Sunday, December 12, 2010

When Free Is Good ...

To run your business it costs money, where you choose to spend your money is what makes the difference in your bottom line. There are many services out there that are FREE to you, but when used correctly, make a BIG IMPACT in your business, but not in your pocketbook. By utilizing a combination of paid and unpaid services you will make a bold statement with your clients.

Here are some No Cost/Low Cost Resources for you to get off the ground running in your marketing efforts:

Many of consumers have heard of the email newsletter service, Constant Contact, I have discovered MailChimp in the past year or so and canceled my CC account after being a loyal customer for over 3 years. What is so cool about MailChimp is that they have ALL the same features (plus some) as CC, but is FREE! With all your monthly savings, you can now head over to your local design shop and receive a custom newsletter template to be streamlined with all your marketing efforts.

These are two very common blogging platforms out in the internet world. What is cool about these, is that just by blogging a mere one time a week, you can dramatically increase your google ranking. Make sure you are blogging with intent though and that your posts are related to your products or services. Each time you blog, your site will be indexed and your keywords will start climbing up, up and up. Many blogs have templates to choose from, but by hiring a graphic designer, your blog can look as though it is an extension of your website and online visitors won't even know you are using a third party site.

Google Analytics
This system is a must have for any online business. By keeping track of your web traffic, you will know what online visitors are interested in, you can create specialized online marketing campaigns and learn what does and doesn't work without paying the big bucks! You just need to spend some time learning how to read your site metrics and what they mean.

Social media can make a HUGE impact on your credibility. Along with posting helpful information that isn't always focused on sell, sell, selling to your followers. Social media is helpful in creating another touch point with your clients and keeping you in the forefront.

Businesses are all about saving time and money and using skype will help you do just that. You will have the option to have face to face business meeting with a client who is out of state, on the opposite coastline or overseas. With the video feature, you not only see the person face to face, but have the flexibility in showing products or demonstrating services.

DropBox/You Send It
Occassionally, I need to send a really big file to a client who doesn't possess the convenience of an FTP. These file transfer services present a quick and easy way to get the job done without jumping in the car and delivering a CD or popping it in the mail.

With any marketing effort, keep in mind that consistency is key. Not only in the use of your logo, but also with the use of your business colors, fonts and image choices. Staying consistent will only strengthen your brand recognition and help you stand out in the multitude of campaigns you are competing against.

Tasha Lee Design, Chicagoland Graphic Designer
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