The Best Marketing Is Free

by Ash Horton
August 2, 2019

Most business owners that read this will have spent thousands on marketing and never gained traction. But here’s the thing; the best marketing is free. Most owners will have dabbled with advertising such radio campaigns, social media activity, building websites, and maybe they’ve even delved into logo design, thinking that it’s branding.

Marketing That Costs Nothing But Effort

I worked with a guy who grew a global company at the age of 22. Five countries within five years and it all kicked off with a marketing strategy that was 100% free. He was a cocky little bugger, but quite brilliant in his own right.

Here’s How It Happened.

It started with a letter to the news. He was young and talented, so this was used to his advantage. He wrote to the media room and told them about his business, his aspirations, and that he was the youngest franchisor in the country – little old New Zealand.

As a result, he got the blimin interview. He took a chance that most people wouldn’t have and got lucky. An article was published that captured the attention of a popular television show that protected consumers from the big bad businesses of the world. They wanted to put him to the test on national TV. He accepted. As far as digital marketing strategy goes, he’d just got himself in front of millions of viewers, gained valuable backlinks and increased web traffic almost immediately.


After featuring on national television, he was then approached by investors to purchase his master franchise, allowing him to inject millions in funding into his global expansion plans. He asked me, as this was all happening, if he should do it, not wanting to give up a percentage of his small company. He accepted and grew it across 5 countries within 36 months.

The Value Of Public Relations

Public relations (PR) is often neglected, but it can set a business on fire.

What newsworthy stories do you have? This is generally a difficult question to answer because, within your journey as an entrepreneur, you’ve achieved so many wins that they all seem to blend together.

I also know of a group of finance companies that support a boxing academy for underprivileged kids. They donate to churches; they give to community organisations and they do all of this under the radar. It’s a newsworthy story that should be told because there’s a stigma in the finance industry, labelling the folks who run them as loan sharks. Well, in this case, it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Help A Journalist Out

Journalists are screaming for ideas. If you put yourself in their shoes for a moment, they have to reinvent themselves daily. They have a creative role that requires new content, new headlines and new ideas to continue to capture the public’s hearts. It’s a tough gig.

There’s a website called Haro (Help a reporter out).

Haro is a great place to help start seeing what content reporters are searching for. Make some friends, be the source of good quality content and you’ll be mapping a digital footprint that will keep on giving for years.

Ash Horton.

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