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10 Zero Budget Marketing Strategies for New Start-Ups

As a new start-up, I know how it is like to be boot-strapped and not have a big budget to promote your brands through advertisements. Being prudent is key, and every cent counts. However, you don’t need a big budget to start your marketing campaign to raise brand visibility and getting leads. Here’s how. 

1. Start with ‘Yours Truly Marketing Engine’

As entrepreneurs, the best way to market yourself is you - in person. Take advantage of the power of networking and connecting with people face to face the solutions your business can offer. It is the best way to build a good conversation and get leads. Not sure where to start? Consider creating your personal branding on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the best platform to make connections with like-minded people and get your brand exposed to potential customers. 

2. Cross-promote

Consider a collaboration with your partners to cross-promote your businesses to your clients. For example, if your business specialises in social media management, while a partner offers branding strategy development or website design, cross-promote each other’s solutions so that your clients will be able to see a suite of services they can choose from. 

3. Use niche-influencers

If you are familiar with a particular influencer, who can dish up a conversation in your industry, or reach a broader audience from their posts. Consider working with them to promote your brand. When they carry comments and attach photos of your products or share about your services, you have a better chance of reaching a wider target audience.

4. Publish great content social media

According to Sprout Social, a social media management platform, 30% of Millennials engage with a brand on social media at least once a month. Produce content on your social media platforms regularly. Provide good tips on ‘how-to’ ideas, useful information, and best practices in your business or industry. The idea is not to sell your products but provide a solution that your customers can resonate with. Take advantage of gaining more followers by maximising this channel to your benefit.

5. Develop your own blog

On top of producing regular social media posts, consider developing long-form articles or blog posts on your website to draw readers. You can write content that is related to your business or a topic of interest related to your industry. Remember to produce content or blogs that people will like and potentially share. If you need some ideas on the keywords to increase your article visibility on the search engines, consider using keywords search apps like Buzzsumo to help you.

6. Be a guest blogger

Guest blogging for other people’s blogs is a great way to increase your audience reach. Offer to write a guest post to a fellow blogger in the same industry and include a backlink to your blog or website. At the same time, consider getting them to guest posts on your blog, as well. That way, you will each get to reach more readers and followers.

7. Create your own infographics

If you are savvy with graphic design, you can develop infographics for your posts. However, if you find using design software a challenge, take advantage of free apps such as Canva and Crello and use their array of free templates to start with.

8. Develop an affiliate marketing incentive

Offer affiliate marketing incentives for anyone who refers new clients to you. Offer them either a free product or a month of your service to entice them. Word of mouth or recommendations by people is the most powerful. Having your contacts spread the word about your business is a fantastic strategy.

9. Take up speaking engagements

Jump on the opportunity to speak at seminars or workshops and post about your event on your website, social media, and get more attention.

10. Write a press release on your own

I know this might sound old school, but issuing a press release of your new venture to the local press is a good option. Alternatively, consider writing a story pitch to a targeted group of media who will be keen to cover your start-up story. Writing a release or pitch may take a little more research and effort but done successfully; you can get earned media for free quite easily.

The above are just some examples that I have tried and tested. You don’t necessarily have to apply all of them to see some results. Monitor a few that show some positive ROI and the exposure you need.

Do you have other tips that have worked for you? Comment and share your strategies.

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