The internet has truly been a wonderful tool for me to promote my business, not only in terms of internet exposure, but it also allows me to produce excellent print materials for promotions and listings. There are so many helpful websites that are absolutely free and very easy to use. When other agents see some of the material I have lying around my office cubicle, they often ask how much it cost to have done. Usually it's just the price of glossy paper and ink for my printer. I'm not really all that computer savvy myself, but the instructions are usually so easy, and with a little bit of creativity, I find that I can come up with some unique material that looks good.
The web is really a big equalizer. Newer agents such as myself can use it to compete against long-established agents on equal terms (as long as the drive to compete remains strong), and because there are so many free resources, it's just a matter of learning how to find them and use them properly. I really believe that anybody who can open their email can probably use most of these sites to their advantage. It's not that difficult to create good material on a shoe-string budget.
This video was produced by the artist (Jeremy Fisher) for under $20.00. It's a great example of what a person can do with a limited budget and a whole lot of creativity. Canadian folk musicians are a very creative lot, probably by necessity. If you happen to be a Canadian folk musician not named Bruce Cockburn, I would guess you are on a fairly limited budget. Jeremy Fisher (a good old Hamilton, Ontario fellow)once toured across Canada, coast to coast, on a bicycle. He cleverly called that The One Less Tourbus Tour. His video for the song Cigarette, another self-made effort (but this time probably a slightly larger budget, maybe $200) has been viewed over 2.4 million times on Youtube. All of his efforts are clever, entertaining, and are very good at getting his message across. It also helps that he is an extremely hard working musician. It's very hard not to admire people like him
Most business people will find themselves competing against larger, better funded, more established business, but with some work, creativity, and the proper use of the tools that are freely available to us on the internet, there's no need to look second-rate.