This article offers advice to freelancers and small businesses on inexpensive advertising.

As fundamental as it sounds – when it comes to low budget marketing, the more you do yourself, the better. If you are a new and upcoming business/freelancer with limited funds to spare, you will have to forget the flashy banners and the catchy TV and radio advertisements. But do not worry, there is an ocean of opportunities out there that you can explore in order to draw attention to your new enterprise. So where to start?

You Will Need a Website, Business Cards, and a Reliable Internet Connection

A professionally designed website can cost a small fortune and often starting out freelancers and small businesses rely on social networking instead. As much as this can prove helpful, having a website will not only demonstrate to your potential clients that you are serious about your work, but it will also advertise what you do. The good news is: you can bring the cost to a minimum by designing the website yourself.

You can also create your own business cards and print them at the local printers or if it seems like a lot of work, you can subcontract this task to a competitively priced freelancer.

Leaving Your Footprints All Over the Web

When money is no object you would simply pay various organizations to be listed on their pages, but when it comes to cost-effectiveness, the longer way is the answer. Adding your company name and details to as many free directories as possible will increase your visibility and will help generate traffic to your website. And when your business starts earning money, you can always upgrade your listing.

Facebook is the place to be

By all means, feel free to loathe it, if you do but don’t underestimate its power! Facebook’s community exceeds four hundred million users…Now that is a great audience. Depending on the nature of your business, you might want to create a business page, a group or simply a private account. Write as much as possible about your company, but make sure the description is professional and interesting. And don’t stop there. Join other sites such as Twitter and social networking sites for professionals like LinkedIn or pro spotlight.

Take a deep breath and start cold calling

Build your own databases of contacts or better – if you can spare the pennies – purchase some. Send emails to your potential clients and follow them up with phone calls. Make sure you have a pitch prepared beforehand and remember that you may have to make hundreds of calls to generate business, so don’t lose faith and keep calling, it’s a numbers game. And to reduce your phone bill, try using Skype.

Link exchange, word of mouth and shop windows

Tell the world what you are up to. The word of mouth remains a very effective marketing tool. Talk to your neighbors, work colleagues and friends. Ask for referrals.

Exchanging links is always a good idea, as it doesn’t cost you money and your business is present on other advertising platforms. However, my advice is to have a page on your site entitled Links, so that your main pages remain tidy and simple for website visitors.

Produce a batch of small flyers and put them in the local shop windows, post offices and service providers, i.e., hairdressers. They may charge you a small fee for the pleasure – usually around one to two pounds per week, so it shouldn’t break the bank.

The sky is the limit when it comes to advertising and the more creative you are the better results you stand to achieve. Keep your eyes open and allow your ingenuity to make yours a success story. Good luck!