If you’re looking for an inexpensive, or free, way to market your business, site or service, consider cross promotion.

Take a moment with a pen and paper and write down all of the businesses located around you (or virtually around you in the digital world), that market to or serve the same customers that you do.

Now, it is time to come up with a pitch.  Think about how you can help these businesses find more and better clients and how they an help you.

There are a few ways to cross promote.  You could simply hand out each other’s business cards.  If you do this, make sure that 1.  The prospect is a qualified candidate for the other business.  Let your partner business know that you passed out a referral.  Also, know what your parter’s business does, how much it costs and who their ideal candidate is.

You could ask your partner business to hand things out to you.  Again, determine if you want them to hand promotional materials out to everyone (such as a grocery store transaction) or if you want them to try to qualify the candidate first.

If you exist only the digital world you can simply trade links with another site.  Write guest blog posts for each other.  This gets a new customer going to your site, and you gain access to the other businesses’ network.  It is a great way to increase your scope and reach without spending a dime.  AND you have to write one less blog entry for your own blog!

Awesome

Some example of cross promotion I’ve done in the past:

Gym members getting 10% off at the local Natural food store.

Bicycle Club members getting a free protein shake at the local coffee shop.

Two organizers writing blog entries for each other on their specialty type of organizing.

Be creative and remember, if someone turns you down, move on and try someone else.  Like most forms of marketing it is strategic partnership paired with a little trial and error.

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