We all know the economy’s not in the best shape. The adage “you have to spend money to make money” still remains intact, but what if there were more cost-effective solutions to get your name(s) on the map?

The entrepreneurial spirit is a powerful element in today’s world. Ok, I admit it. I’ve been watching a lot of ‘Shark Tank’. But, it still doesn’t change the fact that creativity and mental strength are still effective facets of a healthy business. Here are a few ideas to boost awareness, broken down by budget.

Low Budget

1. Get Creative. We’re always trying to find ways to avoid embarrassment because of pride. Let’s assume you have no budget for marketing costs, but know of an ideal place to promote your product. Will you put your pride aside for a moment to propel your company forward? Dave Mayer from Clean Bottle did, and it’s paying off in his new deal with Mark Cuban.

2. You have no money, but you’ve got time. Facebook and Twitter are free to use. You can do any of the things in the ‘High Budget’ category, with a bit of dedication and time. Here are a few resources to help capitalize on the effectiveness of a home-grown campaign:

a. 5 Tips For Writing More Effective Facebook Wall Posts

b. How To Engage Your Audience On Twitter

c. Beginner’s Guide to SEO

Limited Budget

1. Consider running small promotions. The cost of acquiring users in today’s world is typically high, but totally feasible through the right mediums. Don’t be afraid to spend a little bit of cash to get a larger consumer base than you originally had. Consider running a promotion that won’t break the bank, but yield a large following.

Note: Pick something that will pique the interest of everyone (e.g. a prepaid Visa card, USB Flash Drive).

High Budget

1. Hire a SEO firm to get your page rankings up. We work in an industry where everyone’s on point; no one is really new to Search Engine Optimization anymore. Different firms have different track records, and better track records usually accommodate higher prices.

2. Hire a Social team that’s dedicated to promoting you and your business. I was one of the many people using MySpace in the early 2000s, yet I never foresaw Facebook eclipsing MySpace. Nevertheless, my lack of psychic powers shouldn’t deter you from my next statement. Facebook and Twitter are large, in charge, and have already established themselves as everything ‘social media’. A Social team will maximize their efforts, and capitalize on the opportunity to get your name in the consumer’s thought bubble.

Remember: Most of these things go hand in hand. For example, when some companies run promotions, they typically choose Facebook as their channel of communication. They do this for one reason – saturation. They know that once a user likes or does anything on Facebook, it will spread to people within their network, and eventually keep spreading for more saturation.

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