How to Get Free Publicity for Your Small Business

For starters, take a crash course in writing press releases and putting together a media kit. Numerous online articles detail press release writing — presenting something newsworthy about your business in one or two pages. Include the who, what, where, why and when of the story and select news that is of interest to your target audience.

Piggyback your release onto a major news story related to your business. Also, think like a news reporter and avoid sales lingo and superlatives. Consider what will grab the attention of an editor or producer and encourage them to do a story on your business. Make a list of media contacts and send press releases on a regular basis.

Other means of generating free publicity include:

Viral Marketing (or word of mouth marketing): There are several ways to launch a viral marketing campaign, including an online newsletter, online discounts or even e-cards from your Web site.

Visibility: Free samples or free service demonstrations can also start a viral marketing campaign, especially with a unique or new product.

Awards: Create an award and present it to someone who is notable to your demographic group and has some connection with your industry.

Barter: Make deals with other small business owners to display one another’s products, advertise on one another’s Web sites, and so on.

High-Profile Individuals: Send, or give, your product to people with high visibility in hopes that they will wear it, carry it or eat it in view of other people and/or the media.

Groups: Start a discussion group, seminar series, book club, wine tasting club or other type of group that can meet to talk about your products or services.

Business Gatherings: Hand business cards and/or press kits out at trade shows, industry events and other gatherings.

Speaking Engagements: Offer to be a speaker at seminars, conferences and other functions. You can even teach a class.

Affiliate Partnership: This is a great way to expose your business(online) with zero liability. Partner with online businesses that have products similar or cross sell.