42 Free Marketing Hacks, That You’ve Never Heard About (2023)

Kleo Merrick
15 min readFeb 8, 2023

Still nothing. As your Marketing budget slowly dwindles, you know you can’t keep this going for much longer. You’ve read all the books, followed all the Marketing ‘Gurus’, and implemented their teachings and still, no leads.

You’ve gone for the Marketing Agency route and spent a fortune on empty promises with nothing or little to show for it.

You know that managing your Marketing is the most imperative aspect of running your own Business.

The problem is, the advice given is old, out of date, a total rip-off, or the people advising you wouldn’t even use it themselves!

So, where do you go from here?

Well, the solution may be easier than you think. Looking at your current Marketing Strategy from a different angle and making small tweaks could be all you need to get started in the right direction.

In the words of W. Clement Stone ‘Little hinges swing big doors’. Meaning that even a little thing can make a huge difference.

Here are 42 little-known Marketing ‘Hinges’ to help you start opening that ‘Big Door’, so all the leads can pour in.

And the best part is… They’re all FREE!

To make it easier and save you time, these are short, sweet and to the point, and have been categorised under the following headings:

Email Marketing

Social Media

Website

Online

Events

Content

Collaborative

Old School

Controversial

Let’s dive in…

Email Marketing

1. Add a Call To Action (CTA) in your Email Signature

Instead of only having the standard Job Title, phone number and website. By adding a CTA to your email signature, e.g., Business Name, Title, Email, Website, Free Download Link. Now, every single time you send out an email you could potentially be generating new leads.

2. Incentivizing Inactive Users with Free Add-ons

For people that remain inactive on your email lists, send them a message or email with a ‘Free Gift’ or incentive to get them to take a renewed action. This is a great way to rekindle the relationship and remind them that you’re still there.

3. Replying to other people’s email campaigns

This may sound lame, but with the right angle, it can create a lead tidal wave. Assuming, like most business owners, you are on a LOT of other people’s email campaigns, right? So why not email them back, start a conversation and build a relationship?

E.g., say you’re a graphic designer, could their emails need some branding? Say you’re a Website Developer, check out their website, could you help? Say you record your own style of meditations, that your competitor doesn’t offer, could you Collaborate or Co-Brand?

Social Media

4. High-value Content Sharing on Social Groups

Sharing your tips and tricks in other people’s Social Media Groups can not only create interest in what you do but also demonstrate your expertise and create credibility. Ensure you check with the Admin’s Rules before posting, and most importantly offer high-value and engaging content.

5. Pre-Product Launch Polls

Before releasing or launching something new, you can create a Poll to see what your customers want and offer a discounted Pre-Launch price or Pre-Ordering option as a thank you for completing the Poll. Giving you the Poll results. Pre-Launch or Pre-Order sales too.

6. Testimonial-Driven Product Promotions

Like #5 above, promote your products for an Introduction or Discount price in exchange for a Testimonial. Then ask the registrants to share this opportunity with their friends and families.

7. Personal Social Media Profiles

Continually updating your Social Media Profiles, yes ALL OF THEM! Keep them current and fresh with all the new things you’ve been doing in your business. Remember that your social media platforms are still a website — so the more ‘new content’ or ‘changes’ you add on a regular basis the better for your organic SEO. Some examples are new photos/videos, new content, new links, new Freebies to download, etc.

8. Infographics as Guest Posts

Pictures say 1000 words! Which is why Infographics are so effective. Not only do they look appealing, but they also break down or teach your prospects how your product/service works. Use these as guest posts in FB Groups, LinkedIn or even Blogs, Articles, etc. for astonishing lead results.

9. Social Interviews

Also known as a ‘Trial by Sherry’, it’s an interview done in a casual or relaxed way versus the formal interview process. By doing a Social Interview with one of the top contributors in your FB Group, not only will you demonstrate your expertise and gain credibility, but they will distribute this for you. Before reaching out to anyone, first, ensure they know or can connect you with your Ideal Market. For tips on how to handle a Social Interview check out this blog from ISC Profession.

10. Custom GIF Creation

Create your own GIF — A short, animated image to post on Social Media. Your main objective is to ensure it is share-worthy as this will help your GIFs go viral! You can add #Hashtags and links to your GIFs, which can lead to your Social Media Profiles or Landing Pages.

11. Completing your Social Bios

Have you added your details to all your Social Bios and About sections? It’s so simple to create a polished ‘About Me’ section to represent yourself in a professional manner. All your Social Bios should not only have a description of your business and services but also have your full contact details, i.e., number, email, website and possibly a Free Download of some description, with you guessed it… An Opt-in!

Twitter

12. Searching Public Tweets on Twitter

Searching Tweets is like searching a Directory of Problems that your clients have. Search your keywords, problems you solve, or hashtags related to your business and see what comes up. Then follow all those that look like a prospect and hopefully they would then follow you back, looking at your profile and potentially becoming a lead.

13. Competitor’s Twitter Followers

Create a Twitter list of your competitor’s most active followers. It’s often the case that they will post questions on their Twitter timeline. Monitor the list, and when the opportunity presents itself answer their queries with your expertise. People often look for multiple ways of solving their problems and they usually follow anyone that provides help. Be helpful and answer their questions by providing high-value solutions.

14. ClickToTweet for Posts

If you create posts, quotes, images, etc., how about making them shareable or better yet, stealable. You cannot control what is shared on any Social Media, but ‘ClickToTweet’ does. It allows you to select exactly what you want and makes it extremely convenient for people to Retweet it. Perfect when you create blog posts using the ClickToTweet WordPress Plugin, you will then be able to choose any text you want as a Twitter message.

Facebook

15. Public Lead-Gathering Posts on FB groups

In essence — posting on Facebook groups with something of value in exchange for their email address. Take a high-value eBook and offer it as your Free Giveaway of the week. Ensure you ask people to comment “I’m In” or “Me Please”, below your post, so you have their permission and it’s something that they want to receive.

Then contact them personally on Messenger and ask for their email to forward your eBook to them. Or you can add the link of an Opt-in page under their comment. Either way, the key to remember is to communicate what your process will be clearly and effectively.

16. Facebook Events

Promote ANY offline or online events on FB Events. You would be surprised by how many people secretly stalk you on FB that never like, react, or comment but are secretly watching and waiting for you. Create and promote your events on your FB Page, FB Groups, and other people’s FB Groups (with their permission), Community FB Groups, etc.

WhatsApp

17. Other People’s WhatsApp Groups

Utilising other people’s networks to gain leads. As already mentioned, check with the Admins, and get the feel of the group, give value, offer your amazing stuff and get rewarded. The key to remember is to only join groups with your Target Market in them! Otherwise, you’re wasting your time!

LinkedIn

18. Repurpose Blogs on LinkedIn Publisher

Change up your content and re-publish it on LinkedIn Publisher. Reaching more people and of course, getting more leads. Even if they’ve seen this content before, they most likely won’t remember it. And are always getting new insights from it too. Even Brendan Burchard admits to reposting his content every 3 months because people need to see it at least 3 times before taking action.

Website

19. Longer-tail, narrow-targeted keywords

Long-tail keywords are keywords or key phrases that are more specific — and usually longer — than more commonly used 1 or 2 words searched for keywords. Long-tail keywords get less search traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion value, as they are more specific. And thus, attracting more qualified or hotter leads.

20. Retargeting Visitors

If someone visits your website, but doesn’t opt-in or convert, you can ‘re-target’ them using many different types of software tools. These tools have ‘cookies’ that follow these visitors to the next thing they search on their web browser and continue to re-show your ads for your indicated time frame. Adroll, Criteo, SmarterHQ and ArtuData to name a few.

21. Hunter Email Finder

Have you ever gone to a website and really connected? You’re really interested in buying their product or service and just have a few questions. But there are no contact details anywhere on the website! (Do not ever do this by the way, please ensure you have contact details!)

Hunter’s Chrome extension lets you immediately find the email addresses and contact details behind any of the websites you’re browsing. So if they’re a great prospect, reach out and connect with them.

22. ProductHunt Launches

ProductHunt is a website that lets users share and discover new products. Users can submit their products, mobile apps, websites, and tech solutions which are listed in a linear format. The site also includes a comments system and a voting system like Reddit. Either utilise it for your own products or go in and search for your ideal market.

Online

23. Reddit threads

Reddit threads or Subreddits are categories within the Reddit website. They allow users to focus on a specific topic of posting content that gets either voted up or down. The voting will determine a post’s position on the site. And the items that hit the front page are seen by millions of potential clients. It’s like getting on the front page of the internet, sending boatloads of traffic to the linked website.

24. SlideShares

Got a killer presentation that helps so many of your clients, share it with Slideshare! Slideshare is owned by LinkedIn and allows you to upload and share your presentations with over 60 Million users! And the best part is, it’s free!

Events

25. Guest Speaking at Events

Being a Guest Speaker is a fabulous way to get leads, you are seen as the authority and expert in what you do and get instant credibility! Potentially, members of the audience will approach you afterwards to get more information.

The best tactic is to offer a free download or free eBook during your presentation. Ask your audience to get out their phones and text you which type of gift they would like, specifying that they must genuinely want it and not be wasting your time. Let’s say you have a room of 40 people, and 32 take you up on your offer — that’s 32 new leads that you never had before. Even if you get 4 people that’s still a 10% Opt-in rate.

26. Running your own Networking Group

As the organiser of a Networking Group, you can make the rules for your own meetings, such as, where and when they’re on. Will you be industry-exclusive? Will they be free or paid? Will they include breakfast, tea, or coffee?

This gives you instant credibility and expert status, plus the opportunity to speak in front of your target audience every week or month. As the organiser, you can shamelessly flaunt your business and demonstrate what you do. Also, all that registered will now be on your email list.

Content

27. Heavy-content FAQs sections

FAQs or Frequently Asked Questions can do a lot of the heavy lifting to answer prospects’ questions before they come to you. But the best way to write your FAQs is to have in-depth or ‘heavy-content’ FAQs with your contact info for leads to ‘ask you directly’. Or to Opt-in to your newsletter/blog/membership site, etc.

28. Infographic-based Content Repurposing

Why re-create more and more content when you can re-hash or re-purpose what you’ve already created? The great thing with infographics is that you can break down the sections of the content and use this to create a post or blog series. This encourages your leads to complete the series, allowing you to build more trust along the way, and a better-quality client.

29. Shared Google Doc Templates

Do you have any templates or worksheets that you’ve created for past clients over the years? If so, upload them to a Google Drive folder and share the link with your prospects. They must provide their email address for you to give them access…

Collaborative

30. Co-Working Spaces

Working at a Co-Working Space is great, especially if you need the office environment when you can’t get this at home. But ever thought of promoting other Co-Workers’ businesses to get them leads?

Then having them do the same for your business? Ensure that you share the same or similar target market before promoting each other.

31. Collaborations with…?

Another great way to grow your list and leads. Promote your products and services to someone else’s list. Then YOU promote their products and services to your list. Each person takes an even split of 50/50 if that’s your agreement. Then you each get to access leads from each other’s lists that you would never have had.

32. Micro-Influencer Marketing

Micro-Influencers roughly have an audience between 1000–40,000 followers and their audience engagement levels are still high. Versus Influencers who are above 40,000 on one platform! They have a following of Buyers that hang on their every word. Ever thought of contacting them to Joint Venture and promote your product or service?

33. Interviews with Industry Leaders

Interviewing Experts and Industry Leaders can give you an incredible credibility boost. So, focus on finding who the peers are in your industry and contact them to set up an interview. Most often than not they are honoured for the opportunity as it gets them more leads too. That will certainly get your leads talking about you, wouldn’t it? “Did you hear? They’re interviewing….”

34. Co-Branding

At its simplest, Co-Branding is a collaboration where the parties both have their Logo or Brand on show. An opportunity to share audiences, great content and messages that resonate with them. The possibilities are endless, e.g., you could host Co-Sponsored Events, Co-host a Podcast or produce Book Collaborations. Or simply produce original content that’s relevant to both of your audiences.

35. Content Shares by Influencers

So, you may not have a product or service to promote, but you can still have content. How about reaching out to an Influencer and asking them to share this with their audience? What’s the worst that could happen? It might work!

Old-School

Even though these ones have been heard of time and time again, most of us forget the ‘old-school’ forms of marketing and only focus on online methods.

The little-known part is the angle you use to get these 100% FREE and corner the market.

36. Magazine Articles

Having your business featured in a magazine is an incredible way to get leads. Instant credibility! The Magazine Logo your Website! Social Media Posts bragging about it. AND if you do a Press Release it’s FREE and can lead to many other media opportunities.

37. Lumpy Mail

Great as a re-engagement tool for a ‘forgotten list’. Anyone can send out a card, postcard, or pamphlet in the mail. Unfortunately, often these can end up in the bin — unopened! But if you put a small trinket, gift, pen or sweet in the envelope it becomes ‘lumpy mail’. Out of sheer curiosity, this massively increases the chances of your mail being opened and read!

Controversial

38. Other People’s FB ads

Did you ever wonder what your competitors write in their Ads to get seamless results? Well don’t, you can see all your competitors’ FB Ads with this hack. Go to their Facebook Page and scroll down to ‘Page Transparency’ and select ‘See all’ on the right-hand side. Again, scrolling to the bottom, you will see a section called ‘Ads from this Page’, and select the button ‘Go to Ad Library’. This will take you to the ‘Meta’ section of Facebook, where all their Ads are listed for this FB Page. Next-level Competitor Analysis, as you can now see all the ads they are running. How did they make that point? How did they set up the Opt-in?

Then the next time you have writer’s block for your Ads or Sales Pages you have a library of tried and tested information to access — from people that are getting much better results than you are currently.

39. ‘Feel Bad’ Pop-Ups

A ‘Feel-Bad’ pop-up is when you’re about to leave a site and you get a “Yes sign me up” and a “No I don’t want 20 Free leads per month” comment on a Pop-Up box. It’s specifically designed to make you feel bad if you don’t sign up. These can challenge the integrity of business owners, as they can come across as pushy. But they can be very powerful and effective when done tastefully.

40. The Commitment Checkbox

This is where you’d ask your leads a commitment-based question, with a check box in front of it. For example:

ロ Yes! I’m ready for 20 more leads today!

Your lead conversion can increase by as much as 11%, simply by adding a Commitment Checkbox to your Opt-in Form or website.

41. Competitor Comparison info and page

Compare yourself to your competitors and have a sneaky peek at their website, social media pages, posts, promotions, everything! Stay focused on their strategy and how they are teaching their clients to value their products or services. Sign up for their newsletters or email lists to see how they promote, when, how often, their language, etc.

42. BuiltWith Farming

This is a free search program where you can see what other Business Owners have used to build their websites. It breaks down all the components of their website too. For example: what type of security they are using, do they run AdWords, FB Pixel installed, what Plugins, etc. Very handy for Software Developers, SEO, Fb Ads, Security, Digital Marketing, Graphic Design, etc. type businesses that help optimise websites.

Test and Measure

In order to see your progress any marketing principle that you implement must be tested and measured to determine its success. Allocate a specific time frame to try one out and notice your results.

Keeping a record of this every step of the way, to ensure they are working for you. Because if not, you may need to axe it and try a different one.

Final Thoughts

Even though all businesses appear to be different on the surface, they are all the same underneath and still need marketing and promotion to survive.

And with the right strategies and a little imagination, you will build a marketing strategy that works for you and your business.

Just imagine how many leads you can now attract with little or no effort.

If you add one of these tactics to your business, it will be one more way to gain leads that you’ve never tried before.

If you add one of these per month… Say, over a year? That’s 12 more ways to gain leads.

If you add one of these per fortnight? That’s 26 methods of Lead Generation ongoing in your business over a 12-month period. That’s 26 little hinges, swinging massive doors.

So, which hack will you try first?

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