Marketing your small or home-based business should be a fun endeavor, but most importantly it needs to be cost-effective. When you use the Internet as your platform, the possibilities are endless. Increasing your customer base is all about getting the word out. Awareness is key and all you have to do is pick up the megaphone! Here are a few tips you can use:

Free media leads
Free services such as can help you get valuable media coverage. This is a great way to find the media and build relationships with them. Experts and small business owners who have signed on with PitchRate have had great results pitching journalists and getting their expertise out to the world. It offers an amazing opportunity to gain free publicity for you or your business. Sign up and you will receive free daily opportunities via email to speak with the media about topics and trends related to your business or expertise.

Article Portals
Free article portals allow you to post expert articles on the Web to promote your business. They offer a great opportunity for you to implement your SEO marketing plan by writing articles with specific keywords that will drive more traffic to your Web site.

Free press release distribution
Free press release distribution sites like allow you to post press releases on the Web related to your business and its happenings. They offer another great opportunity to implement your SEO marketing plan and build your business’s Internet presence. One of the hardest things about PR is getting the information out there and read by potential customers. Sites like these provide an effective platform to help increase your Web site traffic.

Social Networking
Free social networking sites, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, offer companies endless possibilities to publicize their products and services. Social networking connects you with potential customers, existing customers and partners to build your business. It allows you to get a feel for what is happening in your market and to provide excellent customer service. Create a fan page for your business on Facebook and offer special promotions just for your fans. Before you know it, the word will be spread throughout the network. Do the same with Twitter.

Video Portals
Post videos to free portals like YouTube and Metacafe to increase your Web site traffic. Many of these portals will allow you to link to your site as well as offer a cool platform to market your business. Have fun and be creative with it. You never know; it may go viral.

What’s most important about these free marketing opportunities is the ability to test the waters. You are investing your time, but it’s a great chance to take some risks, be creative and have fun with your marketing plan. When it’s time to invest your money — if you even have to — you’ll have realistic expectations and a good idea what your target market is interested in.

Author's Bio: 

L. Drew Gerber is CEO of and creator of, a free media tool that connects journalists and the highest rated experts. Gerber's business practices and staffing innovations have been revered by PR Week, Good Morning America and the Christian Science Monitor. His companies handle international PR campaigns and his staff develops online press kits for authors, speakers and companies with Online PressKit 24/7, a technology he developed ( Contact L. Drew Gerber at: or call him at 828-749-3182.