Posted Sunday, February 13, 2005
You've heard it before; we're living in an information age. The business world is no longer driven by tangible products but on information and ideas. Internet based companies or other companies that use the Internet as an integral marketing tool that don't tap into information-based products or services could soon find themselves without customers or with lackluster sales.
Small business owners, many of whom are on a tight advertising budget, can use all the help they can get to promote their product or service. Providing free information to sell yourself and your company may seem like an oxymoron but it is in fact a legitimate marketing strategy. It allows small business owners to reach large amounts of people and establish themselves as a leading expert in their respective industries
Small business owners have several options to achieve their marketing goals:
E-books - Offer free e-books on your site to encourage traffic and repeat visitation. Your e-book can include references to your site, newsletter, or special offers. You can also allow others to redistribute your e-book and allow other sites to include your e-book in bonuses or contests.
Forums and Newsgroups - Helping other people within your industry is a great way to increase your visibility and gain credibility. You'll be surprised at how much traffic you get just from your forum posts alone. It's always important to be familiar with the forum you're participating in. Advertisements are not only unnecessary but in most cases they are unwelcome and can cause you many problems. So stick to helping people and answering questions. Most sites allow for some sort of signature that is included within all of your posts. If your information is helpful, people will want to learn more about you.
Submitting articles - Writing articles related to your area of business is one of the best ways to increase your visibility. The great thing is that many people are constantly looking for free information to enhance their own efforts and will appreciate your contributions. You'll get a great deal of traffic from the articles you submit to various e-zines. Each article should include a copyright notice and a brief biography with a link back to your own site.
Seminars - If you'd like to expand beyond the web and you're comfortable with public speaking, you can easily and quickly set up a seminar related to your industry. Many hotels offer conference room rental for affordable prices that you use and give free seminars. Announce your helpful even on the web and local newspapers. People are constantly looking for ways to improve their lives and their businesses. You can have low-cost reading material printed out and make sure you have plenty of business cards handy. You'll soon build an impressive list of prospective customers and affiliates. As you become more experienced, you can even begin to enhance your seminar and charge a nominal entry fee.
Conferences - There are all sorts of conferences out there today where organizers are looking for qualified speakers to assist their audience. You can submit informative press releases that establish yourself as an expert and include a notice you are available for speaking engagements.
E-zine - Starting your own e-zine can allow you to offer valuable information to your prospective customers. You can also build valuable relationships with other business owners looking to form joint ventures. You also have free placement for any special offers, events, and contests you'd like to promote.
The objective is to establish yourself within your industry and by doing so you can build an extensive database of qualified prospective customers. Your collection is an invaluable resource for your sales efforts and will produce majority of your sales. The key is to build relationships and produce genuine prospects, not suspects. A small business can't afford to waste time or money on "suspects" or untargeted consumers who may not have an iota of interest in your product or service.
Copyright � 2005 Rhonda Winn - All Rights Reserved.
About the Author
Rhonda Winn has been helping small business owners since 2000. She is the author of the popular eBook, "How to Live Your Dreams and Achieve Unlimited Wealth in Small Business" Receive the first chapter free, when you join her bi-monthly newsletter today: SmallBizStartupKit.com. Her site contains dozens of free downloads, articles, forums, resources, journals, and more.