Easy ways to market your small business (without spending a ton of money)
4 Inexpensive Marketing Tools for Small Businesses That Won’t Break the Bank
1 Find a host for your website - $ - $$
If you haven’t made a website for your small business yet, the time is now. Seriously. The #1 way to grow as a solo entrepreneur or a small business is to create your online footprint.
If you are on a budget, I highly recommend checking out Wordpress. Wordpress has hundreds of easy-to-use themes (often free) that are simple to customize and build out pages. Explore endless plugin options to add elements to your site, such as forms, pop ups, image carousels, and more.
If you are willing to spend just a little more each month, my top recommendation for all of my clients is Squarespace. Squarespace offers many, many beautiful themes that are impossible to mess up and easy to customize. You’re guaranteed a gorgeous, mobile-friendly, professional looking website.
Finally, if you are setting up a store front and need a shopping capability, Shopify is the way to go. Create products, tag them for easy sorting, and go from there. You’ll have the ability to create discounts when you want, allow for customer reviews, and more. Shopify works similar to Wordpress in that you can install Apps (like Wordpress’ Plugins) to add features to your site, such as Recommended Products at the bottom of a product page.
Honorable mention: Wix.
2. Secure your personalized URL - $
Although many website hosts offer free domain names, they usually contain the host name in the URL which makes it really hard to benefit from any Search Engine Optimization efforts (think www.yogawithkim.wordpress.com instead of www.yogawithkim.com).
If you opt to use Squarespace for your website, you have the option to go through their domain services to purchase your own custom URL starting around $20/year. Shopify offers a domain service for $14/year. Wordpress offers Bluehost as their recommended domain host starting at $2.95/year.
Otherwise, I recommend GoDaddy. It’s been around for a long time and will get the job done! Search for the domain you want and GoDaddy will show similar URLs and how much they cost.
After purchase, follow instructions from your website host (Wordpress, Squarespace, Shopify) to connect your website to your domain name. Viola! You’re a professional.
3. Analyze your website traffic - free
The easiest and smartest way to know if your website is being discovered and what people are doing on your website is to connect to Google Analytics.
All you need is a gmail account. Then, follow instructions from your website host to connect your (free!) Google Analytics account to your website.
Google will start tracking user activity. You’ll be able to see:
Which pages are most popular
How long users stay on each page and on your site
Where users are coming from (social media, google search, etc)
Which pages users are quickly bouncing from (leaving immediately)
And so much more!
Google Analytics is one of those tools where you can receive tremendous benefit regardless if you skim the surface or dive deep into the tool.
4. Social media business accounts - free - $
If there’s anything you do today, do this: change your existing social media accounts to the business setting or create new business accounts.
Pick 2-3 social platforms to focus on. Think about your target audience… are they on Instagram? Do they prefer LinkedIn? Or Twitter?
Decide where you audience spends most of their time online and focus there. Then, switch to business accounts.
Using business accounts such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook gives you insight into which posts are most popular and which got the most exposure. You can use that information as you create new posts.
For example, if your post about building a playlist for your fitness class got 100 likes but your post about pumpkin pie recipes got 400 likes, it’s a good indicator you should focus more on recipes -- that is what your audience responds to.
Extra Credit: scheduling!
Once you get these four elements set up for your business, start to create a really steady schedule with your marketing efforts. Decide how much you can give and go with that.
Perhaps you blog once a week, or maybe it’s once a month. Maybe you try to post to social media 3 times a week. If so, do it consistently so your audience knows what to expect.
Most importantly, have so much fun! This is your passion - let it shine through all of your messaging and imagery.
Let me know what else might be helpful to know when starting your small business marketing efforts.
Love + light,
P.S. keep an eye out for a special free download on easy tips and tools to increase your marketing effort!