As a small business owner, building your customer base is one of the biggest daily hurdles you face. You can find yourself spending not just the majority of your time focused on your small business marketing, but also a huge chunk of your budget, too. Let’s put your time to better use, thanks to these awesome free marketing ideas.

BECOME A HOST OR SPEAKER

Offer to be a host or speak at an existing industry event for free or a nominal fee. If you’re approachable, engaging, offer value to the audience, and have your business cards or marketing materials on hand, you’ll find customers lining up to take your information. You can also regularly contribute to industry specific websites to help build your audience, too.

FREE APPS AND SERVICES FOR SMALL BUSINESS MARKETING

The list of appropriate apps is almost endless and depends on what you’d like to automate. If you’re after automatic social media integration, look to HootSuite. To edit your images on the fly, try Photo Editor by Aviary. To bring a huge influx of new customers to classes, events, or experiences, try XrossWorld.

SOCIAL MEDIA

This really deserves its own post, but Instagram and Pinterest are particularly good ways for small businesses to reach their target audience. Make sure to be consistent, post regularly, and interact with your followers. Social media is a conversation, not a broadcast.

PARTNER WITH COMPLEMENTARY BUSINESSES

Are you a personal trainer? Then connect with a local masseuse and offer to refer clients to each other. Use incentives and discounts to further encourage cross-promotion between your businesses.

BLOGGING

You should already have a regularly-updated blog on your own website. But you can also offer to write a guest post for an existing blog to improve your small business marketing and access a whole new audience.

REFERRALS (free-ish)

Set up a regular marketing email with a service such as MailChimp (free options, some paid subscriptions) to ask your loyal customers to refer their friends to you. Offer an incentive, like $5 off for both the existing and new customer, and watch your customer base soar.

Whether you’re looking for additional ways to boost your existing marketing strategies, or a way to cut costs and improve your bottom line, these (almost) free ideas are a great way to boost your customer base, increase your marketing exposure, and boost your income.

For more revolutionary tips to boost your small business profits, check out our article on the best small business technology tips.

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