All right, maybe broke isn’t the right word, but safe to say we are all looking for ways to maximize our resources and improve our productivity. The following are ten absolutely free ways to market your business, the only cost being a little bit of your time.

  1. Social Media

No surprise here. Social media is a great, free, way to spread the word about you and your business. Doing social media right is a great way to make connections, gain leads, and convert customers. I won’t go into great detail here how to get your social media presence set up, but at the very least consider getting an account on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

  1. Free Classifieds

Use free classified ad services to promote your product or service. Aside from big online classified ads (Craigslist), there may be other free options specific to your geographical area, maybe even some free inclusions in local print media. Do some Google searches and see what is available in your hometown.

  1. Reciprocity Advertising

Talk to local business owners and explore cross promotion you may be able to do with them. They are probably in the same boat as you, and would be willing to work out a “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” type of marketing campaign.

  1. Barter

You may think of bartering as particularly “old school”, but there is no reason you can’t trade a product or service with another business in exchange for some marketing opportunities. Trading an hour of your consulting time, or a couple free products to a local business who is willing then to plug you in their newsletter or mailings could result in a better deal than paying out of pocket for the same marketing. Start with the barter directory, and go from there.

  1. Write a Press Release

Write your own press release and submit it to the appropriate channels. If what you’re doing is particularly newsworthy, send it to local media. Also submit your press release to the free services online.

  1. Article Marketing

Write an article that is related to your product or service and submit it to eZine Articles. Try to be helpful, and prove you are an expert in your field.

  1. Networking

Scout out free networking events in your area, you’d be surprised how many “meet-ups” there are. Not only are they a great way to get out of the house, but think of every networking event as a mini-marketing campaign. Use MeetUp.com to scan for opportunities near you. For example, there were 51 meet up’s in the Portland, OR area that were related to entrepreneurship.

  1. Provide Stellar Customer Service

Make sure your current customers know how important they are to you and your business. Make them feel good about what you do. They will sell for you!

  1. Ask for More Business

Going along with point #8 above. Don’t be shy about asking for referrals. Happy customers are your best piece of marketing you can hope for. Word of mouth marketing is powerful, and there is nothing wrong with asking them to spread the word for you.

  1. Maximize Your Mailing List

What, don’t have a mailing list?  Start collecting customer information so you can get one!  Use this mailing list to push out information about new products or services, give a special deal to your mailing list, share information with them, etc.