7 Free Ways to Advertise Your Business

1. Directories that are free: These directories are great for customers who are looking for information on a specific topic. They are easy to use and can be used for a long time. This saves you a lot of time as you don’t need to submit your information each week or every month. Unfortunately, most of your traffic won’t come from this site. It is still worth the effort to get your link out there. Take one day to do it and then set it aside for free directories. It won’t be necessary to do it again until at least six months.

2. Classified ads: These are great for home-based businesses. It’s amazing, just think about it. Think about it. The classifieds are the answer. You have to submit classified ads quite often. Once you have a list of the best classifieds, you can focus on those and eliminate the rest. It is more time-consuming at the beginning but it doesn’t have the same difficulty later.

3. Article submissions/ezines are free: Writing an article about your product is the best way to tell others about it. You can include information about you and the places where readers can find your product or service in your authors resource box. If you have one, this is a great way to get links to your website. Many webmasters are searching for quality articles to post on their sites. You can also post theirs on another site. All this for nothing.

4. URL Submissions: This is the easiest and fastest way to promote your site. Simply type “Free URL Submission” into your search engine. Once you have a list, enter the URL that you wish to promote and hit submit. That’s all. You’re done in a matter of seconds. You can set aside a day once every three months to do this.

5. Forum Posts: When you sign up for a forum, make sure to include your website or product URL in your signature. This information will be visible every time you post. It is best to search for topics you are knowledgeable about and can answer. Spamming will result in you being kicked from the forum and a poor reputation. Ask and answer questions related to your business. Forums are great as once you post, it stays there forever. Although it will eventually be moved to the archives, someone could still find it by searching the archives. There are many who do.

6. Traffic Exchanges: This is the most difficult way to advertise for free but also the most efficient. Many posters on forums I’ve visited stated that traffic exchanges made a large portion of their profits. You can also buy credits if you don’t wish to spend time surfing for credits. A program that allows you to surf multiple sites at once would be a good idea. You can download many more. This way, you can surf for as little as an hour per day.

7. News-groups: Get involved in news-groups that are related to your business. Although you can mail the group one per day, I encourage you to have something new to discuss each day. If you send the same message over and over, people will be annoyed. Spam is not allowed. Join groups that share your interests. Don’t sign up to a group that swaps recipes if you are selling shaving cream.

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“Many small things have been made big by the right type of advertising.”

Advertising is life made larger than life through images and words that promise a solution to a problem. Mark Twain’s keen observations about advertising are followed by Viagra. The worst advertising overexaggerates to grab your attention. The best gets your attention without exaggerating. It states a fact or addresses an emotional need and then allows you to make the leap from small to large. Examples of the worst advertising are before-and-after photos of weight loss products and cosmetic surgeries. Both can be almost comical. The best: Apple’s “silhouette” campaign for iPod, and breakthrough ads featuring Eminem — both catapult iPod into “instant cool”.

“When in doubt tell the truth.”

Advertising today is filled with gimmicks. They keep a product stuck to their chest like a ball and a chain. This prevents it from moving quickly enough to catch up to the competition. It also stops any communication about benefits or an impetus to purchase. If the gimmick is funny or stupid enough, they will at least notice it. Local car dealers ads are the worst. They use clowns, clowns and zoo animals. These gimmicks would be great ads if the creators of them spent half their time focusing on the real benefits of the product and motivators for buyers. They don’t realize that they have plenty of resources to use without resorting to gimmicks. The product and all its benefits, as well as the brand they have spent money on, competition and its strengths, and two powerful motivators for buying–fear and promise of gains. To put it another way, you only need to tell the truth about your product as well as be open about your customers‘ needs and wants. Sometimes, it’s difficult. It takes some research to discover what your customers want and what their competition is offering them. Then, you can decide why your product is better.

“Facts can be stubborn, but statistics are more flexible.”

Advertising requires you to be careful with the way you use facts. Facts are scary, as any politician will tell ya. They are rigid, unbending, and not able to be manipulated. They are indisputable. They are very powerful when used correctly. Statisticians are now a favorite of politicians and advertisers. Preparation J is recommended by nine out of ten doctors. Who could disagree with that? Or, “Five out six dentists recommend Sunshine Gum.” It makes me want to rush out and get a Sunshine Gum pack right now. It’s not too late. Rewind.

“When you realize you are on the side with the majority, it’s time to reform.”

Let’s look at the possible origins of these statistics–the apparent majority. How many doctors did they consult before Preparation J was accepted by nine out of ten? 1000? 1,000? 10,000? How many dentists hated the idea that patients would chew gum, but they eventually relented and said, “Most chewing chewing gum contains sugar and other ingredients that rot your teeth. But if the guy’s got to chew the darn stuff, it may as much as be Sunshine, which has less sugar in its.” Stats can be altered to almost any interpretation. The devil is in the details. There’s a 5% chance that you will get any result by chance. Many statistical studies are not double blind and biased. Subject and doctor do not know who was given the test drug and who got placebo. Worst, statistics often need endless support from legal disclaimers. You can read the entire page of legal disclaimers for any weight loss pills you have been using if you don’t believe my words. Keep it simple. Next, back them up by sound selling arguments that address your customer’s needs.

The difference between the right and nearly right words is what makes the difference between a lightning bug and a lightning bolt.

Writing effective ad copy requires that you choose the right words at the right moment. Your customer should be able to see every benefit of your product. You need to make sure that every benefit is highlighted. This means that you shouldn’t give your customer any excuse or chance to abandon your argument. You’re gone if they go off-topic. They are off to the next page or another television channel, or a new website. Make sure that every word means exactly what it is meant to say. Example: If a product’s new, don’t be afraid of using the word “new”. A product is only ever new once in its lifetime, so take advantage of that fact.

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“Great people inspire us to believe we can be great.”

Great ads are just as effective. Although they don’t convince us that we will become millionaires or be as well-known as Madonna or Tom Cruise, they do make us believe we may be as beautiful, rich, famous, wealthy or admired as our dreams. There’s a “Little Engine That Could” within each of us that tells us, given the right circumstances, that we can beat the odds to win the lottery or sell the book we’ve been writing. Without being too slick, great advertising taps into this belief. A successful ad for the lottery featured people on exotic beaches with little umbrellas in their cocktails. This was a very realistic image for most people.

“The universal brotherhood between men is our most precious possession.”

Homo sapiens is a family of animals that includes us all. Each of us wants to be loved, respected, and admired. We all want to feel safe in our work and lives. Make ads that touch the heart. Your headline, copy, and visuals should have an emotional appeal. If used properly, humor can also be a powerful tool to connect you with your customer. No matter what product you are selling, people will respond emotionally to your products. After they make the purchase decision, the justification process kicks into action to confirm it. Simply put, once they are convinced that you are a mansche who has real feelings for their needs and hopes, they will become customers.

“A person has a natural desire for more of a good quality than they need.”

It’s true. You can have more money, better clothes, a bigger house, and a fancier car. Advertising feeds off of it. You need it. You need it all the time. How can you tap into this insatiable desire for more? You can convince buyers that more is better. Colgate has 20% more toothpaste in its giant economy size. With the large Charmin roll, you get 60 sheets more. GE light bulbs are 15% more bright. Raisin Brain now contains 25% more raisins. Detroit realized it couldn’t sell enough cars per household in a saturated U.S. market so they began selling more cars per car. The SUVs and trucks became larger and more powerful. They still sell huge 3-ton SUVs with 15 mpg.

“Clothes make the man.” The society is largely influenced by naked people.

Who seduces the girl? Who attracts the most attractive guy? Who gets the biggest promotion? Neiman Marcus is the one who knows. Abercrombie & Fitch also knows. Saks Fifth Avenue. You wouldn’t spend $900 on a power suit anywhere else. For $600, you can get a pair of shoes. From Aristotle to the 20th century, observers have maintained that character is immanent in appearance. They assert that clothes reflect a rich palette interior qualities and a mark of social identity. This is where advertising that works well pays off. You need to have the right model, not necessarily the most beautiful, and creative photographers and directors who can tell a story and create a mood. The Levis spot in black-and-white features a young man driving along the streets and alleyways of the Czech Republic. As he stops to meet friends, he takes off in a shirt and gets out of his car. The voiceover jokeily exclaims, “Reason007: You can trade them for cars in Prague.”

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