Okay, so you might be wondering why I would give out FREE information about how to market your business yourself. Well, everyone has to start somewhere and for those of us who are brave enough to live the dream out-of-pocket for a while, they need a little break on the financial front. You see, once a business ramps up some awareness and begins to generate a decent amount of revenue they don’t have time to market themselves and will rely on us.
Start-Up Marketing Under $20
Assuming you have already set up a website (basic or otherwise), here are a few tips to hurdle you straight to the consumer.
You may think that newsletters work only for established businesses because where else do you get potential customer emails from? Start with your current network of people, this could mean pulling from LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Dig out those business cards you took and forgot about–there’s probably about five sleeping in the interior pocket. Create a free account on an email marketing site such as MailChimp (up to 2,000 subscribers) or Target Hero (up to 1,000 subscribers).
Take it from me, blogs can be a pain in the ass to write, but they are a really easy and effective way to get people interested. Don’t know what to write? Start with a couple of introductory blogs about the company–what you do, mission statement, and other things that you want to incorporate into your business model. After that, write what you want, they don’t have to directly relate to your business but they should be tied-in somehow. Remember, you want to engage users but not drive them away by a clear sales pitch.
Here’s an example. Say you are starting an outdoor equipment company with custom snowboards, skis, backpacks, etc. You don’t want to say “hey, buy this because…” A better approach would be a blog titled “The 5 Best Ski Slopes in America;” from that, you can work in why certain products you make are the best for each slope. Make sure you optimize each blog for Google search by using the most relevant keywords.
You want to post content and media (i.e. blogs, Facebook/Twitter, Snapchat, etc.) often. Fun, niche content is a great way to bring in all of Gen Y and Z. Keep the links short and the wording simple. Sometimes being an expert in a specific field can be a downfall, as you may write too technically for the layman who doesn’t want to learn how to build your product but wants to buy it. If you are unsure, ask a friend or family member to give you some ideas and tips.
This is where it gets pricey. The good news is that Instagram is owned by Facebook so you can simultaneously advertise on both social platforms for the same amount of money.
When you first begin advertising, you should take advantage of Facebook’s free A/B ad testing. This helps you to see which image, target audience, location, and demographics you will want to target more heavily and what designs/verbiage reels in the clicks. You can even start out with the objective of generating leads, in which you create a form to fill out–a great way to build up your email subscribers! Begin running your ads with the amount you can afford. Remember, this is kind of a trial run, so put in enough money to make an impression but not so much that you’ll have to neglect another payment. A good start is about $20/week or $150/month.
Now that you have the starting tools, we hope to see you when you’re ready to amp up your online marketing.