The opportunities for getting free advertising for your product or services are limited only by your own imagination and energies. There are so many proven ways of promoting your own objectives without cost that it literally boggles the mind just to think of listing them.
One way is to write an article relative to your particular expertise and submit it to all the publications and media dealing in the dissemination of related information. In other words, become your own publicity and sales promotions writer. Get the word out; establish yourself as an expert in your field, and "tag-along" everything you write with a quick note listing your address for a catalogue, dealership opportunity, or more information.
Another really good way is by becoming a guest on as many of the radio and television talk shows or interview type programs as possible. Actually, this is much easier to bring about than most people realize. Write a letter to the producer of these programs, and then follow up with an in-person visit or telephone call. Your initial contact should emphasize that your product or service would be of interest to the listeners or viewers of the program - perhaps even saving them time or money.
Other ways of getting free or very inexpensive exposure include the posting of advertising circulars on all the free bulletin boards in your area, especially the coin-operated laundries, grocery stores, and beauty and barber shops. Don't discount the idea of handing out circulars to all the shoppers in busy shopping centers and malls, especially on weekends. You can also enlist the aid of the middle school students in your area to hand out circulars door-to-door.
Some of the more routine methods include having a promotional ad relative to your product or service printed on the front or back of your envelopes at the time you have them printed with your return address.
Be sure to check all the publications that carry the kind of advertising you need. Many mail order publications just getting started offer unusually low rates to first-time advertisers; a free-of-charge insertion of your ad when you pay for an order to run three issues or more; or special seasonal ad space at greatly reduced rates. And there are a number of publications that will give you Per Inquiry (PI) space - an arrangement where all orders come in to the publication, they take a commission from each order, and then forward the orders on to you for fulfilment.
Many publications will give you a contract for "stand-by" space. In this arrangement you send them your ad, and they hold it until they have unsold space, and then at a price that's always one third or less than the regular price for the space you need, insert your ad. Along these lines, be sure to check in with the suburban and neighbourhood newspapers.
If you send out or publish any kind of catalogue or ad sheet, get in touch with all the other publishers and inquire about the possibilities of exchange advertising. They run your ad in their publication in exchange for your running an ad for them of comparable size in yours.
Finally, there's nothing in the world that beats the low cost and tremendous exposure you get when you advertise a free offer. Simply run an ad offering a free report of interest to most people - a simple one-page report with a "tag-line" inviting the readers to send money for more information, with a full page advertisement for your book or other product on the backside. Ask for a self-addressed stamped envelope, and depending on the appeal of your report and the circulation of the publication in which your ad appears, you could easily be inundated with responses!
The trick here, of course, is to convert all of these responses, or a large percentage of them, into sales. This is done via the "tag-line," which issues an invitation to the reader to send for more information, and the full page ad on the back of the report, and the other offers you include with the complete package you send back to them. As mentioned at the beginning of this report, it's just a matter of unleashing your imagination. Do that and you will have a powerful force working for you that will help you reach your goals!
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is an internet marketing advisor.