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5 Free Marketing tips for a small business, sole trader or self employed.

Free marketing tips might not be top of your agenda right now. However, these tips will be useful now or anytime in the future.

The current situation caused by the coronavirus has left many small businesses, with severely reduced work and income. Directly impacting and creating cashflow issues. So if your cash flow is severely impacted then naturally you will need to cut expenses where you can. The marketing budget is normally the first to go. However, you will still need to market your business, your products and services. This will ensure you are around on the other side when this situation gets better! It will get better!

Bluespacemedia has put together a useful list for any small business, sole trader or individual entrepreneur. It gives you some ideas of what you can do to boost your business without having to spend any money!

Get a website, its that simple

  1. Website

The first of our free marketing tips is simple, get a website.

Even if you don’t think you want or need one…..wrong!  You DO! 

Search engines are still the number 1 source of digital traffic. Additionally, voice search (Alexa, Google, Siri etc.) is also growing quickly. Both will return searches that come from indexed web pages and without one, you simply won’t get found!

There are a number of free website options out there and for anyone starting out in business that maybe can’t stretch their cash to pay a developer to help then one of these “off the shelf” options will do to get things started.  Companies like Wix, Godaddy, Squarespace.

These websites are limited in terms of SEO value, but as a reference point for customers and prospects they are useful enough in the first instance and give you some much needed digital inventory.  Over time a more detailed and search engine friendly website would be the aim and that’s when you could engage with a marketing professional, agency or web designer.

Use the free tools google offer

2. Google My Business Listing (GMB)

The best of the free marketing tips is get a GMB listing.

Another powerful FREE marketing item for all new businesses to get set up.  Many businesses I speak to think they have to pay for this, they don’t.  This is a completely free listing and it is not difficult to set up.  Simply type Google my business into Google and from there you should have a listing in a few simple steps.  Sometimes it takes a few days to go live but ultimately it then gives you another point of reference when someone is searching for your business. 

Like with all the free elements discussed in this blog the key is to get benefit from them you need to put some effort in to them to keep them up to date in terms of content and images and posts.  As the saying goes you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink – you can get a free google listing and people can see it but they won’t do anything unless the profile is informative and relevant.

Social media is more than just the platform you use

3. Social Media Channels

Don’t just stop at a Facebook profile – set up as many as you can.  Twitter, Youtube, pinterest, Tiktok, linkedin.

Yes it will take you some time and there will be platforms that you don’t use or maybe never heard of, but your customers, future customers and prospects will certainly be using some or all of them.

It is free to set up a profile on all these platforms and it is free to post and message on them too – all have a paid element for advertising and promotions if you want to use this but in essence the starting point is free.  As well as being able to showcase your work and seek out potential new customers in need of your products and services, the major benefit of having social accounts is the SEO value that they will give to you.  By having them linked to your FREE website gives you important backlinks and the content you post is of use to search engines as content to return in the search engine results page.

However as with anything free, it is only as good as you make it. You need to post regularly and make those posts interesting and engaging to get the best out of this free digital asset.

Directories are useful for backlinks

4. Yell.com listing

The UK’s number 1 online directory and the effective online version of the old Yellow Pages is also worth registering your business and activating your FREE listing.

It’s another way to ensure that anyone looking for your products or services, your business is in the mix.  Also anyone searching by your company name can easily find you.

Simply go to Yell.com https://www.yell.com/free-listing/#/ and follow the instructions.

This gives you a place to list your key contact information and website and also gives you the added benefit of listing products and services.  Naturally it is limited and you don’t get all the benefits of a full listing, nevertheless it provides another useful backlink which gives you another positive tick in the SEO box

5. Other directories and relevant websites

Depending what industry/area your business serves there will be lots of other directories through publishers and websites and blogs that let you add your details for FREE.

Again the benefit is getting your information in as many places as possible so that wherever people are looking your information is accessible.  Every backlink you can get is a bonus and gives you increased SEO value to search engines.

Whilst all these things are free they do take time and effort.  Sometimes time can be a very rare commodity and can hamper progress, if you find yourself in this place then that’s where a marketing professional can help. Bluespace Media is here to help any business that wants to improve its presence online.

Top 5 tips for a successful online presence

There is so much to marketing and promotion online these days. Whether you are an online retailer or whether you are a traditional crafts or tradesman a digital presence, and a good one is absolutely essential.

So what can you do to ensure you maintain and improve your online presence?

  1. Regular content/updates/posts

Search engines, particularly Google love content and it definitely prioritises newer content over older content. So if you haven’t posted on your social media channels or updated your website in awhile this will certainly hamper your online presence and your organic ranking. A lot of smaller businesses simply don’t have the time and thats where marketing companies like Blue Space can help!

2. Get a website

I am amazed that some businesses still don’t have a website. Some are convinced they just need a Facebook or social profile and that is enough. The truth is the majority of the population are still using search engines to find out their information, research products and services and buy. Without a website you are definitely missing out on loads of prospective customers!

3. Reviews

The review culture is here to stay and it is becoming more important than ever. It used to be exclusively for the hospitality and travel industries, but now it is in every type of business and service. Reviews are also a key factor in Google’s search algorithm, so proactively seeking reviews, getting reviews and responding to reviews is a must for all businesses.

4. Video content

A lot of people are put off by the thought of a corporate video. It’s cheesy, I don’t like being on camera – all the excuses under the sun to not have one or need one. However, video content is massively important for a successful online presence. Google indexes rich content (video) higher than static content (images) so it is a useful part of building a better online presence, better organic ranking and you will be one step ahead of the competition.

5. Advertising online

No one ever clicks on the adverts….yes they do! Not everyone does but enough that companies like Google generate billions in ad revenue. Having some online advertising as part of your online marketing is another way to ensure your business, brand or product is seen at the right time when people need your products or services. Advertising on places like Google and Facebook are much more effective as they are based on a cost per click basis – meaning you only pay when someone clicks on your advert.

These might the most basic 5 points but they are the basis for a successful online presence that will help deliver customers and enquiries to you.