So, you got a business, want to sell something or have an event that needs to be promoted. What do you do?

This is the question I hear now a couple times a week from people in different situatiuons. So, what do you do?

Well, there are two obivous answers that no one likes to hear:

≠ The traditional routes are still available. Expensive they might be, but you still can write press releases and take out ads in local paper and radio.
No on is stopping you from doing that.

≠ The 2nd thing is that you and only you can really do this. You know your product best. You’re the one who lived, breathed and labored for this to become reality like no one else. You might not feel adequate, but you always will be the most authentic voice promoting you and your cause, whatever that might be.

Now this hasn’t gotten us anywhere, right?
Well, you say: You heard that there’s another way, a cheaper, potenially free way of doing this.

Fool! Nothing is free, everything that’s worth something will cost you something. Perhaps money is not the issue but time, involvement, care, expertise.

Pay close attention now, cause this is how it works these days:

You used to have to have business cards, flyers, posters, ads. Now you need a website too. Those other things might still be important.

≠But you have to have a website, which can function as a face for your “cause”.
Don’t let anyone cheat you into building you anything that you can’t update yourself. A rock-solid content managment system is a must. A website is fluid, living and breathing and needs to be nurtured and taken care off. You have to do this. Asking a designer to update periodically to do it for you is expensive and a waste of time for the designer.

≠A blog might not be on the frontpage of you site but is a great tool to help you promote, stay up-to-date and build a legacy for you.

≠A comment system that gives people the chance to interact with you and take your message with them to their social network is a huge plus in helping you grow your brand and create awareness of your site.

Now you got the website you’re done, right?
Well, you got the publishing figured out now, but it’s like the freshly printed box of flyers is sitting on your counter. How will you get them in people’s hands?

Distribution is what facebook and twitter can truly offer your cause. Take you cause and take it to where the people are.

Get a twitter account and start mingling. It’s like networking at a cocktail party. Dress up your account, fill it up with as much information as you can and start following people. Search for interesting and appropriate seach terms and interlink yourself in the conversation. There are many tools out there to help you screen conversations and a few tricks on how to become respected among your followers. But just like at your first cocktail party, watch, observe, go with the flow.

Facebook offers you such a wide variety of tools that I will not go much into detail, but do the same with twitter: Watch, observe, go with the flow and participate. Someone who is just at the party to hand out as many cards as possible, no one wants to be around. Make yourself usefull to people. let people like you as a person then the chance for people liking your cause is so much more likely. It’s just like in real life. Dress up, be good, have something to say!

There will be more in the future, I’m sure!