There are a lot of different ways to advertise a business, from print media, such as newsletters, newspaper ads, doorknob hangers, and brochures to television ads and, of course, the ubiquitous internet. You want any advertising you do to be focused, so as to provide maximum results for minimum input, either of money or time. Unfortunately, many of the methods which require little time require more money, and vice versa. Here are a few things you may wish to try:
Business cards: business cards are basically a must have, both for networking and for word of mouth referrals. Depending on your business, it is important that your business card reflect the personality of your business. A parenting coach may have a fun and cheerful business card. An accountant probably would not.
Print Media Ads: You may wish to choose a trade journal and place a small ad to advertise your business. If you are targeting small businesses, you may wish to put the ad in a small business guide or journal, for example.
Websites: Do you need a website? A website can seem a must have in this day and age, yet if you have a website, it can take time and money to keep it up and running with fresh content so that people return to it. For some professions, it may not be necessary. If your coaching or consulting is less traditional, than a website helps because you can put the web address on your business cards, which allows people more of an opportunity to see what you can offer. Be sure your website is clean and professional – while there are many free website providers out there, your visitors will get popups and potentially spyware coming at them. It is worth it to spend a bit of money to have your own website, free of popups and anything else that might annoy your potential clients. A website can help you put yourself in front of many people, as most of the population of North America has access to the Internet, yet remember that there is a lot of competition out there.
To keep yourself up on Google and other search engines, add new content regularly and make sure your content is original.
Brochures: Do you need brochures? Again, this depends on what type of coaching or consulting business you run. A life coach or a team building coach may want a brochure to keep their idea in front of potential clients. An auditing consultant may be self-explanatory and will probably need to find other ways to market.
Articles: If you can write, try writing relevant articles for a trade journal or business journal. Give good, reliable advice in this article, and at the bottom or the side, in the author bios, be sure to mention the name of your business.
Newsletters: You can try sending out newsletters, perhaps to people who sign up for one on your website. If it is an email newsletter, it will only cost you the time it takes to write the newsletter. Include some advice, comments on current events in the industry, and perhaps a small anecdote about you.