Okay, now I know you are pretty excited to get 101 FREE marketing tips right? Afterall the price is right. However, I am going to need a little help from you to make this list up. I would like each of you to take a second, read the list of tips and marketing ideas, and add one or more of your own to the list.
In the interest of making the list easy for the next person to read and avoid duplicates, I ask that you cut and paste the list and then add your own to the bottom.
So lets hear it AR mates, do you have any 'FREE' (or just plain cheap) marketing ideas to save money is these economic times? They can be online of offline ideas.
Here is the start of a list, the rest will be up to those who choose to comment here:
1. Blog at Active Rain
2. Get a website up, either an 'outside blog' or even a cheapie free template site. There is no excuse not to have one with all of the free and cheap options available. Get an email account, check it daily. Try to not use KoolMum69@hotmail.com for your business.
3. Submit your online site or blog to directories. Each directory is like an online version of the yellow pages. Being in them can enhance your internet presence and give you more inbound links, increasing your search engine presence. Avoid spam directories, they are actually harmful to your ranking. I use this company Directory Maximizer.
4. Start a Facebook profile, link it to your Active Rain account. It reminds friends and relatives what you do for a living, since the obviously sometimes forget!
5. Start a LinkdIn profile. It is like an online resume. Professional people like to see you there.
6. Start a Twitter account. You can link it to you AR account so it takes no time. I know it is just a fad and will be gone in 6 months, but for now take advantage of it and use it.
7. Start a Squidoo account. Another blog place that gives good opportunity to post links to your other online sites.
8. Start a Blogger account. It is owned by google, so you can imagine that it is search engine friendly.
9. Place classified ads linking to your online sites online. Kijiji, craigslist, etc. Free ads, but more publicity and links for your sites which will help to get you ranked higher in search engines and more traffic and more $.
10. Business Cards, have a nice card and one that has correct info on it. It seems common sense, but many are still using generic company provided cards that are totally forgettable. Do you want to be generic and forgettable?
11. Car Advertisement, there are lots of options for putting your contact info on your vehicle with signage, magnetic sign, vinyl graphics, window graphics, etc. Cheap and only a 1 time cost.
12. Logo'd Items, I made logo'd shirts for my family, friends, and clients. Cheap to do and they market your business everywhere they go. I think I paid about $6 per shirt and $15 per golf shirt and $20 per hoodie.
13. Get out of the House, there is lots of business out there and lots of people you haven't seen in years. Instead of sitting down to another rerun of CSI, drag your ass off the sofa and go walk through your local Home Depot or Lowes, heck even Walmart. You will be surprised at who you run into that you never would have thought about talking to.
14. Get active with your kids, sports teams and schools are always looking for helpers. Lots of fun and you will meet more people and increase your contacts. Inevitably people will want to talk business with you without you even trying.
15. Volunteer, there are tons of agencies crying for helpers. Pick one that you are passionate about and donate a small amount of measured time to them. You will feel good and it will come back to you ten fold.
16 Meet your Neighbors, seems silly but for many years we have all lived by the slogan 'good fences make good neighbors'. Well I can tell you that if they don't know you they certainly will not be using your services.
17. Help People, when you see that person with a heavy shopping cart or needing a boost for a stalled car. Lend a hand. Pay it forward. Be a good person. Wouldn't you want them to help you or your family member? You will find more business helping people than you ever imagined.
18. Be the last to leave, I know this is a strange one, but trust me. When you go someplace, make sure you hang around a bit. Often there is socializing that takes place after any event or social function that can really be a great place to build relationships. Being first out to your car and beating the traffic home will not make you any more $$$. Staying late, helping to clean up, stacking chairs, will get you noticed and rewarded.
19. Garage Sales, spending a Saturday morning out meeting people in their driveways can be a great place to find bargains on more junk that you don't really need, but it can also be a warm way to meet homeowners who are in a transition. There is usually a reason they are selling their stuff. If your personable, they will tell you why.
20. PPC advertising, pay-per-click advertising or pay per view advertising can be effective if it is well designed and targeted to specific consumers. I have tried google adwords and also facebook ads. There are other places as well depending on how little or much you want to spend on this idea. Me, I prefer the cheaper the better.
21. Take an Industry member to Lunch, at least once a week you should call up a related industry member and take them out to lunch. For $20 you can hit a luncheon special someplace and talk shop for a bit. I always like to quiz them on what successes they are having and what challenges they are facing. Is there anything I can do to help them? If there is, it usually means business and income for me! People are thrilled to be taken for lunch without any obligation or sales pitch.
22. Host a social event, these days people are socially starved. What social lives we do have are often as individuals and not as families or couples. If you host a couples dinner or a family get together, people will not only be thrilled to come to it, but will brag about it to their friends. You might not know 200 people or have 1000 friends on facebook and myspace, but they do.
23. Compliment People, seems like a simple one, but many people only hear complaints about their performance and if you take a second and compliment them on the service you receive you will absolutely make their day. Be sincere about it, but try to make mention to that waitress or cashier or car stereo salesman.
24. Send Snacks/Flowers, I recently had a good experience at my insurance broker (how hard is that to believe!) and afterward wanted to send them a small token to let them know I really appreciated them. I was able to pick up a 'party platter' at my local grocery store for $30 which I dropped off the next day for them to put in the coffee room. Of course I made sure to attach a card thanking them. I wish I could remember to do this for someone on a weekly basis.
25. the rest are up to you guys, cut and paste the first 24 and then add yours to the list.......
Here are a few of my favorite past articles from my Lethbridge real estate and mortgage blog you might have missed or wish to recommend them to a friend.
WANTED: Single Women: - Single women are a hot mortgage market
Common Financial Problems - Avoid these financial mistakes
Get Your Credit Score UP - Invaluable insight into your credit score
Mortgage Guidelines Get Tighter - Harder and harder to borrow money
Is Your Mortgage Company Out of Business in 2009? - What to do when your bank goes broke
What is wrong with MLS - Is your info being abused?
Survivor - Real Estate Edition - Let's vote a few more off the island
Robert May is a Lethbridge Realtor, as well as the broker and owner of Rainbow Realty of Lethbridge Alberta. He is also a licensed Lethbridge mortgage broker and financing expert with Canada First Mortgage of Calgary Alberta. He has been in the Lethbridge real estate industry since 1993 and offers full MLS real estate services to Lethbridge and surrounding area, as well as Lethbridge mortgage financing, mortgage refinancing, preapprovals, and Lethbridge heloc financing to Lethbridge and Southern Alberta. He can be found online at this link: mortgage broker Lethbridge
Let me share my 15 years experience in the local Lethbridge real estate and financing market with you! It is the first step towards making a profitable real estate decision.
Robert W May is a Real Estate Broker in Lethbridge Alberta, having now been in the industry for over 23 years. . He was also a licensed Lethbridge mortgage broker and financing expert with Canada First Mortgage of Calgary Alberta for the past 10 years. He is an industry leader always willing to help train and educate others in how to improve their business models for financial and personal benefit.