5 solid branding efforts on the cheap

Here are five ways that small companies have spread the word without breaking the bank.

Company: WyzAnt
Location: Chicago, Ill.

Bootstrapping this fast-growing national tutoring marketplace since it launched with just $10,000 in 2005, WyzAnt cofounders Drew Geant and Mike Weishuhn have spent their marketing budget frugally. The company has enlisted its nearly 60,000 tutors to promote the service via social media. The Wyzant site includes profiles for tutors that carry the WyzAnt logo, with built-in buttons for sharing on sites like Twitter and Facebook (FB). WyZant also offers a blogging platform and a tool that helps tutors produce branded videos advertising their services, which then get syndicated to YouTube. When tutors promote themselves online, they raise awareness of WyzAnt. The company, which gets a cut in tutors' hourly rates, has seen sales grow at about 100% a year, thanks to these and other efforts, according to CEO Geant. "We're not eating frozen pizza and ramen noodles anymore," he says.

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated August 28 2012 12:06 PM ET
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