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Cheap and Easy Marketing Ideas That Work

Want to keep your business “top of mind?” Here are cheap, easy and effective marketing ideas that require minimal time, effort and little or no expense.


by Martha Spelman

We’ve all heard the adage, “It’s the small things that count.” And while every business should have a formal branding and marketing strategy, plan and budget in place – and be executing consistently – adding a few of these marketing “small things” can really pay off. Each idea requires very little time, money or effort to carry out.

You will find that incorporating some of these ideas to promote your business is “marketing that doesn’t seem like marketing.” But their use can, and will, keep your company “top of mind,” result in greater brand recognition and in turn, increased business.

Recognition of your brand is something that all businesses should aspire to have, as, without it, you won’t be able to receive any more clients who can help to make your business grow further. The marketing ideas that you are deciding to implement into your business don’t have to be expensive, as sometimes cheaper options can have a greater impact. It can even be something similar to distributing custom pins that are unique to your business at every opportunity you have, like at any tradeshows you decide to visit for example. Continuously changing your marketing strategies will allow you to promote your business at a cheaper price in the hopes that one day you have the chance to branch out further and spend more money on effective marketing methods.

Keep Your Business on the Radar With These Cheap, Easy and Effective Marketing Ideas:

  • Instead of an email, send a handwritten note – it’s a simple task that shows extra effort, good manners and means more
  • Recognize a birthday, promotion, new project or a connection’s personal achievement with more than a social media “Like.” Instead, make a phone call, send a special email or note; at the very least, write a pertinent, meaningful comment.
  • Remember to say “thank you” for each LinkedIn Endorsement, kind word or deed, enjoyable lunch or favor someone did for you
  • Forward a blog post, article, whitepaper, website or event link that you think your connection would appreciate (this shows you’re thinking of them)
  • Too busy to handle a client project? Refer it to a colleague (you’re helping both your client and your referral).
  • Make a mutual introduction to two colleagues you think would find value in knowing each other or working together
  • Invite a client to an event like a performance, industry conference or speaker presentation that you think he or she might find entertaining or valuable
  • Deliver a gift basket to your customer’s place of work – they will thank you (and so will their employees!)
  • Support your customer’s cause or charity of choice by donating money or volunteering your time
  • Give away copies of your ebook, proprietary software, helpful templates, a webinar series subscription or some of your “secret sauce” advice.
  • You could even use subscription management services by the likes of FastSpring or other providers to ensure subscription payments can be easily made for your services.

  • Send a magazine subscription or ship an actual book – each time your customer receives the magazine or reads your book, you earn brownie points!
  • Acknowledge any assistance that you have received that inspired, educated, motivated or helped you in your work, saying ” I couldn’t have done it without you”
  • Offer to recommend or review a colleague– Linkedin makes this easy. Be generous with testimonials. Write a letter with positive feedback or post your favorable experience on the recipient’s Facebook, Yelp! or Twitter account.
  • Offer a 1/2 hour free consultation (you can promote this on your website, in your email signature or via social media accounts)
  • Contribute comments on a blog post, social media update, article, book review or YouTube video – a couple of sentences of positive input is priceless to the creator
  • Never say never – even though you may not have won a particular sale or project, keep in periodic contact. Your genuine interest or concern could put you in the running next time.
  • Share your custom or curated content on your social media platforms — it takes moments (especially using a management platform like Hootsuite) and every update puts your smiling mug (and brand) in front of your connections

Spending just 15 to 30 minutes a day on these “small things” marketing ideas requires minimal time and effort, engenders goodwill and costs very little. All of which add up to a small price to pay for more business.

Need cost-effective ideas to market your business? Contact Martha. Martha Spelman is a Los Angeles-based branding, marketing and strategy expert. Using traditional and online marketing to start and grow businesses, she works with startups, entrepreneurs and small- to medium-size companies. Martha is the author of The Cure for Blogophobia: How to Easily Create, Publish & Promote Your Business Blog.


Martha Spelman is a Los Angeles-based branding and marketing expert and the co-founder of Packbands silicone storage and organization straps. Martha is the author of The Cure for Blogophobia: How to Easily Create, Publish & Promote Your Business Blog. Click to connect on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

To find out more about Packbands, visit the Packbands website. Martha can be reached directly at: 310.266.6992 or