Best place to spend marketing/advertising dollars? : LUSENET : What keeps you up at night? : One Thread

I'm a freelancer who is taking the next step and starting a small business. I hate advertisements, but realize that at this point there's really no other way to promote my business quickly. Problem is, I have no idea where to spend those advertising dollars. My company does web design and development for small businesses, and almost all of our business comes via referrals or word of mouth, which is great, but slow, and we need new business to generate revenue. I need advice on where to put those precious few advertising bucks......

-- Trish Boyles (, December 18, 2000


Hi Trish,

Are you sure that ADVERTISING is really what you need to be doing right now? Advertising is often more expensive than it is worth, and in a small business Return on Investment means a roof over your head and food on the table!

Check out _Guerrilla Marketing_ (OK, it may be old - I read it when I was 17 - but the ideas still hold). There are also a number of other good books like Marketing Without Advertising. Take a bit of time to browse through books on, read the reviews and comments, and find yourself some good starting books for how to promote your business.

Here are some other ideas you can start on before you peel those books open: Set up a profile or membership on sites like,, or A lot of the professionals on each of those sites are small businesses rather than one man shows, so don't let the idea of the lonely consultant scare you off of those sites. Answer lots of questions for free (and ask people to rate you on the sites when you do) if you can, because that will help build your reputation and draw paying customers to your door. In the past I've had good contracts come out of simple questions I answered for free in 15 minutes.

The other thing to do is to make up some nice fliers and hit the pavement. Cold calls, especially in person, can be really hard and frustrating. When my older brother started his consulting business a few years back, he hired a sales person to do the pavement pounding for him. Since you can pay a sales person on commision, you can work out a good deal this way. Of course, if you can stomach doing it yourself, there is a certain benefit to the feeling your customers get when they know that they are dealing directly with the boss.

Sorry for being long-winded, and I hope something here helps you out!

- elizabeth

-- Elizabeth Rennison (, December 19, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ