In a tough economy like this it's critical for small business owners like us to have a "promotional plan." The only way your business will stand out from the competition is if you purposefully work at raising the profile of your company. The only way you will do that consistently is with a plan.
Here are some quick "affordable" tips:
1. First, make sure you have a marketing plan that indicates who your target market is, what you unique selling point is (the advantages of your firm over the competition) and the kinds of tactics you want to employ to raise your profile (those tactics might include some or all of the following points). Also include a timeline in your plan and measurements that you'll employ to determine if what you're doing is actually working!
2. Launch a media relations campaign since that's the best free exposure that you can get. Generate a list of media that your target market reads/follows; include in that list the names of the reporters/editors/producers who cover your particular issue at various media outlets - from newspapers, to radio and TV programs, to magazines.
3. Do some research and identify the top 5 business/web 2.0 networks where your clients are likely to be found...then JOIN and participate in discussion in those networks. Make sure you offer helpful, useful information and not just promotions about your service or product. If you hate it when you get bombarded with someone's promo for their business, trust me others (like me) will hate it too. So don't do it. Be giving, supportive and savvy with your business and your time.
There are many more tips that I can offer, but those are a few to start off a discussion on this topic for now.
Have a great day ladies!