So, how should you go about promoting yourself with a limited budget? Here are four approaches to get your brand out there without emptying the bank.
You’ve got an amazing product or service, so amazing in fact that you’re willing to dedicate time and effort and your next few months to a startup marketing campaign to turn it into an actual business.
But How Do You Promote Your Startup with a Preliminary, Modest Budget?
Twenty years ago you’d be hard pressed to get it off the ground, unless you had some influential connections or some pretty deep pockets.
Thankfully there are hundreds of opportunities online today to market your ideas. The internet gives everybody a platform to promote on - the key is to be resourceful and creative.
Generating attraction to your sale is difficult and requires persuasion, strategy and a little luck, but done properly a huge budget needn’t be another requirement. This guide is here to help you harness the internet and make promoting yourself much more achievable.
Be Social With Social Media Marketing
Social networks hold a clue to their business potential in their name. Networking in the twenty-first century is heavily intertwined with one’s conduct on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Promoting via your social networks isn’t as easy as some would lead you to believe, however.
Posting explicitly promotional material to your social media accounts too regularly is counterproductive – nobody enjoys the constant echoing of "me me me me." Further, simply following hundreds of people and expecting them to return the favour is a waste of time if you’re not taking the time to both create content and share anything that’ll interest them. There’s an etiquette to social media and without respecting it you’re getting nowhere.
To successfully network and promote yourself online you must provide value to others. That means engaging with people over shared interests – not just your startup. It also means that the material you post online interests and resonates with potential customers – why else would they become committed to your goals if it isn’t going to benefit them?
Profile your audience and share content marketing that relates to the industry of your startup. Initiate genuine conversation with people who have shown they share similar values to you. Social Media is akin to one big business event, you need to remain authentic when you mingle.
Have a Great, User-Friendly Website
Social media is all well and good, but long term, if you don’t have a website then you’re a president with no state. Budget limitations may prevent you from having the flashiest website but there’s nothing stopping you from using one of the thousands of templates available.
Having a website allows you to put all of your information in one place rather than establishing it on social networks where it may end up irritating others or being incongruous with its context.
Present your information clearly and have contact details on your page for you to be reached – your website is your professional portfolio, CV and contact point all at once.
Guest Post on Reputable Websites
There will be an array of websites associated with your startup’s industry that host blogs. Reaching out to a blog’s author on social media with interesting content to post is a proven startup marketing strategy and a great way to promote yourself to a much wider audience.
Set yourself a quality score to determine which websites are worth your content (using browser extensions like Moz allow you to measure a domain’s authority with the search engines) and begin to reach out to authors. Ensure you’ve got a handle on the content that has already been posted on a specific blog so you can tailor your own blog post to fit its style, too.
By having your content shared on popular blogs, not only are you promoting to a much larger audience, but you’re building relationships with the influential people who manage that blog’s website: networking opportunity part two achieved.
Getting an ad posted doesn’t have to be a drawn-out affair that ends with your face being plastered on a billboard. Pay-per-click advertising is utilised by many businesses as a cost-effective method to generate leads.
If you want to advertise a startup then it’s likely you won’t have thousands to drop on advertising. Setting a strict limit to your budget and identifying the most promising avenues (Facebook ads, Google Adwords, etc.) to publish through is your first port of call.
Next, spend a little time perfecting your ad copy - this is important; if you’ve done your ads properly, the money you spend will be directly correlated with the leads you generate. From there, optimise to improve conversion rate.
As you can see, there’s a great range of online marketing opportunities to promote yourself. If you’re confident with your startup then it’s time to push the boat out and see what you can achieve to reach paying customers. Don’t let budget restrict you – marketing your ideas online can be wildly successful with a little digital creativity