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5 Creative (& Cheap) Ways to Market Your Biz (UPDATED)

**The posts I write might contain affiliate links or be written in collaboration with businesses or brands. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.**

**A year ago I wrote this post and in the past year I have learned sooooo much. SO, it’s time for an “updated version.”**


5 Creative Ways to Market your Biz “On The Cheap” 


 
1. Team up! Tap into the power of Groups. There’s a Facebook Group I belong to called Bloggy Girls Club that is a wealth of support and information. All sorts of Group exist on Facebook so see one out that fits your profession. LinkedIn Groups is another place to connect, learn, and even market. Just make sure you choose your Groups carefully (look for the groups that would be your ideal customer) and take the time to show up, contribute and comment daily (it takes a whole 15 minutes.)


2. Think outside the box. Let me tell you the QR code is one of the most underutilized pieces of FREE marketing out there. I use QuikQr for my QR Codes

Got an iPhone? Yeah, so does half the world. Get a QR and it lead users back to your sales page, your products page, or the About Me page of your website. Place your QR code on things and places where people are likely to have the iPhone out. An example would be napkins at a coffee shop or table tents at an event. Another sweet perk with QR codes is, when put on your business card, potential clients and connections can scan the code and view your website when you are networking at events.


3. Visibility is Key: “The squeaky wheel gets the grease!” Be on the look-out local directories to list your biz in. Offer to write a free article for a local newsletter, magazine, or Chamber of Commerce ezine in exchange for a tagline with your contact info. Teach Community Ed, offer a free how-to report for people to download, or volunteer your time with local agencies. Be visible. Be seen.


4. Be your own Social Media Guru: Know everything you can about Social Media, and WORK IT. Like it or not, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter are tremendous traffic-drivers for blogs and websites. You don’t have to be a Twitter expert to achieve the basics. Just.Do.It. If you know nothing about Social Media…the tsunami of Social Media is HERE. You better learn how to swim.


5. Pay it Forward: Support causes, volunteer, have lunch and share your business advice with someone just starting out. Help people when you can, not for marketing reasons, because it’s the right thing to do. Not get all “woo-woo” on you, but when you give and give generously-it does come back to you.

Need help with any of the above? Below is a list of some of my “gurus” who I turn to for help and resources. Ironically, they all have awesome FREE help for entreprenuers.

Kathy Colcovacio-Twitter Basics
Denise Wakeman-Blogging tutorials
Debbie Saviano-LinkedIn
Melanie Duncan-Pinterest   

About Becky Flansburg


Becky Flansburg is freelance writer, blogger and virtual assistant living in Northern Minnesota. A dedicated mom to two beautiful kids, her veteran blog Franticmommy.com is filled with laughter and love about the joys parenthood. Becky is also committed to helping women realize their work-from-home dreams, enjoy life beyond the cubicle and find clarity in the work/life/family balance. Connect with Becky via her website, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest

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Buy Local

Buy American/ Buy (Insert City HERE)

**The posts I write might contain affiliate links or be written in collaboration with businesses or brands. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.**

The following is an article sent to the Aitkin, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce office by a Chamber member back in 2011.  Please feel free to repost to your blog or newsletter and please forward on to your customers, employees, friends, neighbors, family members as a reminder to buy Buy American/ Buy (Insert Your City HERE). 
Christmas 2012 — Birth of a New Tradition

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods –merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!

It’s time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper? Everyone — yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from one of our local hair salons or barbers?

Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement. Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Locally-owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down the Benjamin’s on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf courses.

There are owner-run restaurants in your area – all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast cafe.

Remember, folks this isn’t about big National chains – this is about supporting local area businesses with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by an local working guy?

 
Thinking about a heartfelt gift for Mom? She would LOVE the services of a local cleaning service for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some business person who is struggling to get or keep his/her repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at locally owned and operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip.  And, how about going out to see a newly released movie at our hometown theatre. Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of lights, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy, or babysitter a nice BIG tip.


You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t imagine. THIS is the new American Christmas tradition. This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn’t that part of what Christmas is about?
**Lakes Area Mom Squad has always been about shining the spotlight on local businesses….and still is. If you know of (or are) a local business, that would like to create a story about your business on this blog, go for it! I’d love the help and I’d love some good local content.
If you are wondering “WTH?” about the blazingly ugly Staples ad on my sidebar, just know that is Google AdSense and they have some ‘splainin to do.  I specifically asked to NOT have those kind of ads on my sidebar. Lonney buggers grrrrrr. Bear with me, I will get it corrected.

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About Becky Flansburg


Becky Flansburg is freelance writer, blogger and virtual assistant living in Northern Minnesota. A dedicated mom to two beautiful kids, her veteran blog Franticmommy.com is filled with laughter and love about the joys parenthood. Becky is also committed to helping women realize their work-from-home dreams, enjoy life beyond the cubicle and find clarity in the work/life/family balance. Connect with Becky via her website, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest

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