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)
10. Start a blog (if you don’t already have one).
11. Answer questions on industry forums like inbound.org 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).
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.
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).
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).
Thanks for the ideas Jodi.
I’m currently looking for some free giveaways for my newsletter subscribers and now I have tons of ideas.
Glad you liked it, RJ. I just saw another good one (#28!) on a forum: an accountant who sends clients a book of penny stamps when the postal rate goes up.