15 Ways to Market Your Business for Free

These completely free marketing strategies will help you promote your business and get more customers, whether you’re running a new or established entity.

Marketing your business can seem like a daunting task when you don’t have any budget. This is especially true when you’re trying to compete with corporations that have deep pockets.

The good news is that if you’re willing to invest a little time and effort, you can promote your products and services without investing any money. By understanding your target audience and figuring out where you can meet them online, you can create a variety of marketing content that will attract plenty of attention.

We’re diving into 15 free ways to market your business that actually work. These proven strategies will help you to successfully grow your customer base without spending a cent.


15 Ways to Market Your Business for Free 

There are plenty of free ways to attract customers to your business. Whether you’re just a beginner or an expert-level marketer, these 15 solutions will help you define a marketing campaign to promote your business without investing a penny.

1. Create a Google Business Profile

Skill level: Intermediate

Creating a Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) is super simple. All you need is a Google Account associated with your brand.

Log into your Google Account, navigate to ‘Manage Your Account’ and click on ‘create a profile’. Then, provide some key information about your business (like its name, address, website, and phone number). 

Next, you can start optimizing your profile. Spend some time writing a business description and adding the details about the products or services that you offer. This will help to ensure that your company shows up on Google Maps and in localized search results when someone in your area conducts a search.

The biggest pro of setting up a Google Business Profile is how easy it is. You will probably attract a few new customers just by putting yourself out there. However, optimizing the profile does require a bit of know-how and it can take some time for your listing to gain traction.

2. Claim Online Listings

Skill level: Beginner

Tons of people look to online directories (like Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Trustpilot) when searching for a particular type of business. 

Many businesses already have user-generated listings on these platforms. Claiming your business and updating the information about it takes just a few minutes and increases your visibility in local searches. 

Focus on the sites that your target audience uses the most. Add your logo and some pictures, post your hours (if you have a physical store) and a link to your website, and respond to the reviews posted by customers. 

3. Leverage Social Media 

Skill level: Beginner to intermediate

Posting on social media is free and a great way to reach a wide audience. You can share information about your products, start conversations and participate in other people’s discussions, and be part of an engaged community. If you’re an ecommerce business, you can also use social media to sell your products.

You’ll need to determine which platforms make the most sense for your business and build a presence there. For example, TikTok is great for video content, Pinterest and Instagram work well for images, and LinkedIn is the place people go to search for professional services.

Social media works best with consistency. Creating regular posts that your audience wants to interact with (i.e. like, comment on, or share) and engaging with other people’s content can give you huge exposure and result in plenty of new customers. Just beware that you don’t get distracted and spend too much time scrolling through your feed.

4. Encourage User-Generated Content

Skill level: Beginner

When customers post content about your business, it’s called user-generated content. Having customers promote your goods or services to their networks is great for generating brand awareness

Some of your customers may do this of their own volition, but there’s also no harm in asking satisfied customers to share their experiences – as long as you provide an incentive. Setting up a reward system will make your customers feel like there’s something in it for them, which will encourage them to share their experiences.

You could offer a prize for those who post a photo of your product and tag your company profile. Perhaps you offer a special discount for customers who write a certain number of reviews on your site. Or maybe you can create in-person experiences that customers can gain access to by engaging with your brand online. 

5. Get Some Rave Reviews

Skill level: Beginner

Reviews are another great tool for building trust with potential customers. Buyers who are in the consideration and decision stage of their journey can often be persuaded to purchase (or not purchase) a product or service based on the testimonials they see online.

You can set up an automated email that asks clients to give their feedback at a set interval after their goods have been delivered or their project has been completed. Creating a stockpile of testimonials means you’ll always have something to post on social media or share on your website. 

You can also ask people to write their testimonials on your Google Business Profile, Facebook Page, or online directory profile. However, some feedback could be unfavorable, so it may be best to collect testimonials manually and then ask customers who provide the best ones to review your business on these platforms.

6. Take Advantage of Free Ads

Skill level: Intermediate

Online advertising allows you to reach potential customers all over the world with a single ad, plus you can create incredibly specific parameters to ensure you tap into your target audience. Then, when your campaign is done, you have loads of data to allow you to measure your success and strategize your next move.

Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other platforms all run promotions that allow you to create free ads when you’re just starting out with online advertising. This is definitely not a long-term marketing plan, but it can certainly help to test the waters and kick-start your campaigns.

Of course, this strategy works best if you have some pre-existing knowledge of how to run online ad campaigns. If you’re just starting out with online advertising, you’ll need to invest some time into learning the various systems and strategies.

7. Try Some SEO

Skill level: Intermediate to expert

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a strategy you can use to better your chances of your web pages appearing high up in search results. Having your site appear as one of the top results is an effective way to get people to your website.

Search engines are designed to provide the best, most relevant content in response to users’ searches. There are a variety of factors that affect this. Improving your position on the SERPs may be a matter of adding keywords or formatting your pages so that they can be crawled easily.

Although SEO can be tricky to master, there are free tools that you can use to figure out which keywords you should target. Creating content that features these keywords – and answers questions your target audience might have – will help you improve your rankings and attract more visitors to your website.

8. Connect with Social Influencers 

Skill level: Beginner

It can do wonders for your business to work with an influencer whose audience aligns with yours. Having a trusted figure from a particular community promote your product or service will create a sense of authenticity for your brand. 

Start out by finding an influencer whose brand aligns with yours. Look at the types of posts they create, the hashtags they use, and the description they include in their bio. If they have a website, you can have a look at what they share there, too.

Next, consider how many followers they have. The more followers, the more visibility your business gets. However, a bigger following will often mean that you have to pay for promotions. If you’re looking for free marketing, you’ll likely need to seek out smaller-scale influencers.

The final step is reaching out. Send the influencer a message or email outlining what you’d like to do and what you’re offering in return. If they agree, send one of your products or carry out your service so that they can share their experience with their audience.

9. Go Public (Relations)

Skill level: Intermediate

Journalists are constantly looking for stories to publish. As a small business owner, you can take advantage of this using a simple public relations (PR) strategy.

Write up press releases to promote new products or business achievements (e.g. certifications or awards). Then contact local news outlets or use platforms like HARO (Help A Reporter Out) to connect with journalists who are looking for stories.

There’s a limit to how much PR you can get without paying any money, but this is definitely an option worth exploring. Have a look at some examples of press releases to ensure you get the formatting right, include a catchy headline, and boast about the benefits your customers will get from engaging with your brand. 

10. Take Advantage of Free Email Marketing Tools

Skill level: Beginner

Email marketing remains one of the most effective tools to turn prospective clients into buyers. Newsletters allow you to send promotions and personalized content directly to your customers inboxes. 

To get started, you’ll need an email marketing platform. There are plenty of free email services (like Mailchimp or GetResponse) that make it easy to create campaigns and grow your audience. Once you’ve settled on the platform you’d like to use, it’s time to start collecting email addresses. There are a few ways you can do this:

  • Embed a signup form on your website
  • Ask customers to subscribe when they make a purchase
  • Encourage your social media audience to sign up  

Make the benefits of being a newsletter subscriber clear to the audience you’re trying to attract. If you’re offering discount codes, early access to sales, free trials, or other perks, be sure to include these in the communications you create.

Don’t forget to set up automations, either. These workflows will send specific emails on particular occasions or at set intervals to keep your audience engaged. For example, you can give your subscribers birthday discounts or nudge them to complete a purchase without having to lift a finger.

11. Set Up a Refer-a-Friend Program

Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the best ways to attract new customers. People are far more likely to trust your brand and view you as a credible product or service provider if they know someone who’s had a good experience with your business.

A customer loyalty program that offers existing customers incentives for promoting your goods or services to their friends, family, or wider network is an extremely effective tool for driving interest in your products or services.

There are a variety of ways you can structure your program. Offering discounts when a certain number of a client’s referrals result in a sale is one. Providing free gifts that clients can send to their friends is another. Whichever way you choose to set up your system, be sure to make the rewards worthwhile for your referrers.

12. Create Content

Skill level: Intermediate

As a small business owner, you likely have knowledge about your industry that you can share with your audience. You can create a blog on your website and link to it from your social media accounts to attract attention from your existing audience. 

Consistently posting high-quality content that answers the questions your target audience is searching for can boost your SEO and extend your reach. You can use tools like Mox, AnswerThePublic, and Ahrefs to research keywords and optimize your content.

13. Go For Guest Posts

Skill level: Expert

Once you’ve set up your blog and created a few posts that show you’re an authority in your field, you can reach out to other outlets and offer them your expertise.

Many websites look for subject matter experts who can help them craft informative, engaging content. Aligning yourself with one of these outlets will help you to reach a wider audience without too much effort. 

Be sure to do your research on the brands you want to work with, though. You’ll want to ensure that their content reaches your ideal target audience. Content that’s not aligned with your potential customers’ needs will be a drain on your time and see little return on investment.

14. Build Partnerships

Skill level: Intermediate to expert

Establishing a partnership with a business that complements yours is a great way to drum up more business. 

Let’s take a look at a practical example. Imagine that you’re the owner of Fab Feet, a sock company. You approach Soft Shoes, a shoe manufacturer, with a proposal to team up and broaden your companies’ reach through promotional activities.

Working together, you create a social media campaign where customers can win a pair of shoes along with five pairs of socks if they like your business’ pages and share your post. You also offer discount codes for each other’s stores when customers purchase above a certain threshold.

By collaborating with a business that operates in a related industry, you are able to share marketing knowledge and resources. Plus, it opens you up to a new customer base.

15. Reuse and Recycle

Skill level: Beginner

Much of the content that’s generated during the marketing process – like blogs, infographics, reviews, and press releases – can be reused and recycled on different platforms and at different stages.

Think about creating an infographic. Sure, you can simply post it to your social media channels, but you’ll have spent enough time researching it that you could likely write a short blog post to support it. Then you could share that blog post in your newsletter.

You could collect reviews and create image cards for social and add that information to a press release. Then you could write a blog post to share on your own website or offer it to another outlet as a guest post.

Whenever you’re creating content, think about the different ways that you could share it. Just be sure that you don’t do too much reusing or recycling, as your audience might grow bored of seeing the same thing over and over again. Plus, duplicate content appearing across multiple sites could adversely affect your SEO. 

Some Low-Cost Ways to Market Your Business

Free marketing is a great way to get started with promoting your business, but you can get significantly better results by investing a little money. There are plenty of low-cost ways to market your business, including:

  • Run a giveaway on social media, offering a product package or free use of your software or services.
  • Buy a stand at a few trade shows or other industry events that will give you the opportunity to network and reach new potential clients. 
  • Invest a small amount in online ad campaigns – a little can go a long way when it comes to advertising on social media and Google.
  • Print flyers and hand them out around your neighborhood to drum up business in your immediate vicinity.
  • Host a small event with a few valued customers, suppliers, and other partners – be sure to capture some moments and share them on social media.

The Best Way for Your Business to Accept Payments 

Once you have your free marketing strategy up and running, you’ll be attracting plenty of new customers. To encourage them to make a purchase, you’ll want to be sure you accept their preferred payment methods.

Pay.com lets you accept a wide variety of payment methods – from credit and debit cards to mobile wallets and other alternative payment methods. Wherever your customers live in the world, they’ll be able to pay you using their preferred method. 

We’ve kept your bottom line in mind, too. Our flat-rate, per-transaction pricing is designed to be transparent and simple to understand. You can easily track your transactions via the Pay Dashboard so that you don’t end up with any surprises at the end of the month. 

Click here to create your Pay.com account now!

The Bottom Line: You Can Market Your Business for Free 

You don’t need a big capital investment to set up a successful marketing strategy. From writing blog content and using email marketing to engaging with your target audience on social media, there are a variety of ways that you can build brand recognition and attract customers to your business for free

While money isn’t a must when it comes to promoting your goods and services, you’ll need to be willing to invest your time to kickstart your campaign. 

Fortunately, once you’ve got your marketing strategy up and running, selling your products and getting paid is simple. With Pay.com, you can let your customers pay with their favorite methods and easily track those payments via your Pay Dashboard. Click here to get started now!


What's the best way for my business to accept payments?

Pay.com allows you to accept payments in a variety of ways. If you have a website, you can set up a checkout page branded with your logo and business colors. Pay Links and Pay Checkout allow you to send payment links directly to your customers – no website needed. Sign up for a Pay.com account now!

Is it possible to start a business with no money?

It may not be the easiest task, but you can start a business with no money. The best way to be successful is to think about your existing skills and how you could put them to use and generate an income without having to invest in any additional training or materials.

Where can I place ads for free?

Google My Business, Facebook Marketplace, and classifieds websites like Craigslist are all options for free advertising. There’s also the option of promoting your business on Facebook Groups, which often stipulate days when small or local businesses can advertise their products or services.

What's the best free advertising for small businesses?

The best free advertising for small businesses is through social media. Using the free ad credits on the various platforms, and advertising your goods and services in Facebook Groups are both excellent options.

Meet the author
Emily Kirschenbaum
Emily is a content writer with a special interest in fintech and business. She loves sharing her knowledge to help small businesses take their first steps towards success.
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