How to promote your business for free (checklist)

how to promote your business

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How to promote your business free sounds like witchcraft.

It needs a bit of context: I’m running a startup on a budget.

In addition to that, I have a small team of two people. We have to maximize our efforts and stay in our budget.

That’s why I have developed a workflow to boost my business for free.

Obviously, it can’t be the only way, but, combined with paid advertising, you can get results.

What are you going to find in the article?

I’m not going to tell you what others say you “should do.” That’s easy if you don’t test what you are saying.

The following ways to market your business are what I’m testing and refining.

Once again, as I already did for my content creation workflow, I’ll share my personal step-by-step checklist.

Also, I find that envisioning my thoughts helps me a lot in getting settlements.

Along, the article I’ll share with you some of my favorite visual and operatives templates.

If you have one better and want to share or comment, feel free to reach me on Twitter or Linkedin.

Let’s start.

Identify the best niche to promote your business for free

If you are not defining the right message for the right person, you are wasting your time.

You can’t talk about dogs to those that don’t have a dog.

The reason needs to be found in the back of the mind, where passions and interests live.

Even if I like dogs, if I have not had one, there is a reason: I love them, but my urgency is not enough.

As per me, I find other things more enjoyable: could be traveling, or living in an apartment with design stuff.

I like dogs, but I have not one. It is useless to target me with content and stories about dogs.

If you want to engage your audience and interact with it, you need to tell a story that they care about. That is strong, and that your target care.

It is common sense starting your first steps with analyzing your “buyer personas,” a fictional representation of your ideal clients.

You can find many fantastic templates to make your ideal buyer persona more real almost everywhere.

Promote your business identifying buyer personas
Image source

However, before outline your personas, you need to find the niche that you are targeting.

That’s your target audience, where passions live

Passions and interests are above the individuals, at an unconscious level, because attractive communicating happens in our brain.

You might be targeting one group or many, but being aligned with what they care about makes sure your plan is actionable and valuable.

What I do is think about, by guts, who is my target, who can have a marvelous outcome from my story.

Marketing professionals, influencers, and agencies have the same challenges: communicating and engaging with their creative work.

Ghostwriter AI target Audience Profile
Target Audience Profiler

If you are reading, you are the one.

Then, I need to put myself in your shoes.

It is not so difficult. I work in marketing as well, I’m one of you.

promote your business using your own image

Analyze your target audience’s interests to promote your business successfully

With this in mind, I have a look at what the Content Curator suggests to me.

Indeed, it suggests content that matches my target audience’s interests, so I know what to write.

Obviously, interests change over time.

Thus, I always check for the right news, even if I already have my content plan to follow.

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Where do I find my niche?

I check for the most updated interests, and I also create a mind map to identify the channels where I can find my target audience.

For example, for me, I want to reach marketing agencies and marketing professionals.

Thus, I put my target audience at the center and grow the map with all the places where marketing professionals, like you and me, are.

promote your business mindmap

Identify what you want your strategy to accomplish with marketing your business

To understand what a strategy to promote your business is, we’ll start with an example: let’s say you are a marketing agency that wants to gain visibility for your last blog post or for the full bunch of your services. Sounds familiar, right?

There are no magic formulas but test, refine, and re-do activities behind any kind of strategy.

Any business needs to find the right ways to advertise its services and products, but the promotion has costs.

Nevertheless, I’m not here to talk about paid advertising but free ways to promote your business.

Although, the significant investment that I will show you is your (or your team) time. Time IS a cost, but at least you can deal with it.

First, to not lose your time, you need to have a crystal-clear overview of what you want to achieve: your goals.

Defining goals is dramatically crucial because it may completely reverse the order of things and the strategy that you have in your mind.

Outline Your Major Goals

What I do to identify my goal for any single piece of content is asking myself: which stage of my customer journey I want to cover?

Do you understand now why identifying your target first is so crucial?

What are my goals? I want:

  1. Increase my brand reputation (awareness stage) or show how I can do something for you (consideration stage)?
  2. Create relationships (awareness using an OPN – Other People’s Networks Strategy)
  3. Show what I can get and what YOU can get from me.
promote your business goals

Figure out a metrics to determine the best ways to promote your business

To determine if you are reaching the goals, you need metrics to rank.

Firstly, figure out a measurable metric of the goal you want to accomplish so that you can see the result of your plan later.

Additionally, by drawing these steps, you can involve your team to help you to get benefits.

For example, because I want to track my results, I have an excel file where I plan my goals and criteria for each content.

You can download my Content Calendar Template from here.

Free Ghostwriter AI Content Calendar Template

Determining these steps will help you stay organized as you are working through the tasks.

Step-by-step ways to advertise your business for free

We are now at the most critical step. This is the way I do my job. 

Consistently, I’m working on it to refine and do new experiments and measure new results.

I retake my mindmap and make as many sheets file as per the number of channels where I want to promote my content.

Use social media to promote your business

Everyone knows that: social media is the perfect stage for your publication.

However, there are rules to get more exposure in the right way and expand your content numbers.

First, rule number one: not be spammy but proactive!

Read the group policies carefully before, that’s for every single place you are going to post.

A social network is like a city, and the group you are posting is someone else’s house. Don’t be a bad guest.

Second, give before taking. Cooperate with the others in the group. You will earn a lot from that, more than barely sharing your content.

In fact, if you have selected your places wisely, there are other people like you there, and you can learn a lot from others’ experiences.

Consequently, it is supremely reasonable that you also share yours to support mutual growth.

The ways to target your business on Linkedin

Do you know that you can even publish on LinkedIn?

Obviously, LinkedIn is another place where you have no control over your space. 

However, posts that are published on Linkedin Pulse get more reach from LinkedIn algorithms.

Also, if you have a B2B activity, you may want to stress your presence there and establish yourself as a trustworthy voice on your matter.

Including LinkedIn groups in your strategy can give you results.

Clearly, as stated before, you need to join with groups to ensure you are recognized and not considered as a spammer. Be polite and participate in discussions.

Here below, my promotional flow on LinkedIn:

  • Post a summarize of the post that is on my blog on LinkedIn Pulse.
  • Add social share and links to the main blog post.
  • Share Pulse post on my profile.
  • Repurpose my content on Linkedin groups (not the Pulse because I think that, if I’m a reader, I’m annoyed by getting a summarize and still need to go elsewhere for reading the full piece).
  • Post the link on Alcapod, a LinkedIn engagement pod similar to Lempod.
  • Wait a week or more, and post again on my personal profile the direct link.

Interact with Facebook and Quora Groups

Almost, the same rules as per LinkedIn are still valid for Facebook and Quora groups.

Professionals groups are very willing to welcome other professionals that share personal advice and not just links to follow.

Showing your expertise, you will benefit from a new interest in what you are doing and attract members to check you out.

Give your best on Slack

I recently have a lot of fun and thrilling new tips to try from Slack groups.

It could because they are small and focused or because you enter upon an invitation.

Fewer people, more regulation, but also more upshot. Select the channel for your niche.

Take a chance on Twitter to advertise your business

In my evaluation and knowledge, Twitter is a channel that can still give you a lot of satisfaction.

By using the Ghostwriter AI Social Post Generator, I get the right hashtags to use and reach my target audience.

Ghostwriter Chrome Extension calendar

As a rule, I mix popular hashtags, others specifically for the content, and those that are matching my audience.

Not only do I create various social posts automatically, but they also suit my audience without packing them with annoying people with mentions that are not well related to who they are.

As a result, I increase the engagement without being spammy.

How to promote your business checklist

In short, here is my checklist for you.

Final Thoughts: the importance of a team to promote your business

Strategies are personal and not established. The beauty of a plan is that it can be reversed by new data and shreds of evidence.

For example, you can use my method and discover that your audience reacts differently.

Also, you can share word of mouth involving your teammates. 

Your team can help your strategy make the link going around for more, interacting with you, commenting, and sharing to give more strength.

For instance, one team member might be in charge of redefining the channels list.

Another might be in charge of auditing the current workflows in place to promote and take note of the metrics results.

Assign to your team diverse roles and different moments to engage.

Plan their involvement with a shared calendar of your plan, even better if you can activate alerts to reach them out.

Promoting should not be a solo task. Together you can score better results.

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