guest articles and propose an article subject. If accepted, you’ll be given the writing parameters, which usually includes an article about 500 words long and containing useful information. In exchange, you’ll gain some important backlinks to your website, increasing your site’s visibility and bringing new customers your way.

Important Considerations

Free advertising is only part of your entire marketing thrust. Some business owners manage to do quite well with word of mouth or other soft marketing methods, but you aren’t there yet. Someday, you may be able to roll back on your advertising, but until then you need to explore a variety of options to get the word out.

See Also: Small Business Financing: Where to Find It

Career Management reference:

what’s available: search current jobs

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Last update on 2020-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".