Free Marketing, 101 Low and No-Cost Ways, Part I

free marketing 101 low and no-cost ways to grow your business online and off book cover

Free Marketing, 101 Low and No-Cost Ways, Part I

Free Marketing, 101 Ways BookIn his book, Free Marketing: 101 Low and No-Cost Ways to Grow Your Business Online and Off, Jim Cockrum offers 102 chapters of marketing tips. These tips include ideas for free marketing or low-budget marketing.  Early in his book, he explains that his book is divided into three parts: Internet Marketing (Chapters 1-32), Building Trust and Growing Your Circle of Influence (Chapters 33-77), and Stay Relevant, Interesting and Potent (Chapters 78-102). However, he continues to mention internet marketing beyond chapter 32. The bulk of this post will summarize chapters 1-32. There may be items on the list below that don’t seem complete. It’s because he’s simply saying to do it or get it and explaining the benefits of it, not necessarily how to do it. Here is a summary of his 101 Free Marketing Ideas (Part I):

  • Automated Email, Email Marketing (Introduction, Chapter 6, 7, 53)
  • Affiliate Marketing (Introduction)
  • Website Members/Subscribers (Introduction)
  • Run an Auction on eBay (Introduction, Chapter 25)
  • Free Downloads (Introduction, Chapter 5, 6, 23)
  • Reputation Management, Avoid bad reviews, Build good reviews (Part 1 Introduction, Chapters 1-6)
  • Proactively encourage customers to leave good reviews (Chapter 1)
  • Offer free internet in your shop, have a sign that says, “please tell your friends online” (Chapter 1, 31)
  • Ask people to leave reviews by email (Chapter 1)
  • Ask customers to take pictures and post them online (Chapter 1, 32)
  • Hold a contest for customers to create the best video of your business, offer a prize (Chapter 1)
  • Print branded T-Shirts and other Items, give them to top customers and sell them to others (Chapter 1)
  • Ask customers to take pictures of themselves wearing your branded products and post them online (Chapter 1, 13)
  • Post positive reviews and testimonials of your business on your website, blog and other sites (Chapter 1)
  • Never give yourself reviews (Chapter 1)
  • Don’t let customers give reviews from the same computer with the same IP address (additional reviews just get filtered and hidden)
  • Re-post positive comments from your blog, incoming emails, Facebook, Twitter and other social media (Chapter 1, 13)
  • Google Alerts, monitor your reputation and your competitors (Introduction, Chapters, 1, 2)
  • Reply to reviews
  • Encourage negative reviews in a contained environment
  • Ask for 5 stars or “contact us” if it’s less
  • Have loyal/regular customers leave good reviews immediately after receiving a bad review
  • Leave prospects better than you found them
  • Give a free service or products when contacting prospects
  • Have a leader of the business offer a heartfelt jester to the person who left a bad review, try to resolve the problem, then ask the customer to change the review
  • Create good content (this may help with search engine results)
  • become an expert/celebrity in your niche – this may lead to guest speaking and reference to you
  • Answer most commonly asked questions, answer questions customers should be asking
  • Describe your ideal customer
  • Describe problems you solve, benefits of your product
  • Find great partners
  • Offer a Guarantee and a quick and generous Return Policy (Chapter 5)
  • Be irrationally generous (chapter 6)
  • Don’t keep secrets, expose them
  • Add digital products, info products as a supplement to your business (Chapter 6, 25)
  • Eagerly send customers to a competitor if it’s best for them
  • Sell only to your mom, speak to prospects like a friend, don’t pitch, discuss ideas
  • Let your customers talk to each other.
  • Create an inexpensive, mobile-friendly website (Part 2)
  • “If you want to make money you want someone with a marketing mindset in charge of your website efforts – not someone with a designer mindset.”
  • The purpose of a website is to generate leads, make sales, move prospects closer to doing business with you, and build loyalty
  • When building a website, ask “who, what, where, why” – who is the target market, what content do they want, where are the leads coming from, why is the site necessary.
  • Create good lead capture pages and squeeze pages, leads enter an automated email system with drip system.
  • Create good sales pages for your digital products (Chapter 8)
  • Create a good community site – facebook fan page, forum/discussion board, private social network, etc.
  • Identify your target market
  • Go online where your target marketing is and participate/interact with them
  • Community Influence = Perceived Authority x Established Trust x Size of Audience x Degree of Ownership (CI = PA x ET x SA x DO)
  • Start a blog, write about things that your audience wants to read about and do it with passion and personality (Chapter 10)
  • Try the re-blog feature on
  • Social Media, Facebook Business Page (Chapter 11, Part 12, Chapter 47)
  • Social media is not a one-time thing, it takes consistent participation
  • Brevity is a marketing skill (Chapter 12)
  • Videos, Pictures, and Testimonials work magic (Chapter 13)
  • You can use a hand-held camera to make videos
  • 24 Short and Simple Videos, video marketing, Viral Videos (Chapter 13, 21, 37, 48)
  • Target keywords with your videos
  • Create video slideshows with pictures
  • Good search engine ranking doesn’t last unless you use legitimate strategies consistently (Chapter 14, 15, 16, 22)
  • Increase the number of quality back links to your site.
  • Pay-per-click ads is how to appear in the paid search engine results, SEO is how to appear in organic search engine results
  • The only long-term strategy that works with Google is to play by the rules
  • Never participate in automated back-link marketing schemes
  • Do keyword research (Chapter 15)
  • Having a top-rated website that consistently appears high in the natural search engine results is a matter of ongoing commitment to relevance, incoming links, and steady content development
  • Use keywords when naming the pictures you post online
  • Get listed on Google Maps/Google Places and other local directories (now Google My Business)
  • Search for “city name + service business name” on Google Maps and see what comes up, observe what they’re doing to try to get the same reward from Google
  • Fill up all possible fields with good content when creating accounts
  • Get reviews on Google Places (now Google Plus)
  • Improve PageRank score on Google to appear on Google Maps
  • Try to get a domain name with your keyword and city (Chapter 19)
  • If you don’t have a good domain name, get a good one and forward it to your current site
  • Avoid domain names with dots and slashes in the middle of it
  • Your content should have a call to action (Chapter 21)
  • Draw your business on a napkin, traditional business plans are outdated, draw a funnel and describe your ideal client (Part 5, Chapter 23)
  • Your funnel progressively filters down to the most serious leads
  • Pareto rule – 80% of your profits come from 20% of your customers
  • Know the basic demographics of your customers
  • Hang out where your prospects hang out, go where web traffic already is to gain a following (Part 6)
  • Use eBay classifieds on to generate leads
  • Find good marketing partner sites, search any search engine for your keywords and add the words “blog” or “forum”
  • Don’t write off traditional media, Media Stocking, Press kits, press releases, get to know a member of the press media, make your press release related to current trends (Chapter 10, Part 7, 27, 28, 29)
  • Adapt your marketing for cell phones, you website and other marketing resources (Part 8)
  • Never buy lists of numbers and never collect them in ways that trick the number owner, use a friendly opt-in system
  • Don’t ignore text marketing (text message marketing), (Chapter 30)
  • Use QR codes in your printed materials (Chapter 31)

The book was published in 2011 so there may be some outdated information regarding internet marketing. For example, the book frequently lists as a free resource for creating community pages. However, Ning no longer has a free option. He also suggests swapping links which is a very out-dated suggestion.

The author is an expert in web content creation, the importance of automation and email marketing. In fact, he was a very early successful email marketing pioneer and the principles of email marketing haven’t changed much, so his tips are worth reading. The majority of “businesses” that he mentions in this book are info-product businesses that are completely set-up, automated, and delivered online. He’s a self-published author who knows how to generate large followings. The book is written like a compilation of all his short articles, newsletters and reports. That’s how he writes.

Over and over again he repeats a few resources: social media marketing with smartphones, email marketing, viral video marketing, free giveaways, adding digital products to your business, and leveraging eBay. The book may have 102 chapters, but it’s more like 25 ways to market your business repeated four times.


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