There are two things that you can guarantee when you start up a new business. Firstly, no-one will know anything about you, your company, or what you are doing. Secondly, you won’t have any money to spend on getting the word out there that you even exist.
Naturally, this can lead to problems. How can you start making sales if you haven’t got an audience to sell to? Thankfully, there are ways to market your business that don’t cost the earth. Let’s take a look at them now.
1. Use Search Directories
Google and Bing both have free local search directories for businesses. Head over to Google My Business and Bing Places For Business to get listed – both should give you an increase in your website traffic. Also, think about your locality. Are there any business or commerce groups in your area? If so, sign up to them, too.
2. Use Social Media
Social media won’t work for everybody, but it can be a good way for a business to build an audience. Make sure to have a good description of what you do and link back to your website. One thing a lot of companies do wrong is to post promotional material all the time on their social media pages. Nobody likes a spammer, and people will quickly turn off your notifications if you act like this. Don’t forget that it’s called ‘social’ media for a reason, so get involved with conversing with other groups or conversations that are compatible with what you do.
3. Create A Competition
Competitions are a great way to build a name for yourself, without spending a fortune. For the best effect, look at giving a prize that is aligned to your business. For example, let’s say that you run a fitness website, there’s a good chance that many of your target audience will be interested in sport. So, head over to Pristine Auctions and make some bids on some signed sporting memorabilia. Once you win, you’ll have a few great prizes for the competition winners, and will be more likely to get entrants. All the emails you harvest can be used for an email campaign, which we’ll take a look at now.
4. Email Marketing
Email marketing is the most effective marketing methods that you can do online. You can sign up for a service like Constant Contact to get started. They offer a free trial – it’s always a good idea to try things before you buy – although other services are available. Once you have found one that is suitable for you, give it a go. You can send out as many emails as your budget allows, and as long as you give your audience a good reason to open your emails, you should see some success. There’s an excellent guide over at Kissmetrics.
Just because you don’t have much money, it doesn’t mean you can’t start marketing your product or service. All it takes is a little bit of ingenuity and a lot of knowledge about what your target market wants to know. Once you have that in mind, the rest is a question of testing and changing things so that they work better for you.