Getting started in business involves oodles of expenses, many of them unexpected, and all types of other difficulties. Of course, that’s not to say that starting a business isn’t worth doing. If that were true, no businesses would exist. But, with all of the things there are to think about, and all of the new things to learn, and all of the expenses, wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to do some valuable things for free?

Many businesses spend upwards of 30 percent of their money and time on marketing. The reason is obvious, the only way to make more money is to generate customers. More customers —more money. Right?

The truth is that not all customers are good customers. Some complain too much, some end up being more of a hassle than they are worth, some will not like your style and will tell their friends such. Even more important than having myriads of customers is having good customers.

Let me tell you a few ways of finding those good customers for almost free. Interested?

Engage with a Business Blog

Having a business blog is a great marketing tactic. A good business blog, with a lot of great content, and some personality has awesome potential for attracting new customers. And the really great thing about finding business through the business blog is the type of customers you will attract. By having a business blog you will be able to attract customers that are compatible with you and your business culture. After reading your blog they with know what to expect from you, and they will also become more excited and appreciative about working with you.

Social Media Marketing

Depending on the niche you are serving social media marketing can help to bring in new business, and if done well, lots of it too. By building a loyal and happy community around your brand you are able to keep customers engaged, while gaining exposure through their being a fan, or giving a like, or posting your quote for their friends, etc.

Social media is also a great medium for conducting promotional campaigns. Here are a few ideas…

  • Every fan is automatically entered in a free giveaway drawing
  • Offer to give a certain amount to a specific charity when you attain a certain number of fans
  • Ask people what they would do to improve your business, best answer wins an iPod, or some other reward
  • Sale prices on certain items, exclusive to fans or followers only

Ask for Referrals

There is an art to gaining referrals from customers, it is not just a matter of doing a good job and hoping people will be thrilled enough with it to tell all of their friends. In reality, it helps a lot to ask customers to refer you to their friends and colleagues.

Be Totally Awesome

The truth is that the work for gaining referrals starts within the company itself. In the book “The Referral Engine” author and renowned small business marketing expert Jon Jantsch recommends constructing your business is such a way that everybody involved is excited about their contribution. He says that there should be a mission that your business aims to accomplish, and everyone within the business should know their part of the mission. Keeping employees excited and engaged in the groups mission is vital for the positive energy to cause a buzz.

Once everyone in the business is happily engaged in the mission, the next step is to consider the customer experience. How can you make them, not just happy, but ecstatic about purchasing from you? The aim of this kind of positive thinking business approach is to create a natural buzz around the business. Having that natural positive buzz will work to enhance all of your other marketing efforts.

So there you have it- a few ways to market a business for almost free. Do you have any free marketing tactics to add to the list, or any comments on what I said above? Please share your small biz diamonds in the comment section below.