Every marketing guru will offer lots of strategies for you to get free PR for your company. The problem with earning free PR, is that you get what you pay for. If you don’t see the value of investing in your marketing budget, chances are, you’re cutting corners in other areas of growing your business, too. It’s time to stop treating your business like a hobby and get out there and build your company.

Create a PR Strategy
Yes, your budget is limited, and there are a lot of free PR opportunities to take advantage of. If you treat the PR as if you paid for it, you’ll invest in a smarter strategy for making it pay off. If you had to pay $5000.00 for that 3-minute spot, you wouldn’t be so cavalier about it. You would also write a press release. You would also blog about it. You would send out an announcement about it in your newsletter, Twitter, LinkedIn and maybe even host a party along with community leaders. Flyers would be posted and everyone in town would hear about it.

Create a Marketing Budget
If your company is the world’s best-kept secret, you’re doing it wrong. Even in the early stages of growing your company, create a line item in your budget for marketing. Yes, in the beginning, you can network face-to-face, but as your business grows, you need your brand to be in front of people even when you can’t physically be there. That’s where marketing comes in. People are searching the internet for the problem you solve. The company that’s in front of the customer often wins. Relying on word-of-mouth marketing is not taking your business seriously enough. Are you really willing to risk everything you’ve built on the HOPE that someone else will mention you? It’s your business. It’s your job to keep your brand on the tip of people’s tongues so they will talk about you. If they’re not thinking about you, you won’t get the business. Basic math dictates that a zero marketing budget eventually leads to zero customers.

Free Isn’t Always the Best Deal
We’re all looking for that PR break where the news station picks up our story and the news paper journalists wants to feature us, but until you’re a mogul, those are one-hit wonders, even if you do get some input to the angle of the story. Put your brand in the most logical place you can, in front of your customers. Even when you can’t be there, your brand can be. The goal is to hear folks say “I’ve heard of you”. You don’t have to invest in everything, but you can be strategic about being right where your customers are. If you’re always looking for free, you start shortcutting your opportunities for real growth.

You’re sitting on a multi-million dollar company, aren’t you? Build it that way.

Eric Reamer and Angel Tuccy are the hosts of The Most Positive Business Talk Show in America. Check your local listings to find The Experience Pros Radio Show, also streaming live on the Experience Pros Radio Show app.