1. Always have business cards handy.

Don’t walk out the door without your business cards – you never know when you’ll bump into someone who could use your help… or who you’ll hit it off with!

2. Attend free events.

Check out any local opportunities to meet new people. Search for groups that discuss topics of interest to you, weekly networking events, book clubs, etc. Any chance to meet interesting people in your field (and even outside of it) and again, hand out your business cards is a good thing.

3. Volunteer.

No matter how little time you think you have, there’s always time to give. Believe it! Offering to share your knowledge, products or services with others that need or crave it is an opportunity to grow – as a person and a business. That’s called PR.

4. Become a public speaking warrior.

You have a room full of people that have to listen to what you’re saying.

5. Utilize your print collateral.

If you’re already handing out products to your customers, make good use of the space.

6. Website URLs etc.

Include your website and social URLs, QR codes or promo details on menus, coasters, stickers, pens, etc.

7. Transform your waiting area.

If you have a dedicated area for waiting clients or customers, make their wait more productive. Set up a laptop – opened up to your Facebook page, blog or Yelp profile – to encourage social engagement.

8. Brand yourself.

Wear your company on your sleeve… literally! Get your team custom shirts or windbreakers embroidered with your company name and logo, tastefully of course. You just employed walking billboards.

9. Offer a complimentary meeting.

Can you afford to spend 20 minutes for a phone or in-person meeting with a potential lead? If someone doesn’t feel obligated by their first phone call or visit, they’re more likely to call you and enlist your services in the future.

10 Claim your online listings.

This is a quick and easy way to solidify your online presence. Just by claiming your business on review sites and Google Places, for example, you’re letting people know where you’re located and that, yes, you’re actually a real business.

11. Optimize your website.

SEO is a very powerful element of your online marketing strategy. If you want to attract more quality leads to your website and build a strong, prosperous, interesting presence, this should be high on your priority list.

12. Start a blog.

And don’t just start one – stay committed for at least 12 months so to give yourself a chance to see results. This is a long-term activity that deserves attention and dedication. Invite readers to comment on your posts, and reach out to fellow bloggers to contribute to your blog in the form of guest posts. This will benefit them and also provide your blog with more substance and diversity.

13. Comment on others’ blogs.

Get your name out there even more by offering to guest post on others’ blogs. You can reach out by email, website forms or phone and just ask. Make sure you already have a couple topics in mind, and that you’ve done your homework, beforehand. You want to offer their blog substance and value, so choose a topic that would blend nicely with the rest of their content.

14. Join a forum.

Find a local forum community that relates to your brand or business. This is a great and free way to market yourself as a thought leader and expert in your field, as well as to connect with others who may be able to help your business grow.

15. Write and submit press releases.

What’s going on internally at your company that would benefit the public? Think: new products and services, volunteerism, charitable donations, local events, etc. You can transform internal news into external publicity by getting your press releases published and distributed online.

16. Develop a presence on social media networks.

Get your brand on Facebook, Pinterest and/or Twitter – and stay up-to-date on new trends and changes. This is a free marketing opportunity that you need to consider, because it’s a fantastic way to tap into the largest source of new customers.

17. Publish videos.

Do you have something to say? Surely you do – whether it’s about what’s happening at your company, in your industry, in the news or you’re answering commonly asked questions. This is another great way to present yourself (and your brand) as a valuable resource to the community. If you have a smartphone, you can shoot short, simple videos that cover a specific topic of interest.

18. Cold call.

Yes, we know, nobody likes cold calling (at least most people don’t look forward to it). Suck it up! No amount of marketing will replace sales, so if you’re serious about building your business, this is not a piece of marketing advice to take lightly.

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