If you’re a Charlottesville small business owner, you know the struggle of getting the word about your business out into the eye of the public. There are so many competitors nowadays and sometimes breaking through the initial barrier of the market can be difficult. With this article, we hope to pass on some cheap yet effective small business marketing ideas so that you can get your name out there without breaking the bank.
The first and most obvious marketing tactic is advertising or being active on social media. In today’s world everyone and their mother is involved in some form of social media. People will scroll through dozens of ads and posts daily just as part of their routine when they’re waking up, laying down, bored at work, and relaxing at home. With the power of the internet at your hands you have a great tool that can help you expand your business following without costing you greatly. Setting up accounts on social media is easy and inexpensive and advertising on these platforms continues to be relatively cheap. Even without paying for advertising, you can get a long way with just creating an account and posting about your business. Show that you really care about your business and the service you provide. People like to follow passionate people.
Of course you should have an account on Facebook and Instagram. But one of the better ways I’ve found to market my small business is by using Next Door. This site is kind of like Facebook but it’s broken up into neighborhoods. So you only interact with people on the site that actually live very close to you. In this way it has a much more personal feel to it than Facebook. And people seem to think more highly of the recommendations their neighbors make for services than they do for just anyone else online.
Another great way to market your business is to create a website. Most businesses nowadays have one and it continues to be a great way to get across information about your business to your customers and potential customers. Creating a website is getting even easier as time goes on and there are several hosting services that allow you to create and maintain your site relatively inexpensively. Of course, there are professional that can create a great looking website for you in just a few days.
A third way to cheaply market to your customers is to get out into your community. Visit local events, coffee shops, and stores and talk to anyone who will listen. You can even offer to partner with other small businesses – you both win by spreading your exposure. Take part in community enrichment projects. When a business shows that is cares about the community it is a part of, people tend to follow it more. By helping your community, you are also helping yourself.
Another great way to meet potential customers or partners is by joining Meetup. This site lists groups of people who are interested in various topics in your city. There are Meetup groups who meet to discuss real estate, small business, politics, art, and anything else you can think of.
The fourth way I’ll mention is local advertisements. This can have multiple meanings. You could start off by posting signs up where its legal or you could place a small ad in the Daily Progress. Craigslist is another very affordable way to let people know about the service you offer. C-Ville Weekly is another advertising option for small businesses in Charlottesville.
Word of Mouth
Another very important way to cheaply advertise is by using people that you know. Consumers tend to trust other consumers on what they should or shouldn’t be a part of and if you can find a few great customers to help spread the word about your business you’ll find yourself with new clients almost immediately. Word of mouth travels fast and by leaving good impressions on current and past customers you almost guarantee future clients. If you wanted to, you could even create a referral program. By giving rewards to consumers who recruit other customers to your business, you encourage the spread of your business and all the while keep loyal customers.
When it comes down to it, you’ll find that there are a lot of ways to cheaply market your small business or practice in the Charlottesville area. The role of the internet is huge in this and could very well mean the difference between success and failure. Take advantage of your resources and make connections with those around you. The number of doors that open just because you take part in your community is astounding. Over time, you’ll find what works best for your business and what reaches your customers the most. Until then, try everything and get involved.