For the vast majority of startups, bootstrapping is a necessary activity. And, it’s true that most owners and entrepreneurs would far prefer to have lots of investment money to play with. However, working within the confines of a small budget is good for building the character of your new business. And those budget restrictions can help you think about things in a much more creative way. With this in mind, we have put together a few tips for you that will help you market your business for peanuts. Let’s take a closer look.
Focus on your core message
The first part of any marketing plan should always be about defining who you are and what you do. It’s this central message that everything else stems from – and it costs nothing to get started. Create a narrative that describes what you do, and that you can tell anyone in a single sentence. Make sure you differentiate yourself from the competition, too. As davidmaister.com points out, marketing is all about starting a conversation. And that includes those conversations that you start in person.
Set up on social media
OK, so let’s get one thing straight. To truly succeed on social media, it’s going to cost you money. But that does not mean you should avoid it until you can afford it. Developing your social media presence doesn’t need to take a long time, and you can get started with no budget at all. Follow other businesses, organizations, and people of interest, and engage in their conversations. Comment on and repost people’s successes in your local community. People will be interested in who you are and what you are about.
Encourage early adopter loyalty
As soon as you work out who your ideal customer is, start targeting them right away. Offer them early bird access to your product, for example. Invest a little money and create some membership cards to send out, and make people feel part of something special. According to lanyardsusa.com/id-accessories/plastic-cards, you can customize membership cards to your needs. Don’t forget that if you give early adopters a reason to choose you, they can often turn out to be the cheapest marketing resource you have.
Get involved with local events
Your local community is the perfect place to build the foundation for your success, regardless of the industry you serve. So, it makes sense to start building relationships – and your name – in that community. Start by getting involved with business networking meets and charitable events. See if your budget can stretch to sponsoring a local sports club, or community events. It’s a fantastic opportunity to start getting your name out there and getting people interested.
Guerilla marketing tactics may not be for every business. But going ‘au naturel’ and getting up front and personal with people can have a significant impact. Old school flyers and posters are cheap and easy to distribute. Ask for permission to create a mural somewhere, or use your surroundings in a creative way. Find alternative sponsorship opportunities that no one else is thinking of. And, of course, setting up competitions – online and offline – is a great way to drum up a lot of interest for a minimal cost.
Hope these ideas have helped – feel free to leave yours in the comments section!