The internet is a fantastic place to promote your skills and accomplishments. You can pay a large sum of money by coming up with banner ad or pay per click plans to “get the word out” or you can go the budget way and market yourself smartly without spending nary a dime. I’ll leave the money plans for another article, instead let’s take a look at smart ways for you to promote you or your product online for little or no money!
Who said you have to have a marketing budget to promote yourself? Well, many companies do, but they are in the business to sell you something [namely, their marketing plan]. If you have the money to spend on marketing then go for it. If not, then you must examine cost effective ways to get your name out there. Here are some of my personal favorites:
Write Articles – Yes, just as I am writing this article in hope that you are reading it, you can do the same and submit your missives to leading article directories. A well written article of medium length [500-750 words] can go a long way in attracting interest by others. If you are new to the game, write the article and give it to a friend for their review and critique. Once you make your changes, find article directories you can join and start submitting. Make sure your resource box – the information at the end of the article – effectively pitches your product or you personally. Enjoy the resultant [and free!] links back to your site. Submit on a regular basis and you will reap the added traffic to your site resulting in more business for you.
Join Forums — I run several message board communities and with my two largest ones — the Corporate Flight Attendant Community and the Aviation Employment Board — I permit members to add a link within their signature to their personal or business website. Many of my threads are indexed by Google and picked up by people all over the world. Thus, the right person at the right time can click on a thread and see valuable links to other sites of interest. Not every forum manager permits this practice, however. I guess I am just a nick guy! [wink]
Post on Craig’s List — Craig Newmark started his “list” more than a decade ago to serve the San Francisco community. Years later his site is still going strong with well over one hundred cities across the globe featured. People from Atlanta to Auckland and from Zurich to Zimbabwe now have access to a site that allows them to pitch their products, display their resumes, or sell their very souls. The site is still free unless you are posting a job opportunity or real estate information under a few, select cities.
Your Website — You do have a website, right? Oddly in this day and age I am meeting people who do not. I hear all kinds of excuses: it is too expensive, too time consuming, too difficult, etc. Heck, if you are going to “play” the internet you must be properly equipped to participate. Quit making excuses…find a way to get online and do it today! At the very least your DSL account probably provides a page or two where you can design your personal page and upload it to the internet. Oh, you are still using dial up? Yikes!
As with any marketing campaign you must stay on top of it at all times. What I mean is this: however you choose to proceed, you must continually monitor and adjust your plan to maximize its effectiveness. No going on auto-pilot here: you must take charge of what you are doing to reap the rewards. If you do, you can gain a lot of exposure – and work – without expending a huge amount of money.