Announcing a Painless Way to Stretch Your Marketing Dollars

recycling imageWith all the cost-cutting and recession fears around, many companies (large and small) are worried about spending more money on marketing. This is actually the time when you should spend (or else you may end up out of business).

However, solutions to your budget worries may already be on your computer and in your files.

Take what you already have and recycle, reformat, or re-use it. It’s a good way to spread the word, save money, and save time (rather than starting from scratch).

  • Doing a free webinar? Record it and put it on your Web site. Or, include the link in your newsletter.
  • Share links to relevant articles or guest blog posts you’ve written.
  • Send (or post) links to interviews you’ve done.
  • Create podcasts from your speeches.
  • Turn a series of blog posts into free mini e-books

Even if you don’t have anything to recycle, there are lots things you can do for free. Check out these free online marketing tools and this list of ten free ways to market your business.

Freebie Friday is tomorrow.

Image: Chris Satchwell

27 Free Marketing Ideas You Can Use Right Away

free marketing tools

Free beer is  a great way to attract attention.  If you give away free samples, you’re showing  proof of your skills, establishing trust, and building authority.

You don’t have to be in the beer business (or a bar owner), to do this.

Here are 27 free marketing ideas you can use to get more leads, build your reputation, and spread the word about your services.

Offer Free Information

1. A free newsletter – use it, and a how-to guide, to build up your email list. Put sign-up forms throughout your web site.

2. How-to guides – take something your customers find difficult, and break it down into easy-to-follow steps (like setting up a blog).

3. Checklists – following a list always makes things easier. Create them for video production, printing a brochure, or producing a Web site. Share them with your clients.

4. Tutorials – video demos, printed instructions, or a series of free lessons.

5. Software demos.

6. Mini-reports – Combine several blog posts on a related topic, post the report, and allow it to spread virally.

7. Run a survey on a topic important to your industry, gather the results, and report the results to your customers, your newsletter readers, or your blog readers.

8. Free trial (or a free, limited version of a paid product).

9. Free special report with a snappy title (little known ways to cut design costs)

Social Marketing

10. Start a blog (if you don’t already have one).

11. Answer questions on industry forums like or LinkedIn’s Advertising and Creatives Groups.

12. Join with other bloggers in your niche and share comments and guest posts. Take turns commenting on each others’ blogs and spreading the word (with cross-links and tweets).

13. Subscribe to other blogs in a feed reader (that’s the big orange button on the upper right of this blog).

14. Create a series of podcasts (you can talk yourself, or interview someone else).

Online Marketing

15. Hold a webinar. Make it informative, not a sales pitch. Even better, have a series of them.

16.  Have a regular series of tips that help your clients and businesses like them.  Gather together information from industry experts, as well as your own input, and curate it each week.

17. Free gifts. Add extra free bonuses to your paid products (receive $247 in free bonuses with your purchase). This works offline too.

18. Write a press release and release it through PR Web.

19. Track your promotions, both online and offline (yes, it’s my direct marketing genie coming out of its bottle). You’ll know which of them worked.

Offline Marketing

20. Band together with other people. Exhibit designers can work with companies that create videos for conferences.

21. Show appreciation with a thank you. It’s a small human touch your clients will appreciate.

22. Keep in touch. Send notes on silly occasions (National Ice Cream Cone Day!).

23. Freemiums – nonprofits have been sending trinkets for years (light catchers, stickers, address labels). Add a small gift to your invoices. Or, throw in some “free soup” as an extra treat when you do a project.

24. Offer your services for free to a non-profit in a bind (the publicity can lead to paying contracts).

Viral Marketing

25. Make a funny video.

26. Enter that funny video in a viral video contest.

27. Run a contest. Offer a service for free to a few lucky winners. Spread your name (and build your list; make sure you get permission).

Ten Free Ways to Market Your Business

1. Comment on blogs and forums (be helpful, not promotional).

2. Send press releases. Make sure it’s really newsworthy, not a puff piece about your company.

3. Build a Google pages Web site.

4. Interview someone and upload the mp3 file to your Web site with Audacity.

5. Blog on Medium.  Share your expertise, and strut your stuff, but don’t spam people with “me! me! me!.”

6. Write articles and send them to trade publications in your field.

7. Start a blog at WordPress or

8. Add referral and sharing tools to your Web site, such as Add This or Share This.

9. Answer questions at, or  Marketing Professionals Know-How Exchange.

10. Sign up for HARO (help a reporter out). It’s a free service with queries from reporters who need sources for stories.