Low-Cost Ways To Market Your Small Business Now

In the business world, you have to spend money before you can make it as you need to market your small business. Unfortunately, when you have very little, to begin with, this task becomes quite difficult.

The idea of marketing your venture is an overwhelming one at the best of times but can be even more stressful when you’re a small business on an even smaller budget.

market your business
Learn different ways to market your small business.


This is why, when times are tough financially, one of the first expenses to be cut is usually marketing. However, it’s during these difficult times that it is most important. To make things easier, here are ten low-cost ways to market your business.

Publish Interesting Blog Content To Market Your Small Business

No business website is ever truly complete without a blog full of interesting and unique content. Although your site may primarily be a place to make sales, the blog page will help prospective customers to find it, as well as give current ones a reason to return.

For your blog to be successful, you will need to post regularly and write content that meets the interests and needs of your audience. You should also share your posts across your social channels to market your small business.

A good tip to help you write and post regularly is to make sure you can write down ideas even when on the move. Thanks to specific apps for blogging that you can install on your mobile, now you can. Such apps make it easy to write your ideas or even full blog posts, while on the move as a modern business.

For your blog to be successful, you will need to post regularly and write content that meets the interests and needs of your audience. #digitalmarketing Click To Tweet

Apply For Business Awards To Market Your Small Business

No matter the industry that you’re in, there are sure to be business awards that you could potentially win. It’s often free to apply to such competitions, and, if you were to receive a prize, this would go a long way toward boosting the credibility of your business.

Whether you receive a certificate, an online badge, or both, the recognition would give customers a reason to trust you. If your industry has no such awards, then you could try creating and hosting your own. Voting has been extended to August 31st, 2019, so vote here at:
2nd row down, on the left-hand side!

Whether you receive a certificate, an online badge, or both, the recognition would give customers a reason to trust you. #marketingtips Click To Tweet

Take To Social Media for Your Small Biz

Almost everyone in the world has a profile on one or more social media platforms, making this the perfect place to build your brand and audience. The most popular sites, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn all have millions of users and charge absolutely nothing for you to create a profile of your own. (But if you really want to market your biz you will need to invest some  money in social media ads.) 

To build a large following, you will need to post frequently and interact with profiles. However, if you don’t have the time, it is possible to automate this task using an app.


Repurpose Any Old Content

Anyone who has been blogging or posting to social media for quite some time will have built up a large amount of content. Even if these posts were popular when you first published them, they have probably gone stagnant by now.

Rather than spending time writing new posts, you should breathe life back into your old ones. Repurpose that content and turn it into videos, infographics, books, and more. This is cheaper than creating new posts, but is just as, if not more effective.

Rather than spending time writing new posts, you should breathe life back into your old one. #digitalmarketing Click To Tweet

Make A Charitable Contribution

Helping out a charity should always be done for the benefit of the cause itself, more than your own business. Your contribution needs to come from the heart of your customers, and the rest of the public will see right through you.

That being said, there’s no denying the awareness that can be made from a generous act. Because of this, you should consider ways to help out a cause close to your business.

You could host a fundraiser, for example, or donate a few products.

Give Away Promotional Items

When you give away items with your business name and logo plastered across them, it means that your brand sticks in the mind of your customers. These products may also find themselves in the hands of prospects, making them aware of your business.

This an effective marketing tactic, but an affordable one too, as most manufacturers of promotional products offer fair prices. For the best effects, you should choose items that people will use every single day.

When you give away items with your business name and logo plastered across them, it means that your brand sticks in the mind of your customers. #branding Click To Tweet

Host Your Own Class to Market Your Small Business

Everyone has something that they can teach to someone else, especially entrepreneurs. With that in mind, you may want to consider hosting an educational event of some kind, like a class, webinar, or seminar.

Instagram Class

As long as you find a free venue to use, this can easily be done on a very tight budget. What’s more, an event like this is great for publicity, especially when you don’t charge for entry. You just need to ensure that you cover topics your target market is interested in.

Oftentimes, you may get paid to give a class to draw more people to another business.

Attend Local Networking Events

Organizing any sort of event yourself, especially a free one can be a challenge. Because of this, you may find it easier to attend events other entrepreneurs put on. Depending on where you live, there should be at least a few that you can check out.

You may want to volunteer your services as a speaker for these events, but, if you’d rather not get up in front of a crowd, you can always talk in smaller groups instead. These events are the perfect place to make valuable connections.

I’ll be doing one today as I was asked by a business owner who saw me speak about social media at another event months ago. 🙂 You never know who will see you at these events and they could turn into a future customer as well.

Establish A Referral Program

People trust other customers much more than they do business. This is why word-of-mouth marketing is truly worth its weight in gold. While some customers may refer your company to their friends and family just for great service, others are much more likely to do so if they get something in return.

For this reason, you may benefit from introducing a referral program. Many businesses offer a discount for the person that refers, as well as those they refer to.

This is why word-of-mouth marketing is truly worth its weight in gold. #marketingtips Click To Tweet

Create An Online Contest

Once you have a good following across your social media platforms, you may want to host your own contest. Using social media makes this simple for you and your customers, as all they would need to do to enter is like and share your post.

By sharing, they would provide you with further exposure, as everyone that follows them would also see your competition post. The only costs involved here would be whatever you choose to give away as a prize.

Market Your Small Business For Less

Marketing can be a costly business, but, with some thought, any company can do so, even on the tightest of budgets. Hopefully, after reading the advice above, you now have some idea as to how to do the same. Learn how to save some money here too!

I’d love to know how you are marketing your small business for less money today! Please leave a comment below so we can chat 🙂


Lisa Sicard
  • Amar Kumar says:

    Hello Lisa,

    Marketing your small business is a must if you want to produce a steady stream of paying clients and customers. In my opinion, every business needs a website, no matter how old-fashioned or offline your clients and customers are.

    It is really great idea to create a website with claiming a domain name for your business because domain registration is easy and inexpensive in many cases.

    Social media presence is crucial for sales and establishing healthy and fresh relationship with your customers.

    Eventually, thanks for putting these potential points for us.

    With best wishes,

    Amar Kumar

  • Hi Lisa,
    We are in the same lane. Great suggestions. Loved the one about creating your own class which I did on my website. So you confirmed what I was tossing around in my mind! Thanks

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Lesly, welcome to Inspire To Thrive 🙂 What kind of class did you create for your website? Glad you liked the suggestions. Thanks for coming by and have a great day and new week!

  • Janice Wald says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I am also nominated for the Infinity Blog Award. People ask how they vote for me. Is there a way? Thanks!

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Janice, I don’t have an answer yet but asked the leader about it. I’ll let you know when I hear back from her. Have a great day and I hope the earthquakes stop out in your area, be safe!

  • Dan Goldman says:

    Good info here but would also be great if you had sales tips, not just general marketing which can be difficult to quantify at times. Thank you:)

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Dan, welcome to Inspire to Thrive. Thanks for your feedback. Sales has changed dramatically over the years. I was in it, selling ads at newspapers for 30 years. People don’t like to be sold to. It’s more about building relationships, collaborating and online about content marketing. The days of the hard sell and cold calls are gone or plain ineffective. You may have inspired me to do a follow up post on that 🙂 Thanks and have a great weekend!

  • Erin Shand says:

    I love the idea of holding your own class. Do you have any ideas what we could do as a tour company? We are two women running the company so maybe a Women in Business event? Also the referral program is a great idea but most of our clients are tourists so hard to give them a reward if they never come back :p Great article though, thanks!

  • You make a good point about business awards boosting credibility. I had never really considered it, but thinking back to blogs that have impressed me in the past, they had badges on the sidebars highlighting whatever award it was that they had won. Definitely something I need to consider.

    Also, I like the idea of giving away promotional items and running contests. I was thinking a giveaway for a t-shirt with my blog’s logo or something like that would be the perfect way to combine these two ideas…. Hmm, lots of ideas here!

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Tanya, thank you and welcome to Inspire To Thrive. Yes, if you have them do use them. I probably could showcase more of mine up and center too! I haven’t done a contest in a while but it is something that sometimes can really work. Yes, I’d love to know which ideas you end up using and how they work Tonya. 🙂 Have a great rest of the week.

  • Hi Lisa,

    Most of the ways you’ve mentioned in this post to market small business only require proper planning, timing and if at all, small budget.

    At first, when I read through the headline to this post, I was expecting to read things like paid advertising on a small budget, PPC, FB ads, etc.

    But you share some unconventional tips here that if executed well, could be very effective. I really like word-of-mouth and contest, they work well to promote business, generate leads, build brand awareness, etc.

    The thing is, re-investing is a good idea once you start making income from your business so you can scale up quickly and build on what is already working.

    Thanks, Lisa, nice read.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Shamsudeen, thank you. Oh yes, many small businesses do not have a big budget so I focus on the lesser ones here on the blog 🙂 I agree, re-investing is the only way to grow a business today. Thanks for coming by on this one and have a wonderful day and week ahead.

  • Hi Lisa!

    Great methods here. As competitive as the online space is today, there has never been an easier time to make your brand known from absolute scratch. It does not take a huge budget to put out content, or to market that content.

    Most of what you discussed here only requires an investment of time and energy. Sometimes, that’s all you’ve got to give, but it can be just as powerful – or more powerful, than having a huge budget. I’ve seen people get better results when they had nothing, than others who had money to waste and ultimately ended up doing exactly that.

    Besides, the lean thinking mindset will ensure that when the results do come and you do have money to reinvest into marketing, then that money is used effectively to drive results and further scale.

    Great strategies!
    – James McAllister

    • Lisa says:

      Hi James, nice to see you here. I’ve been noticing your rocking Instagram posts 🙂 Yes, you either need time or money to market yourself. Interesting you are finding time to be more important than money. But that could be due to all the emphasis on personalization and engagement, money can’t buy that! Thanks for your input on this one James. I hope you have a great weekend 🙂

  • KRISHNA says:

    nice blog.
    amazing post.

  • Lisa, you are so right that a marketing budget should not be cut in tough times. You need to market in order to get more business. But sometimes it’s hard to know what to devote your time to. For example, in a large city where I used to work, these internet-based ideas were great. But in the medium-sized city where I work now, the personal network is more important. Would you suggest trying all of these ideas or just focusing on a few of them and doing them really well?

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Hamilton, I would focus just on a few at a time. 2-3. Then if they work, ramp them up. If they don’t work after a while, try some others. Things change so fast today – what works one day may not work another. I agree personal network is key as I’m from a smaller area. The smallest state in the union 🙂 Thanks for coming by and welcome to Inspire To Thrive!

  • #1 is it Lisa. Simple, on point content drives small business process if you are on a budget. Or even if you invest money freely in business, content prospers you. I publish posts and/or video daily to help folks and succeed. Quite simple. Gets easier and easier too. Rocking post.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Ryan, Thanks for your input. Video is really becoming a must today. I’m working to do more of it. I need to get on it regularly, at least once per week. It does become easier the more you do, like everything else, right? Have a great rest of the day there Ryan 🙂

  • I haven’t been to a networking event in years. I’d say mainly because the days they hold them are days I’m home with Mom, but in reality I’d stopped going before Mom moved in with me.

    Overall I need to step it up a bit. After 18 years you’d think I would have figured out the formula. However, I’m in transition, which is almost like starting from scratch.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Mitch, That’s understandable. I just did one this morning, I was the one giving the speech about how to use social media for business. I met some great people. I always feel uncomfortable at first but once I start talking I’m usually okay. 🙂

      If you can do one or two a year that would be great Mitch. Do you have someone to stay with your mom for a short period of time?

      • I do, but only for a couple of hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The networking events are normally on Tuesdays, but they’re later than the person who sits with Mom can stay. Sigh…

        Speaking of sighing, I went to check out this Infinity Blog Awards thing. Neither of my prominent blogs seems to fit any of the categories… I’m batting -1.000 lol

        • Lisa says:

          Hi Mitch, I think you Just Sharing would be a good one for internet marketing blog or personal development. Do check that out! Have a nice weekend Mitch 🙂

  • Thank you so much, Lisa, for the shoutout. We appreciate and we love you so much.

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