Advertising budgets for home-based businesses tend to be extremely low, when they exist at all. When business is slow–whether due to a lagging economy or a slow season–allocating funds towards advertising can be even more challenging because those funds are needed elsewhere. Without advertising however, a home business cannot continue operating because they aren’t attracting new customers or clients. Thankfully several free advertising ideas work well for home-based businesses.
Public relations can be a wonderful way to get free exposure for your business. The most basic approach is to send out a brief email or press release to local newspapers and radio stations when you have newsworthy announcements to make. Entreprenuer magazine explains that local media outlets love to know when a new business opens, when new or unusual services are being offered, and when you’re planning an expansion or have landed a large project that might result in generating local jobs. Press releases and brief email announcements can also be used when you’re giving back to your community as well. Your home business can sponsor a local school event for example, or donate supplies to a nearby charity. Goodwill deeds are newsworthy, and if you notify the press before the event they may even send someone out to cover the event as it happens.
Establishing yourself as an expert on a given topic is an excellent way to generate free advertising for your home-based business. Write articles for newspapers, the local Chamber of Commerce and trade magazines that focus on a subject that matches your home business products or services. Entreprenuer recommends mentioning your business in the article, and making copies of it once it has been published. Then send the copies to your client and prospective client list.
In Home Business Magazine’s July 6, 2009 article titled “8 Tips for Getting and Giving Interviews to Promote Your Home Business, Marsha Friedman explains that getting radio interviews is an ideal advertising method for home-based businesses that offer consumer oriented products, or consumer focused services, such as legal and financial advice. She goes on to explain that getting started with radio interviews isn’t difficult, because small local radio stations and Internet radio stations are continuously looking for content relevant to their shows. Send radio producers a press release or personal message explaining how your knowledge and expertise ties into a specific show topic they produce. Alternatively, listen to the news and craft expert commentary in the form of a press release about a given current story. Be sure your press release provides contact information and makes it clear that you’re available for interviews and guest speaking appearances.