You've fine-tuned your SEO. You've hit up all the online directories. You've crafted interesting blogs and memorable tweets that link back to your site. But before you bust open your wallet for billboards, banners and ads, there's a few other not-so-obvious techniques, some of which are a little old-school, that you can use to promote your website that won't cost a dime.
Design A Great Email Signature
With the average person sending and receiving around 100 emails each day, it would be silly not to take advantage of the super hot real estate known as your email signature. If you're a business owner, your signature should, at minimum, include your name, your company's name, and a way to contact you; however, it can include a lot more information than that.
In addition to adding your website, you can put your company's motto, a sentence that describes what it is that you do, or a quote that relates to your industry. You can give it a touch of color by including your company logo. You can throw in a few links to your social media pages.
With a good email signature, it's more than a formality; it's a piece of advertising that follows you everywhere as well as an interactive tool for clients and customers. Jason Atkinson Copywriter, Story-Teller The Wordsmith Company www.wordsmith.com 555.123.456 J.Atkinson@wordsmith.com Follow @TheWordsmithCompany "There will come a time you believe everything is finished; that will be the beginning."
Make Cold Calls
A cold call is when you make an unsolicited phone call in an attempt to sell a product or service. Its success rate varies, with statistics quoting anywhere between less than 1% and as high as 6%. While cold calling may feel uncomfortable or seem a little scary, there are some strategies you can use to increase your confidence and better your luck. For example, don't just pick random names out of a phone book.
Make smart cold calls by narrowing in on the types of people and the types of businesses that are likely to become customers. This will require some research on your part, but its bound to make your cold calling experience a better one. Secondly, try to build a rapport with your potential customers. You want to warm them up before you start selling. Know a lot of information about their company so they understand they're not just a phone number, but a prospect you took the time to research. Ask questions, but more importantly, listen to their needs.
Regardless of how they handle your phone call (you may occasionally find yourself speaking with some not fun people – it's the nature of the beast), it's crucial that you always respond in a kind and friendly manner. If they indicate they're not interested, don't keep pushing. Thank them for their time, leave them your contact information if anything comes up, and then get off the phone. Lastly, stick to the game plan. You don't want to waste your time, or your potential customer's time, never arriving at the point of the conversation because you got to talking about your kids, or you didn't have the confidence to move forward. Always have your goal in mind.
Network, Network, Network!
You don't have to pay big bucks to attend a conference in order to network with potential customers and clients. All you have to do is have a good idea of who they are and where they hang out. One of those places might be LinkedIn. Start joining groups for your industry and pay attention to its members. Don't just connect with those you think might be interested in your products or services – send them a message. Better yet, in your message, offer them a discount, a copy of your ebook, or a link to your blog.
You can do the same thing with your Facebook fans and your Twitter followers. You may also find potential customers and clients in industry groups, meet-ups, trade shows, and associations. Research what events and organizations relevant to your site are in your community and start getting involved. Lastly, now's not the time to be shy. Let all of your friends and family know about your website. Start chatting with strangers on the bus, the person standing in front of you at the bank, or the friend-of-a-friend at a birthday party. You never know who you might meet.
Write Press Releases
Are you launching a new business? Do you have a new product or service? Have you won an award? Is your company making a radical change that you want people to know about? If you've got something news-worthy, you've got a reason to write a press release. A press release is a written announcement geared toward the media. It has a very specific format that includes a headline, dateline, contact info, and body. It also follows AP style guidelines.
While it can be written without the help of a public relations professional, it's something that takes a bit of time and practice to do well. Luckily, there's plenty of information online to help you. Press releases can be sent to online press release sites like PRUrgent.com, PR.com, or PRBuzz.com. From there, your information will be available to search engines, news outlets, radio stations, bloggers, other websites, and potential customers. You can also submit press releases to local newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations.
Get Involved In Your Community
Think about the most successful people who live in your area. Chances are, they do a lot more than go to work each day. They volunteer their time, they attend fundraisers, they go to town meetings, they show up at community events, and they build strong relationships with local schools and organizations. While they may truly enjoy these activities, one of the reasons they continue to make such an effort is for the publicity. By mirroring these individuals and becoming more than a resident – but an active participant in your community, others around you will begin to recognize who you are what you do, providing you with plenty of chances to promote your web presence.