For a startup entrepreneur, getting the word out about the business is critical.
However, looking for ways to market the business can be challenging if you have limited resources or simply don’t want to spend too much money in marketing.
But with some creative thinking and elbow grease, you can find that there are a number of ways that you can market your business on a shoestring budget. Guerrilla marketing strategies that put your imagination to work and let your creative juices flow can help grow your business without spending any money.
Here are 50 ways you can market your business on a shoestring budget:
1. Start by offering quality products, content or services.
Everything starts with the quality of your offerings. No amount of creative marketing can help you build customers and loyal following consistently without first making sure that what you are offering is top notch.
2. Build a website.
Create a good presence for your businesses online. You can create awesome looking sites for less than $100 using tools such as WordPress . Also check out “Improve Your Online Presence”
3. Stand out from your competitors.
Even if you sell a generic product (e.g. a bicycle that all other bicycle shops sell), make sure that there is something that makes you stand out from the rest. Re-evaluate your business to see where you can make a huge difference that is even beyond the capabilities of your big competitors. Can you come up with a new spin for a product? Can you ratchet up your customer service delivery? What ways can you engage the community? Is there a clever way to brand your business? Read the article “ How Your Small Business Can Become the Leader of the Pack”
4. Focus on keeping the customer for life.
When getting a customer, your goal is to keep that customer for life, make that customer come back again and again, and refer yor business to others. Think of additional ways your existing customers will buy again from you. Increase the lifetime value of your customers.
5. Use word of mouth marketing.
To foster faith, your products or services must be vouched as superior, beneficial or useful by someone close to your customer, or someone your customer trusts. It can come in the form of a glowing recommendation from a friend, an endorsement from a credible member of the industry or a storeowner, or perhaps from family members. One way is to distribute product samples to a select group of people (bloggers, influencers) who have the capacity to influence a wider segment of your target market. Read “How to Spur Word of Mouth”.
6. Create some “wow” factor in your marketing.
Think of ways you can be authentic, yet rise above the competition with your promotional strategies. Think of some unique and attractive concepts that you can brand and market your business. Innovative ideas and unique perspectives can help attract the attention of local media and reach more prospective customers.
7. Use social media to engage your audiences.
Social engagement is the activity of initiating or participating in the online social activities that are important to your target market. Given the number of social media platforms — from blogs, wikis, videos, social bookmarking, social publishing — it important for a company to identify the social outlet that is going to give you the best return on both your time and investment. Read the article “Prepare a Social Media Strategy.”
8. Be on Twitter.
Your success on Twitter depends on how you engage your community, dialogue with them and how you make full use of this social networking platform. Twitter is just not about posting links to your site. You can use it to find people to network with, establish business relationships, collaborate on projects, or even to investigate what others in your niche (including your competition) are up to. Listen, comment and retweet, not just posting your own stuff. Read “Small Business Guide to Twitter” and “20 Tips on How to Use Twitter for Your Small Business.”
Facebook is one of the most popular web destinations today with more than 500 million users from around the world. As such, businesses have taken note of how Facebook can be used to reach customers. Facebook presence is now considered an important marketing tool for big and small businesses alike. Consider setting up a Facebook Page for your business — it is free and could open up new ways to engage with your audiences and even attract traffic and get more sales. Read “12 Ways to Create an Effective Facebook Page” and “Don’t Miss out on Free Facebook Marketing Opportunities”
10. Setup a profile page in LinkedIn to facilitate networking.
LinkedIn is a rapidly growing professional network with over 100 million members. Use it to identify the right prospects, and receive introductions or referrals to prospects. It is also a great venue to find partners to work with and develop deals together. The Question and Answer section of LinkedIn also allows you to be portrayed and recognized as an expert in the field.