30 Low-Cost or Free Marketing Ideas

30 Low-Cost or Free Marketing Ideas


Have you ever created a great offer and gotten so excited to sell it, but then have no idea how to market it?

I know I have! When you have a product sometimes it can be overwhelming to figure out how to get the word out about it. Where are your ideal clients? Why does everyone make it so easy to make sales and grow their businesses? This stuff is hard, right? I know sometimes it feels like crickets when you are first putting yourself out there and creating your business. Marketing is repeatedly where I see most of my clients struggle and what I am asked most about. And it’s also a topic that I love and I practice learning about myself ongoing. Because even though I’ve been marketing my business since 2012, the marketing world has changed a lot. And I have had to grow and adapt with it.

So I wanted to share with you 30 things I would do right now (and am doing) to grow your business right now. If you are just starting, this is your list. Grab the things you like, test them and see how they work. Not everything will work for everyone. But all 30 of these marketing ideas I have used in my own business and they have worked over the last 10+ years of growing my business.

Listen on:

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In this episode:

  • 30 Low-Cost or Free Marketing Ideas to get the word out about your business
  • How to utilize various marketing platforms to promote your business
  • How to market your business with networking events (virtual or in person)
  • How to market to your existing contacts

Resources and Links

CCG - CLASS Membership waitlist


  • Anna has been teaching and clarifying her systems and frameworks for over 10 years. She has a system that works in any economy and any market. Make sure you add your name to the CLASS Waitlist to be notified when you can join her coaching membership.


30 low-cost or free marketing ideas for career coaches and other businesses - Classy Career Girl Podcast.

Transcript – 30 Low-Cost or Free Marketing Ideas:

Welcome to the Classy Career Girl podcast. I’m your host Anna Runyan, founder and CEO of Classy Career Girl, one of Forbes most influential career sites. This is a podcast for community of women who want to turn their passions into work they love, you’ll learn how to become happy, successful and balanced with class, skill and style. We believe that you can create your future. So stop delaying your great life, though put yourself out there, you can have your great life and career right now.

Welcome to the Classy Career Girl podcast, I have a question for you. Have you ever created a great offer and gotten so excited to sell it but then you have no idea how to market it? I know I have. So this is for all of you entrepreneurs out there when you have a product, sometimes it can be overwhelming to figure out how to get the word out about your product, like who are your ideal clients? Where are they? How do I tell them about my offer? Why does everyone make it so easy, it looks so easy to make sales and grow their businesses. But this stuff is really hard to market.

I know sometimes it can feel like there’s crickets when you first put yourself out there as a business owner, creating your business. Marketing is repeatedly where I see most of my clients struggle. And what I am asked most about, and it’s also a topic that I love. And I practice learning about myself every single month. Because even though I’ve been marketing my business since 2012, the marketing world has changed a lot. And I’ve had to grow and change and adapt with it. I still am every single month. So I wanted to share with you today, the 30 things I would do right now. And I am doing all these things to grow your business right now. So if you’re just getting started, this is your list, grab the things you like, test them and see how they work. Not everything will work for everyone. But all 30 of these marketing ideas I’ve used in my own business and they have worked over the last 10 plus years of growing my business.

One thing I’ve learned over the last few years is you can’t get too reliant on one marketing platform or idea, you have to be consistent with a lot of these and ready to pull out a new one out of your back pocket if the one thing that you’ve used for years no longer works. So this training that you’re going to hear on the podcast today, this was a training call I did inside of my CLASS membership. It was part of our make 2k In two weeks challenge that I hosted inside the membership, I created a list of 30 free or low cost marketing ideas. So I wanted to share that with you on the podcast today. Now if you want to get the entire make 2k In two weeks challenge training series, there was a lot of training calls I did, coaching I did any want to yourself participate in this make 2k In two weeks challenge and get coaching from our certified career coaching team through this process, make sure you go to www dot classy career girl.com forward slash start where you can join us inside of CLASS.

And as always take action, everything I give you on this podcast is designed to support you in getting results now. You don’t have to wait. When you’re ready to take that next step. I hope you know I would love to support you in my membership or my certification program. But you can make so much progress for free with the content that I provide every single week on this podcast and on my blog. So get started with what you’re learning and take action today.

Okay, so let’s go through the marketing ideas. So I made a long list of marketing ideas for you all not to get you overwhelmed, right, because I said right here, pick your top five. So you can take all of my ideas. This is like my, when I was getting started, it was just post anywhere, everywhere. Tell the world, I would just sit down and I would copy paste, copy, paste, copy, paste. And I’m still doing that. I’m going to be doing that these next two weeks with you too. So figuring out where I’m going to share, these are some of the marketing ideas that I’m going to do that you guys can do as well. So really simple. The simple ones. Of course, we can do Instagram posts, we can do Instagram stories, we can do an Instagram Live, we can do a Facebook Live. We can post on our Facebook page, our Facebook profile, we can post on LinkedIn, we can post on Twitter, we can post in the CLASS Facebook group, we can post on Pinterest, we can post in LinkedIn groups too. Um, so if we can find where your hungry market is on LinkedIn, and find the groups that they’re in, we can post on those LinkedIn groups as well.

So the first 10 really are posting. So over the next two weeks, you can be posting about your offer places, right. So the first 10 that’s really like posting on your platforms, it’s really posting on what you have so far, whatever you have, you don’t need to go create new accounts. But for me, it will be like a Facebook group, Instagram and my LinkedIn is probably where where I will be posting about, actually, I don’t even know if I will actually, I don’t even know if I will post publicly about my offer. Actually, I might just post privately because my public launch of certification will be on all those places. So I might not even do that either. But what I will do then is more of the direct DMing messaging. And this is why it takes time. And this is where most people quit, because they want to just post on Instagram and grow their business or post on, you know, do one post on LinkedIn and feel like everyone should be buying their product. And so it’s kind of like a networking event, we have to treat like virtual selling and online business as a networking event, or we have to actually go find those people that potentially might be interested in our products and services.

And this is what I did in the beginning to is when I did events before kids in San Diego, I hosted my own events. And I used the LinkedIn to just private message people who were in San Diego who looked like they were professional women who would like to come to my event. And I basically filled those events through LinkedIn. So that’s why like number 11 here like private messaging, first, your LinkedIn connections, you probably have a lot of LinkedIn connections. already. If you’re like me, I’ve been on LinkedIn, I remember joining LinkedIn when I was getting my MBA in 2010. So I’ve been collecting LinkedIn connections for a long time. Some of those people I’ve never even met, I just like connected with them. So that’s an easy place for me to go start connecting with people, reaching out to people, telling people what I’m doing. I’m using the scripts that we have, private messaging Instagram followers, so some of you already have a good amount of Instagram followers. And by good amount I mean anything over 10-15 Instagram followers, if you have more than that, that’s great. You can private message them, they already follow you for a reason. So that’s a lot of people that you can send a message to to start DMing and interacting with.

Facebook? How many of you guys have a Facebook page? I think a lot of you do. How many people have friends on Facebook. So good old fashioned, we can start DMing people on Facebook. We can message people. I knew you guys were gonna roll your eyes at this one because I put high school, reaching back to people. I I know for me, someone actually I went to high school with I wasn’t I don’t think I even ever talked to her in high school. And she reached out to me just a couple months ago and was like, oh, it’s really like awesome what you’re doing, I’m interested. And we reconnected, I didn’t really even I didn’t really know her. But all that to say like people who you went to high school with, we’ve all changed so much that it doesn’t matter what who we used to be right? It’s almost like this is who we are now they’ve changed you change.
So reaching out to people you went high school with or college with, connecting with them. Those are really good weak ties, messaging everyone you used to work with. I know I have so many people I used to work with that I have lost touch with that I could reach out to, who knows, maybe they are interested in my offer. You just never know unless you reach out to them. Or maybe they know someone who would be interested in your offer to like I know, in the early days, when I was getting my MBA, I had a referral front like I went to business school with like a lot of men. There were very few women in my class. And so you’d think that okay, these men are not my target market because I help women, but they would refer their wives to me. And their wives wanted new careers and so they would refer their wives. So you just never know like who you’re making a good impression on who those referrals will come from as well.

You can also join Facebook groups with your target market and start to do conversations in there. You just have to be careful about promoting yourself in there. So one of the things that you can do is you can like ask questions, you can just start the conversations. And a lot of times you can have conversations and comments. And people will, like if they start to know, and this is how I met Christie Westerfeld, who is our lawyer is she was very active in the Classy Career Girl network, my free Facebook group. And she was alway answering people’s questions. And she just stood out as the resource where eventually I started tagging her. Because I started to get to know her because this was clearly her marketing strategy. She was just very active, supporting people and helping people in my free Facebook group. I started tagging her, she started standing out to me now the leader of that Facebook groups, that’s what you want to do, you want to get on the radar of the leaders in that Facebook group. And now I promote her like she’s, you know, she’s in like, she’s my, the lawyer that not only do we use for all of our legal needs, but we promote her through all of our programs as well, too.

And so getting becoming known and other people’s Facebook groups, making those connections with the leaders and the founders. And who knows, maybe they want you to do like a live or something into their group. Connecting with people who have podcasts with your ideal clients. You never know sometimes people need podcast guests very quickly, and they’re behind on their podcasting schedule, they would interview you tomorrow. So they’re not late on their podcasting schedule, asking friends and family for referrals. This is the one where it’s like, this isn’t my main source, we’re not really going to ask our friends and family for business. But it’s fine to ask to like, let your friends and family know what you’re doing. And ask them if they know anyone that want to be involved in this.

You can always learn Facebook or Instagram ads through this as well. If you want to set aside a small dollar amount to learn in Phase four of corporate rescue plan, we have the digital ad training that John did. So you can always use these two weeks to do like a two week trial of an ad and see how that works. And tag John, with all of your advertising questions on Facebook, you can send an email to everyone in your email contacts list. So I know not everyone has an email list. If you have an email list, by all means use it. But like John says, If you don’t have an email list, you probably have like, I know, in my Gmail, I have a bunch of contacts. And if I really did an analysis, I probably could go through all my emails, and make like a long list of people that I can email. Also writing a blog post, uploading a video to YouTube, reaching out to your local radio or TV station or press with a relevant topic idea. So I got on a lot of like, the news channels. They’re very strapped. It’s almost like when they meet someone, they need them fast. And so when I made a connection back in San Diego with a news channel, I was on the news, literally once a week for like a couple months there because they just they needed relevant topics. And once they found someone who knew the topics that they needed, like they were like, Okay, we’re doing, they all had to do with careers and like, it was like holiday attire for your work party. And then it was like, something about interview preparation.

So each week they wanted that on their news channel. But it all happened really fast. That’s why it’s like pitching yourself over the next two weeks, you just never really know where it could end up. And what that relationship could turn into, seeing what events are happening in the next two weeks locally and seeing if you can sponsor or speak at those events. So maybe somewhere locally, we’re starting to see more events now, which is amazing. So maybe there’s something locally, you can look in your paper, look at the you know events for your city, maybe there’s something that you could show up, you could start to either get in front of the group or start to network with people get there early start to meet as many people as you can at that event to start to tell them what what you’re up to. You can create your own virtual event or webinar in the next two weeks. So shout out to Angela, I think you are going to be doing this. You are going to do like a lower priced workshop and then upsell into your higher price point that’s going to help you make that 2k In the next two weeks.

So you definitely can do a virtual event or webinar in the next two weeks. That’s a good idea. Now that I’m saying this, I might do something like this where I invite like a small amount of people and make it like invite only lead to a small event. And so it’s kind of like a special opportunity for them to get an offer. So I kind of like that like kind of like an invite only small group, virtual event or webinar and then that would lead into your offer, I’m going to write that down because I might use that one for me, we were just talking I just had a call before this when we were talking about having like a coffee chat. I think Camille that I don’t know if Camille you’re here today, but doing like a coffee chat or something and leading into like a social or something you could do that virtually to, you get also do a webinar. And you could definitely put together a webinar over the next week. And, so you could do this first week could be like preparing for the webinar, you can give the webinar and inviting people to the webinar and then open the cart and sell it over the next week. But I would recommend getting people on your sales conversations. So anytime I do a webinar into selling something, I’m usually doing like a webinar into an application, into a sales conversation, especially if you have a deadline or if you have a higher price point too.

You could create your own in person meet up. In the next two weeks, you definitely could do something like that, or good old fashioned postcards, we could go put up flyers around town, you can tell everyone you meet in person over the next two weeks what you are doing, try to tell at least five people per day, what you are doing, this is just really going to get you in that practice. I know Meredith, you are unclear of the messaging and like how to talk about your offer. If you do this over and over again, like every single day, you’re gonna start to become more confident in that offer and sharing what you do and seeing what people react to as well. When you say what you do and the questions that they ask, if you have current clients, you can raise your current prices, and tell your current clients this is your last chance to get your current rates. So someone who is in our certified Career Coach program, she is maxed out one on ones, she she has Max, she has no more one on one spots, I think she’s filled all maybe her fifth, four or five spots. And so what she could do then is say okay, like this is the last chance to get my current one on one rate, my price is increasing on March 1, right. So by February 28, you gotta get in, you got to purchase my your three month package or your six month package, because once March 1 hits, then prices are increasing.

And then reaching out to prior customers as well. So this is what we just talked about this in the prior call as well to of your happy clients are your best testimonials and best referrals. So we have someone who used to be a CLASS member, and she started her own business and that was very successful. And her name is Natalie at her C suites. And she has sent people over to my certification program now like now she in her business, she now is working with people who want to become career coaches. And so she’s hearing this now. And she’s like, networking extraordinaire. And so she knows so many people every time she hears someone say I think I want to be a career coach, she’s like, You need to talk to Anna, right. And so she’s now sending people my way. And that’s all because I reached out to her and reconnected with her. Okay, so don’t forget about the people that you’ve helped in the past.

And then low hanging fruit I wanted to mention, like, sell your own stuff, like maybe around your house, you have things, you can do some decluttering, you can sell your own stuff. You can, if you have any clients who haven’t paid and were suppose to pay, you can follow up with them. You could also offer a VIP day or like something VIP to your current clients, you might even be able to make the full 2000 with just like a VIP offer. Or you know, one VIP day is what $1,000, $2,000, $3,000 for really giving them exactly what they want in that one day. So when I’ve done VIP days, you know, you can really personalize that whole day to exactly what they want. I can’t really do these anymore, because I have three kids and it’s really hard for me to take a whole full day. But when I used to do them, they’re really fun. Because, you know, you could do breakfast together, you know, then you kind of structure the day to kind of go through each of the things that your client needs to help them get the best results. And so they really, I mean, it’s better than a 90 day program, right because they get the full 90 days and like that one VIP day, maybe I should do like certification VIP like get certified in one day VIP. Let’s see, I’m giving myself ideas here too, right so there are people will pay for the VIP.

Recurring expenses. So definitely go look, you might be able to save some money. I know I have recurring payments for some educational stuff that my kids don’t use anymore that I need to go in and cancel. So that’s like where I’m saying like, there might be those savings that you can find and your current budget as well too. Don’t count those out, we’re going to be grateful for all whether it’s new income or dollars saved. And then I mentioned this too like you could also create a lower price offer with an upsell to get your 2k After the purchase. It’s not my ideal thing to do during the 2k challenge, just because then you’re kind of doing two offers in two weeks. And that’s a little bit more complicated. But I know some markets, you need to have like kind of like that lower dollar price point so that they can upsell into your your full price point.

And then we talked about this last week, some of you guys are selling memberships, so I wanted to put this here of selling an annual offer or a lifetime offer so we’ve done this as well, like if we’re looking, you know if we need to increase our revenue here at Classy Career Girl for some expense like when we rebranded the entire website in 2019. We came out with a really amazing annual offer that we offered and we’ve done even done lifetime in the past as well to when we really needed to like reinvest back into our business and I didn’t want to use a credit card to pay for something that we needed in our business. So it’s like that really quick like revenue generating thing is. Instead of paying monthly, you give them a really good offer so that they commit annually and they pay you that that larger dollar amount or if they pay you a certain amount now then they never have to pay in the future if you’re doing some sort of membership or something like that too.

If you want to find a job or business you love that supports the life you really want. You are invited to my membership CLASS, the love your work in life system. Inside of CLASS, you are going to get support and coaching so you can make money doing what you love. Whether you’re job searching or growing your own business. I’ll guide you through a success path full of step by step guides and tools to help you implement and make progress to take you from work you have to do to work you love to do it’s time to have a career business you love that supports the life you really want. Go to www dot classy career girl.com forward slash start to get started.

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