If you know where to look, there is a wealth of free marketing opportunities for your business available online. I have listed below some of my particular favourites which don't require any particular skill - just some time.

Don't let a small marketing budget prevent you from marketing your business.

Free PR
Whatever the size of your business, distributing a press release is always a good idea. There are several sites that offer a press release service free of charge. My favourites include:
Search Engine Services
Google and Yahoo both offer a service where you can register your business name, address and contact details. In a few weeks you will get a map listing for your company name or industry and town in the search results.Directories
Yell.com and Yellow Pages offer free basic listings while local listing are available for your area. In Rutland, for example, we have RutNet and Oakham People.
If this is still a little too daunting for you, then contact E.V.C. Marketing and we will be able to help you out.
 
 
I had a request this week from a client to produce a certificate of achievement for their clients who had successfully completed their computing training. It had to be in a format that could be mail merged with the client's name and printed on a standard office colour printer - on heavier stock.

This is a great idea. I have always believed in the carrot rather than the stick and in my experience an acknowledgement from a respected source that you have completed a task successfully is great encouragement. It is also a low cost way to show your staff or your customers that you appreciate what they have achieved.

I did a quick Google search for certificates but decided on my own design in the end - and the client is very happy. However, if this is not your strength here are a couple of sites which might help you. Or give me a call and E.V.C. Marketing can help you out.

www.123certificates.com
www.successcertificates.com
 
 
I have spent much of today working on a client's Powerpoint presentation for an important conference taking place in a few days time. I wanted to give them a really slick presentation as they are a technology company and it is expected of them.

In the past I have developed my own templates but during some down-time I looked at what was available to download and use. There are lots of options to choose from - but what caught my eye was Presenter Media. This is not a free service but at just $60 or so for an annual membership, it is really good value for money. I was impressed not only by the large number of animated and static Powerpoint presentations available to download but also by the quality of the clipart (again animated and static) that can be added to your presentation.

The slides, clipart and animations are fantastic and members can download as much as they like during their membership. You can choose Powerpoint presentations for Mac and Windows and downloading them takes a matter of seconds. New options are added on a regular basis. Here are just some of the images that I will be using in my presentation.
 
 
I have always been keen on movement and interaction on websites. And a speaking avatar is the perfect way to engage your website visitors, pass on a precise message about a special offer and even generate leads.

One of the best companies I have used in the past is Sitepal.com. This is a US based organisation which leads the speaking avatar market and I heartily recommend that you take a look at what they do. SitePal is an easy-to-use service that allows you to create a speaking avatar for your website and empower your online communication.

You can choose your own model to represent your business, change they way they look, add a voice to your character and then publish them on your website, email - even your eBay listing! 

Many well known companies including O2 and eBay have talking avatars on their websites. But you don't need to be a big business to get involved. Small businesses in the East Midlands will be pleased to know that Sitepal.com's prices are very cost effective.

 
 
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Looking for a creative outlet for your writing and a way to generate income? Have you thought about opening a free Squidoo account? This is a great way to talk about the very things you are passionate about and get paid through affiliate links. It won't pay off the mortgage but you will definitely be able to treat yourself to a large coffee!

Here are some of my own Squidoo pages on various topics that interest me both for work and pleasure:
  • http://www.squidoo.com/lawnmossremoval
  • http://www.squidoo.com/growingcutflowers
  • http://www.squidoo.com/avatarsforbusiness
  • http://www.squidoo.com/interactive_software_for_timeshare
  • http://www.squidoo.com/merlinsoftware
And here is a video to help you with your first "lens":

EVC Marketing is not affiliated with or endorsed by Squidoo LLC