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10 Free ways to attract new customers in a slow economy

In our current economy, the most common question I am asked by small business owners is what are some free or inexpensive ways to attract new customers and clients, and build a small business in a down economy. In response I have compiled a list of 10 of my favorite free ways to market your business. 

  1. Facebook Fan Page - Add a business fan page from your personal Facebook account. Here you can add photos, post updates and recent happenings, link to your website and twitter accounts, post surveys, and have interactive discussions with customers and clients.
  2. Twitter -Set up a twitter account for your business and use "tweets" constructively to advertise specials and sales, post links to articles or blog posts, offer "Twitter only discounts", post short tips, recommend products, or to announce upcoming events, classes, or seminars.
  3. Squidoo.com - Begin a "lens" (page) on a topic relevant to your business. Include links back to your products or services.
  4. Hubpages.com - Post articles related to your business and develop a fan base and establish yourself as an expert.
  5. HelpAReporter.com - Sign up and comment on media queries you are qualified to answer. This is another great way to begin to build your expert status.
  6. Yelp.com - List your business here. This website allows you to share information about your business, and allows customers and clients to openly discuss their experiences, and write reviews of your business, products, and services.
  7. Youtube.com - Youtube is a great venue for business video marketing efforts. You could advertise products or services, show a section of a workshop or seminar, of show tips or tricks related to your industry. Simply upload your video and link it back to your website.
  8. Discussion Boards & Forums - Find discussion boards and forums related to your industry and become an active participant. Look for active boards with quality content, recent posts, and a good number of members. Respond to questions and share your expertise. Be careful not to use them to spam your business URL as many forums prohibit this.
  9. Network with other related businesses - By networking with other businesses that offer related services you could establish a sound referral network for your current clients and customers who are interested in services that you don't provide. Offer a commission for each referral.
  10. Community Involvement - Get involved with your local community by volunteering, donating products or services, or sponsoring charitable events. People love to support businesses that support the local community.

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