Need some free internet marketing advice to kickstart your small business? Perhaps the Web is already working for you, but you know some free internet marketing services would boost your bottom line? Then this blog series is for you. In the next series of posts, we will share free internet marketing services you can use to improve your brand, attract more customers, and determine if you need professional help from an experience internet marketing company.
How to Get Free Internet Marketing Services and Advice for Your Small Business
In this blog series, we will explore affordable (free) ways to fulfill the following small business aspects of internet marketing services:
- Develop a Professional Image
- Become Search Engine Friendly
- Connect with Customers
Part 1 | Develop a Professional Image for Your Small Business
Whether you already have a website or you are only planning one, it is never too late to develop a professional image. This is often overlooked by small business strapped for time and creative energy…but you CAN use free internet marketing services for inspiration and advice for creating a “big business” image:
Professional email address
Using your personal email address for business is not only unprofessional, but also a source of chaos as your business grows. Use one of these ideas a free professional email:
- If you already have a website, look through the help pages of your web host provider for “email address” to find out how to create an email address with your domain. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Create individual email accounts for each employee (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, for example) and for each business function (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, for example). On top of an improved professional image, you will have a great tool to move work around to employees…when you have a new person in charge of responding to customer inquiries, add that email account to the employee’s email service.
- Check out the help pages for your existing email provider to discover how to add these accounts to your existing email account, for ease of access as well as for ensuring your emails are saved somewhere other than your hosting provider in case you change providers. If you don’t have an existing email provider, try Google, Yahoo, or other free email services.
- Don’t have a website set up yet, or just not sure how to use your web host? No problem. Search “gmail for business” to find the app that offers up to 10 free email accounts with your domain…additional users available for very reasonable costs especially since emails will be accessible from mobile devices.
Using your mobile phone for your business is convenient (sometimes), but for ultimate flexibility, try a free Google Voice number. It is easy to set up, select a phone number, and download an app for your mobile phone. Then you can forward all calls that are going to your Google Voice number to any or all of your phones and you can make calls from your Google Voice number from any phone. Your personal phone numbers remain private and you can forward the calls to employees when you are not available. Plus, you have the flexibility of changing phone service providers without having to change your directory listings or business cards. Google Voice offers some value-add features such as message transcripts sent to your email. The transcripts are not perfect, but you can usually get the idea of the call.
No matter where you use your logo, ensure you keep the same colors and “feel”. If you can afford it, a small investment in a professional logo with .jpg files of various resolutions will go a long way to helping you do it yourself for many branding activities such as business cards, stationery, Facebook cover, Twitter background, PayPal payment page, etc. There are a myriad of free online tools to help you build each of these designs with varying size requirements using your logo and company color scheme. Just search for “free facebook cover” or “free business card design”. When your image such as a logo or picture is not the right size, try the free tool, fotoflexer.com, to re-size or crop.
I hope you find something useful to help your small business in these free internet marketing services that boost your professional image. Do you have some more tips on internet marketing tools for small business to look more professional? Then share them!
Watch for our next blog posts to address other small business aspects of internet marketing services that are all free! Working on your business with these free tools will not only give you the chance to reallocate budget to other business needs, but it will also help you better understand what you need so when you do need professional help. You can be a more knowledgeable partner with the internet marketing company you choose. Comment or contact us.