In This Chapter
Branding your business for success
Finding free advertising for businesses on a budget
Making the most of mailing lists and word of mouth
Maintaining an electronic address book
Placing banner ads
Broadening your customer base by shipping overseas
Every month — sometimes, every week, it seems — the Internet spawns a new superstar. As I write this, the star of the moment is a young man named Justin Bieber, who has become a household name from a new YouTube video, followed by an appearance on the television show "Saturday Night Live." A woman named Amber Lee Ellinger released a YouTube video called "Obama Girl" in 2007, before the presidential election of 2008. She went on to appear on "Saturday Night Live" as well, and her video has since been viewed an estimated 13 million times.
In these cases, word of mouth generated the attention — with a little help from the Web. As time goes on, such stories only become more common as more innovative online advertising venues become available and imaginative people find ways to get their work before the public. The Web can be a cost-effective way for a small business owner such as yourself to get a potential customer's attention. In fact, the most successful advertising strategies often involve one individual connecting with another. Targeted, personalized public-relations efforts work online because cyberspace is a personal place where intimate communication is possible. Blanketed advertising ...