40 Budget Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business

These Low to No Cost Marketing Ideas Can Have Big Results

Businessman using megaphone
Budget marketing. Paul Bradbury / Getty Images

Low budget marketing ideas are a steady request in my inbox. So I've put together this list to help you get the word out about your small business.

Click on any of the links below to be taken to a page with more information about that particular inexpensive marketing idea. If you do even half of the ideas presented here there's no way that your small business won't be making more sales and bringing in more profits.

 (Be warned before you start though: marketing your small business without targeting your market is just a waste of time!)

1) Learn how to ask for referrals  - and do it.

2) Learn how to tell prospective clients what you do.

3) Then learn the most likely places to find clients - and go to those places.

4) Give free workshops or classes related to your products/services.

5) Create a snazzy logo and tagline for your business and use them on all your documents (including email).

6) Create a brochure.

7) Get free publicity for your business by involving the media (including social media!) in your grand openings, moves, or charity events.

8) Create a website for your small business if you don't have one.

9) Create a blog for your business.

10) Visit and comment on other blogs regularly. (Be smart; pick the ones your customers are likely to be visiting too.)

11) Develop a social media plan and implement it.

Developing a presence on social media can be great low budget marketing.

12) Create a Facebook page for your business.

13) Tweet about your business on Twitter.

14) Use Pinterest to promote your business.

15) Use LinkedIn to connect with potential clients/customers.

16) Spend some money on social media advertising.

All the major platforms offer forms of inexpensive advertising, often with incredible targeting options. Learn about Facebook ads. Learn about Twitter ads.

17) Create a video about your product or service and post it on YouTube - or even get your own YouTube channel up and running.

18) Become a radio guest.

19) Develop business partnerships and do cross-promotion with other businesses.

20) Participate in a joint venture.

21) Send out promotions with your invoices.

22) Learn how to write a killer sales letter. Direct mail or email, this will work for both.

23) Create an email newsletter.

24) Sponsor (or at least be a big part of) a community charitable event.

25) Network on the web.

26) Join a face-to-face networking group.

27) Join professional and/or business organizations.

28) Participate in local business mixers/trade fairs. (And by the way, this advice about creating effective trade show displays will make your table or booth the center of attention.)

29) Save money by learning how to properly prepare for a trade show before you attend any.

30) Apply for business awards. Many business organizations choose top businesses each year, for example, and top businesses in particular categories such as customer service.

There's nothing wrong with a nomination from a friend - or even nominating yourself.

31) Learn how to create a powerful sales presentation that persuades customers to buy.

32) Learn what the worst sales blunders are - and avoid them.

33) Write articles on topics related to your business and encourage people to post them for free.

34) Go cold calling.

35) Learn the most likely places to find clients - and go to those places.

36) Advertise your business on your vehicle.

37) Put a plastic business card holder on the side of your vehicle.

38) Blow your own horn.

39) Learn how to present a price increase to a client - and keep the client.

40) Remember that when you run a small business, you are your business. Review this PAK system and use it every day.

Even More Budget Marketing Ideas

Want even more? Read 10 Low-Cost Ways to Promote Your Business.

You may also want to have a look at 17 Advertising Ideas for Small Businesses which presents some marketing ideas that haven't been mentioned in the list above. Some of these tried and true marketing ideas may not be as expensive as you think and well worth your while. Sometimes the cliché is true - you have to spend money to make money.