1. Organize an “injustice” campaign. Find something in your niche that you think is “wrong” and start a campaign to stop it. Notice how I put things in quotes here. You could do this with some kind of serious injustice (invisible children), or with something that might be viewed as funny/interesting. If you’re a programmer, you could start a campaign against code with crappy/no comments. If you’re an Android fan, you could start a campaign against iPhone. If you’re going to go with something funny, then it should be extremely relevant to your niche.
2. Give a discount to people that tweet about you in the most unique, funny, and/or interesting ways. Consider going as far as giving people your thing for free if it’s good enough. Think about hijacking some other hash tag for this. Now, if you’re going to do that, it can’t be something heavily used, or your thing will simply be buried. Doing it with something that is used a little can gain extra traffic and notoriety.
3. Go to industry conferences with your camera and chronicle the event. Post to your blog and let the event organizers know about it. Often they’ll tell people that didn’t go, in an effort to expand awareness for next year’s event. This is also a great way to meet more people in your industry, if you do a lot of interviews as a part of this. Get their email addresses and let them know when the video is ready as well, so they can tell their people about it.
4. Find a paid product in your industry that you really like, and promote it … without getting anything back. Talk about it and how much you liked it and why, and do it more than once. Don’t tell them about it. Probably they’ll find it, and will think it’s cool, and link to you and send traffic your way on their own. The idea with this is to give first, without any real expectation of return. Marcus Sheridan, as an example, talked extensively about HubSpot for a long time before he was noticed by them in return. Now he’s got tons of clients, thanks to HubSpot having him speak at their events.
5. Start a webinar series – or better yet, start a Google+ Hangout series. With each webinar/hangout, teach people things and allow real time feedback and questions. This helps to establish you as an industry expert. Plus, some people on Google+ really like hangouts, and will join them just to see what’s going on. This can dramatically expand the number of people that know about you.
6. In fact, you could take that last item one step farther and partner with a business that is related to yours in your industry, but doesn’t directly compete against you. Together you could do a webinar/Hangout, and because of the additional promotion from what is now multiple companies, gain even more traction and get more notice throughout your industry.
7. Create awards for your industry, complete with badges for their website and actual trophies you will send them. Often, winners will talk about what they’ve won, and you’ll get links and traffic from that as well. Plus, you will be building a tremendous amount of goodwill with the people that won. This makes doing partnerships and the like easier.
8. Give away some part of your product for free or insanely cheap, then have other pieces that people have to purchase. Mobile apps do this all the time; it’s called “freemium.” Basically, give some stuff away for free, but have other things for which people have to pay.
9. In fact, look for places where some kind of tool or service would be of help to your industry, and give it away for free. Consider ways that you can then “bolt on” additions or improvements that people have to pay for.
10. Consider giving your best services or products to a top blogger or personality in your market for free, in exchange for them talking about what they thought to their people/readers. You can build up good will and gain a lot of notoriety quickly with just this one technique.
11. Give testimonials to anyone and everyone that deserves them in your industry. Seriously, the more the better. These will often link back to you, and even when they don’t, they’ll build up good will with those other people, who will often reciprocate and give you testimonials – and even leads.
12. Give seminars at meet-ups, your local chamber, and the Rotary club. Do live seminars whenever and as often as you can. These build you up as an expert, which can generate an enormous number of sales. Not only that, but as an expert, you get to charge much more than anyone else in your industry … because you’re the expert. People will pay more to work with the best; as the expert, you get to be perceived as the best.
13. Organize your own meet-up groups and events and speak at those. As the host of the event, this truly helps to expand your reach and perception of expertise. Expertise breeds more customers.
14. Contact the high traffic blogs in your market and offer to guest post for them. When you do, make these posts exceptionally great. This can drive tons of traffic to your site from the readers of the articles you guest post. As an example, 43% of the traffic my site at http://mattgoffrey.blogspot.com gets comes right here from SEO Chat. Guest posting can put you on the map in ways nothing else can, because you become instantly associated with someone “big” and well known.
15. Become heavily involved with your market through forums. Help people in your market and community as much as you can and as often as you can. Answer questions and be a resource of help … especially to your competition. In the mind of your market, this will put you above them. Forums are a fantastic way of expanding your reach.
16. Run a “best of the week” on your blog and highlight the best posts from the forums and from other blogs in your market. Again, create badges that people can put on their sites for this. They’ll happily link back to you and to the “round up” where they were called the best.
17. Interview people in your market and post to YouTube, then embed the interviews on your blog. Send the embed code to the person you interviewed so that they can post to their blog. This associates you with the top players in your market (more expertise and more traffic, which means more sales).
18. For that matter, do huge group interviews using a service like GoToMeeting and record them. Again, post to YouTube and embed on your site, then send the embed code to everyone in the group interview, so they can put the interview on their own site.
19. Become an expert. Give great content on your blog; create videos and post to YouTube (the second largest search engine, by the way); use InboxQ to find questions people are asking and answer them in text on your blog and in video on YouTube; do the same for questions people ask on the forums, Quora, your blog, or anywhere else.
20. Take proprietary data from your company or other resources and compile into in-depth free reports and industry updates.
Among these ideas, I’m sure you’ll find several that will work well for you. What techniques have you used to promote your website?
You can read more of my work at http://mattgoffrey.blogspot.com.