1. Build and use your own opt-in list
of targeted and
interested prospects. Offer a free newsletter that
provides fresh, interesting, and relevant content.
You'll receive feedback from your readers about what's
important to them, and over time they'll come to know
and trust you. Your products, services, and even
recommendations will then be taken much more seriously
because you've developed credibility with your readers.
2. Contribute to newsgroups or
discussion boards. Establish
yourself as a helpful member of a community. Other
members of the community who come to know and respect
you will often refer you to others.
3. Niche directories or search
engines. Find all the
highly-targeted directories and SEs for your market,
and then work to get listed. You'll be surprised at
how many niche sites there are! Good places to start
looking are http://yahoo.com/ and http://www.dmoz.com/ .
4. Build your link popularity. For
example, you can trade
links with other businesses in your market so that you
can 'share' each other's traffic. Most of the major
search engines take link popularity into consideration
when ranking your site.
5. Endorsed mailings to other lists.
Find the editor of a
great newsletter, and offer your product or service to
him for free in return for a review or an endorsed ad
to his list. Endorsements from the editor can far
outperform regular 'ads', since they come from someone
they know and trust (the editor).
6. Testimonials. It's fine for you to
say that your product
or service is wonderful... but there's far more 'punch'
when someone else says it! Testimonials show prospects
that you have happy customers and helps them to make
the decision to buy.
7. Use autoresponders to follow-up
with your prospects. It
has been proven time and time again that autoresponders
can dramatically increase your profits! They're also
great time-savers, saving you from following up with
each prospect manually.
8. Ad swaps. You can get extra
exposure for 'free' (no
out-of-pocket expenses) by swapping ad space with
editor that caters to your audience. Plus it's a great
way to put 'remnant' ad space to good use.
9. Join a webring. Link to other sites
like yours and
build an online 'community.'
10. Offer coupons or gift certificates
to entice visitors
to make a purchase *now*.
11. Make good use of referral
marketing. Ask happy
customers to refer prospects to you. Many people are
so busy these days that they're willing to rely on a
trusted friend or contact's advice -- it saves them
the time necessary to do all the research themselves.
12. Write and distribute articles in
your area of
expertise. This is a great credibility-builder!
People who appreciate what you have to say are much
more likely to check out your business. Another 'bonus'
is that articles are often archived on websites for
visitors to refer to time and time again.
13. Become an 'expert'. If you like to
write and have the
time to do so, consider partnering with a high-traffic
site within your niche market and offer to write a
regular column or article. You establish credibility
and get exposure; your partner site and their readers
get great content.
14. Use a 'Recommend-It' or
'Refer-A-Friend' script. These
scripts let visitors send your URL to friends.
15. Make it easy for others to link to
your site. Consider
adding a 'Link to Us' section where you provide the
HTML that visitors can simply cut and paste to their
own web pages. Again, this helps to build your link
popularity (see point #4).
16. Hold contests. For example, every
month you could give
away one of your products to a lucky subscriber or
17. Use a signature. Also known as 'sig
files', a signature
is a brief blurb about your business along with your
URL and/or contact information. Put a signature on
every piece of email you send out, as well as on any
message board posts (if appropriate).
18. Give away a quality free eBook or
report. eBooks and
reports can be excellent viral marketing tools. You
can even offer them as a 'premium' to other businesses
within your niche, so that they can give it away to
their own customers or subscribers. This is an
effective way to build a network that will willingly
promote your business for you!