Startup Marketing Basics:  Zero Budget Marketing

March 2, 2015 in Blog, Marketing Monday

Starting a business can be daunting – and so many people start their business by bootstrapping their operations – or starting with as little as possible in investments and loans. The problem is, because they start with nothing – and their budget is next to nothing – they often neglect marketing – and it can cost them dearly.

I do not advocate operating with a Zero Budget when it comes to marketing. I think you HAVE to put a little cash in to get anything out.

However – let me give you some ideas for ways to get some leverage when your cashflow is low.

1. Distribute Flyers, Brochures, and Business Cards.

I know – those things cost money – but many times – people have printed them up – and then left them sitting in a drawer! Go hand them out!

Where can you find people who need your service or product? If you are a business that serves other businesses – just go door to door -and drop them off, letting them know you are available to help with whatever your services you provide! (Look out for “No Soliciting” signs – it doesn’t mean you can’t drop it off – but it might mean you need to approach things differently!)

2. Follow up on your old leads!
Did you have someone that expressed interest – but then the communication ball got dropped? Just go through your phone log, email, or facebook messages to locate the people that were interested, but changed their mind, or didn’t pursue you!

3. Send a press release!
This takes some creativity – to find an event that is newsworthy – and it’s easier in small towns than large ones – but newspaper/radio coverage is some of the best free advertising you can get! If you are a startup – sometimes newspapers will offer a free article announcing your new business. (Of course – they want to try to sell you advertising  – and it might just be worth it!)

4. Social Media
Facebook is starting to limit the visibility of your posts unless you pay for advertising – but social posting is still a good way to start connecting!

5. Think outside the box!
Do something outrageous, or creative, or DIFFERENT that gets people to notice you! Car dealers tie balloons on their cars – so that you notice them when you drive by. What can YOU do to get someone’s attention? Dress up in a monkey suit? Offer free samples to people walking by on the street? Make a pot of chili and bring it during lunch break to that client you are trying to land?

If you want some more ideas about “Zero Budget Marketing”  – let me encouarge you to check out “Free Advertising Secrets” – a series of blogs I did in 2014.

Tune in Next Week for Startup Marketing Basics: Part 2 Which Marketing Should you Pay For?