One of the most difficult things about running a business is creating a proper budget. In a perfect world you’d either everything have handed to you for free or you’d be able to spend millions on every aspect of your work. In reality neither of these options are viable, you’re always going to have limited funds that need to be spread about between all the aspects of your business.
If you decide that there are certain areas where you absolutely have to spend money then you’re going to need to look for ways to save money in other areas. After you decide you’re going to spend what you have to on professional web design and hosting you will realize that you still need to consider how you’re going to get people to your brand new site.
Fortunately you don’t need to spend money to get people to start coming to your site. What you will have to do is commit your time and energy to finding the right tools and putting them to use. To start with lets look at how writing, social media and word of mouth can all get your site’s momentum going without spending a dollar.
Writing On Other Websites
If you have decided to work in a field professionally then you probably have some sort of expertise. If you know more than most people regarding a certain topic then you can use this to promote your site. There are all sorts of websites across the internet looking for input from people such as yourself. You can create a win-win situation by offering to write for them in return for the chance to promote your site.
The best option is looking for blogs within your field and contacting the people who run them with an offer to write a guest-blog. If you’ve blogged you know how hard it can be to come up with new ideas on a regular basis so many writers are happy to find someone who will help them out. If they agree you just need to include some information about you, your site and a link to it in the article and suddenly all the people who visit the site you’re writing for might come and visit your site.
This isn’t the easiest path to take. The more popular a site is the more difficult it will be to get this sort of chance, while sites that will accept writing from anyone will likely provide minimal promotion. But if you’re a decent writer who’s willing to put the time in you can see a lot of success through this method.
Using Social Networking
It’s hard to talk about the internet today without mentioning social networks. Every day millions of people log onto sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the many other sites that seem to be popping up every day. They are popular in part because they allow people to connect together and they’re free, making them perfect for our purposes.
The rise of social networking has had a big impact on the way business is done online. It has gotten to the point where a company’s Facebook page might be just as popular as their actual website. As such it’s well worth the time to join these networking sites and create profiles for your company.
Just creating a profile on a popular site is a good start but from there if you want to reap the real rewards you actually have to use it. Books could be written on this topic alone but to put it simply you want to use these tools to communicate with your audience and provide them with something of value. If you can do this you’ll build goodwill and you can even get people to spread the word for you.
Talking About Your Site
Whether you realize it or not you can all sorts of conversations into a chance to promote your business. Of course the trick is deciding what conversations are right for this sort of thing and how to do it properly. Subtlety and discretion are key.
Fortunately there are some things about society that lend themselves to this sort of thing. When meeting new people it’s common to ask them what they do for a living. Whenever the topic comes up you can simply mention that you have a company and a website, casually dropping the address. Similarly if the conversation comes around to your line of work you can subtly mention your site. If you start looking for opportunities you will find them.
Anyone who attempts to promote themselves using this method needs to know that there’s a fine line between what’s acceptable and inappropriate and what’s unwanted and annoying. There’s a reason people dislike salespeople, because they think they are pushy. So don’t approach the topic like a salesperson, do it as a person who is passionate about what they do and simply wants to mention it when the topic comes up. It’s not always right to mention your site in conversation but when it is don’t miss the opportunity.
Doing Whatever You Can
Once you commit to telling the world about your site you might be amazed at how many ways there are to spread the word. The key is the simple shift in your thinking that occurs when you realizing that the world of marketing is much bigger than traditional advertisements.
One word of caution, it’s important to remember that you are only one person. It’s possible to stretch yourself too thin by running your business, your website and marketing yourself. In the beginning you might have to do it all yourself because money is tight but as time goes by consider bringing in other professionals and delegating different tasks for the best possible results.
The beautiful thing about the internet is the potential that exists for anyone who has a good idea and is willing to commit to it. If you’ve got a solid plan it’s just a matter of committing the necessary energy and/or money to the project until you see results. Even if you can’t afford to pay a dollar to market your website there is a lot you can do to get people to start coming to your site. Those first visitors are the hardest, as you build from there the possibilities are endless.