5 Startup Marketing Ideas that Don't Cost a Cent

The average startup doesn't have a lot of capital. According to the Small Business Administration, the average entrepreneur spends $30,000 launching a startup. However, other businesses are started for less than $3000

Entrepreneurs that start businesses on tight budgets often lose perspective and spend too much on marketing. This can cost them later on. Jayson DeMers, a writer with Intuit, points that too many businesses make this mistake.

“To a new business owner, marketing can be thrilling. It’s your first opportunity to get your business’ name and image in front of your core audience, and it promises to offer you a generous return on your investment in the form of greater customer loyalty and new business. Unfortunately, marketing is never a guarantee, and small business owners especially often feel the burn of a negative return on investment (ROI) after the first few weeks and months of a new marketing campaign.”

If you're starting a new business on a tight budget, it's important to take advantage of free marketing strategies to keep your costs down. Cutting costs is one of the factors Neil Patel emphasizes in his guide on growth hacking.

Here are five cheap marketing strategies every start up should use.

1. Always Include Your Business in Your Email Signatures

The average person sends at least half a dozen emails every day. Every email is an opportunity to promote your business, even if the email itself isn't business related.

How can you promote your business through email without it looking like spam? Simply include your business name and URL in your email signature. Even if you are sending a message to someone in your Rotary or BNI group, they may read your signature and decide to check out your new business.

2. Write Guest Articles for Major Publishers

Guest blogging is one of the most effective forms of content marketing. Large publishers are always looking for new voices. They are especially interested in hearing from industry leaders.

If you have a unique perspective on a hot topic issue, try reaching out to you leaving publishers. Forbes, Entrepreneur.com and industry specific journals are good places for entrepreneurs to get free exposure. These publishers almost always allow you to have a byline and even a website link, so you'll get plenty of great publicity for free.

If you aren’t a great writer, you can hire an internet marketing company to help you out. They’ll write the content and pitch it to publishers for you. They can also syndicate press releases on your behalf.

3. Participate in Free Communities

Many online communities charge a fee, such as AffPlayBook, the Writers Den and PPV Guru. While these can be great places to network, you should look at free communities, such as an entrepreneur forum. You should also look for Facebook groups in your industry, because these are some of the best ways to reach people that share your vision.

4. Reach Out to Relevant Bloggers

There are many prominent bloggers in almost every industry. Building relationships with them can be a great way to earn free exposure.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Find the Right Bloggers

You need to know how to find influential bloggers. It takes time, but you’ll need to read relevant blogs before finding ones worth pitching.

Use Social Arbitrage

Social arbitrage is one way to get exposure from influential bloggers. If you have a strong social media presence, you can offer to help promote their blog in exchange for exposure.

Provide Free Content

Providing free content is another great way to get exposure on their blog. Make sure your content is relevant, engaging and not overly promotional.

4. Attend Networking Events

We have focused on free online marketing strategies so far. However, there are ways to get free exposure off-line as well. Attending networking events is a Great way to get your name out and receive free publicity.

Just make sure you choose events that relate to your profession. If you're starting a new cloud computing company, you probably won't make many great leads by attending your local Kawana's club. On the other hand, you may find a lot of business by visiting IT related events.

5. Cold-calling

Cold-calling has gotten a bad reputation, because so many people abuse it. However, it can be one of the best ways to drum up business if you do it right.

There are three things you need to do cold call properly:

  • Go for targeted leads. Don't program a Robo dialer to call people for you. Carefully choose recipients that may actually want to hear your message.
  • Research your prospect. People hate hearing from called colors that don't know anything about their business. Take some time to research companies first and tailor your pitch to them.
  • Be helpful. The biggest cold-calling mistake is forgetting the needs of your prospects. Understand their problem and guarantee solutions.
If you keep these factors in mind, you’ll outperform 95% of telemarketers.



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