There’s no need for you to overpay for your marketing and advertising. If you’re smart, you can get everything you need done cheaply or even free. I wrote a whole book on this subject, “Marketing Your Small Business on a Shoestring Budget.” I suggest picking that book up if you want a full treatment of the subject. Here, I’m going to touch on a few ways to save tons of money.

Graphic Design & Copywriting. There are several websites where graphic designers and writers bid for your projects. That creates competition, meaning you receive the lowest price possible. Here are two of the sites: www.elance.com and www.getafreelancer.com.

You can save tons of money on design and copywriting for logos, ads, brochures, catalogs, postcards, etc. I’ve gotten my ads designed for $50 a piece by a professional graphic designer. I’ve had people edit my books for about $250. You can find ghost writers there who will write a book for you. You still receive all the credit for writing it, and they aren’t mentioned at all.

Printing. There are numerous online printers that will print your color pieces for a fraction of the cost of a regular printer. If you’re not picky about a deadline and exact colors, you can save a ton of money on all your printing costs. Also, inquire about gang runs, which will save you even more money. A gang run means they run your project with other projects to cut down their costs. They pass the savings on to you.

Timeless Promotional Pieces. Write with vision. Imagine how your words will be perceived and interpreted two years, or even five years from now. Don’t use language that will date your piece and require you to reprint a year later. For example, instead of using a phrase such as “Our company is ten years old,” say — “Our company was founded in 1998.”

It’s usually not a good idea to include employee photos in your static promo pieces. Employees come and go. And some don’t go under the best of circumstances. Two years from now you surely don’t want to be stuck with the photo of an employee you fired for embezzling!

Drive ALL Traffic to Your Website. I mentioned this before, but if your campaign is to drive all potential clients to your website, then you won’t spend extra money on different campaigns. You won’t send any mixed messages. Your goal is to get people to a site that is focused on your business. You will reap the rewards, and save a lot of money on potentially wasted campaigns.

NEVER design a promotional piece yourself. A RockStar would never waste his time on something he or she doesn’t do well. Also, potential customers will see a very amateur design and come away believing your business is not successful. You take the chance you will never see them again. First impression is everything, especially here.