Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

Spreading The Word About Your Business

The benefits of word-of-mouth, one of the cheapest marketing methods around

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Word-of-mouth is one of the best-and least expensive- methods on the planet. One way to effectively get the word out is to spread good rumors about yourself and your . Deliver quality, charge reasonable rates, finish products before deadline and treat all your customers with respect. In other words, give customers a reason to talk you up to their friends. Encourage them to do so by offering rewards for referrals.

That's exactly what one small sporting goods store that caters to the crowd did. It had received a goodwill award for supplying equipment for an after-school soccer program. The store staff took lots of photos with the kids who were involved and put a display in the store along with the award. They also talked up the fact that they were willing to partner with other groups to help promote the sport. Word spread like wildfire, and profits went up accordingly.

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks