As I have learned from years of writing about small businesses and entrepreneurs, being successful more often than not has less to do with how good you (or your products and/or services) are and everything to do with how good you are at marketing your business (and your products and services).

True, being good at what you do is important to being successful, but if no one knows about you or your company or your products or services, it doesn’t matter. You will eventually fail.

The good news: Marketing your business has never been easier or cheaper.

And following are seven easy-to-do marketing strategies that are both highly effective and inexpensive.

* Use social social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter* and blogs. (To learn more about how to use social networking to successfully market you business, read this.)

* Comment on other people’s sites/blogs, providing helpful and/or expert advice about specific topics, including links to useful articles (and your own site, if appropriate).

* Become a source on Help a Reporter Out (HARO), a fantastic site and resource that links small (and larger) business owners (like you) to thousands of journalists/reporters (like me).

* Interact with your customers (both existing ones and potential ones) on both your website (or blog) and on sites they frequent, offering them incentives (such as discounts or free or low-cost shipping) to buy your products and/or services and make sure to promptly respond to all questions and queries.

* Don’t forget about “old-fashioned” networking, that is getting in front of (face time with) people who could be helpful to or interested in your business or products or services.

* Attend industry and Chamber of Commerce events. If you can’t afford or don’t want to get a booth, just attend as a visitor — and be sure to bring a stack of business cards, a big smile, free samples of your product (if possible), and a kick-ass 30-second elevator pitch.

* Enlist friends, family members, and former colleagues to be your goodwill ambassadors and spread the word about your business, products, and services. As an added incentive, offer them a discount or something inexpensive (to you) yet of value (to them) for bringing in new leads and customers.

Having an attractive, user-friendly website, which both customers and search engines can easily find, is also critical — and freshening up your website needn’t cost thousands of dollars. (Click here for information about inexpensive yet highly effective web design and site facelifts.)

For more great tips on how to market your business effectively yet inexpensively online and off, check out these four articles:

5 Easy Ways to Market Yourself Online

Social Network Marketing Meets Small Business

How to Market Yourself Online

10 Low-Cost Ways to Market Your Business

I also recommend the following websites, which are aimed specifically at entrepreneurs and small business owners and provide excellent advice, tools, and tips about marketing your business and many other important small business-related subjects:

Small Business Computing

E-Commerce Guide

Jason Baer’s Convince&Convert

The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur’s blog, which has a good section on marketing called Marketing Like Mad

Inc.

Have your own great small business marketing tip or resource? Leave me a comment.

*You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/JenniferLSchiff

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Comments

Jason Baer on 2 September, 2009 at 8:27 am #

Great article. Excellent resources on here. I’ll bookmark this and send to clients, too. I’m delighted to make the list.

Thanks!


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