Here are six ways fast ways to promote your online business and better yet, it won’t cost you a dollar!
1. Use the free business listing services from the big three
Registering your business with Google Places allows it to easily be found on Google searches and it shows up on Google Maps. All you have to do is complete a short form and register, then get your business verified through their confirmation process, which can be done either with a phone call or snail mail. Yahoo! and Microsoft also has a big database of businesses called Yahoo! Local and Microsoft’s Bing. It’s free, and it only takes a few minutes to complete.
2. Embrace social media
Social media isn't just a tool to gain exposure — it has now become a necessary time investment for every business to make.Click To Tweet You can tie in ads and offers on your Facebook page and have a direct channel with your customers on Twitter. Networking on LinkedIn—both at the personal and company level—can be another way to help your startup.
3. Start a blog
A blog not only helps your company get its name out through followers but is a way to connect with your consumers more directly. But remember that one of the major keys of blogging is to keep your stream updated as frequently as you can. A dormant, abandoned blog is worth nothing.
4. Add videos to YouTube
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world behind Google Search. It provides a free way to distribute creative promotional videos, but in order to succeed you must put up content that people want to view and are relevant to your business—a simple ad will not work.
6. Join a relevant online community and contribute
I know this is taking it offline, but you can quickly grow your network quickly at Meetup gro
Meetup.com is the world’s largest network of local groups. It’s a website where like-minded people can meet in their own community and do things together as a group. There are groups that cover all sorts of niches—Google Analytics fans, marathon runners, beer connoisseurs, WordPress users and astronomy enthusiasts.
Now, while it’s a great tool for meeting like-minded people and making new friends, there is so much more to Meetup.com. There is the ability to meet the people that can help your business grow and expand. You can hang out with and talk to your perfect customer base directly by using Meetup.com.
There are two ways to use meetup.com—as an organizer and as an attendee. Organizers have more control over where the meetups happen and how they conduct business, but attendees have a lot of sway, as well. Sometimes it’s best to start out as an attendee until you’ve met some of the regulars and understand it a little more.
It should be noted that Meetup.com isn’t going to work in every industry. The website isn’t a catch-all for every type of business, so it’s entirely possible that your type of work isn’t going to have a high following on there. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t search though, so follow the steps below to see if there’s a group you could join:
Networking can help you meet new people and advance your career. However, what if you’re not sure you’ll find a group that fits your needs? Starting your own group can be an option, though it’s a risky proposition.