Focus on serving your initial customers really, really well
Creativity can get you past a tight budget. The trick is to remember that you can do your own marketing, you need to make sure that the right people know about you and that you take advantages of the new opportunities technology offers.
They who aren’t strong need to be creative. Startups are rarely strong and the last thing you want to do is blow 90% of your budget on marketing. And so, in order to get some real reach, you’ve got to think up some alternative ways to reach your audience.
Today we’re going to look at a few options that you can pursue, which can give you far more bang for your limited buck. Sound pretty good, right? So, let’s cut the preamble and get right to it.
The sale comes at the end
You’re a small business and you really need every sale that you can get. The problem is that though this might be your focus, it is not what the people who come to your site or talk to you in person want to focus on.
So don’t. Instead, work on engaging them first. Tell them about yourself, your business and why what you do is special. Engage them and build a relationship with them. If you can do that, then they might not just buy your product, but also talk about what you’re doing to other people. And that can be far more valuable as word-of-mouth advertising is still one of the most effective advertising tools around.
Focus, focus, focus
Start out by finding a niche that has been neglected and making sure that your product is exactly what they want. Then focus on making them buy it without searching for top company reviews. This form of thin-slicing the market is immensely useful, as you can take action to make sure that you really engage your audience. What’s more, if you can make sure that your product fulfills all of their needs exactly, instead of sort of, you’ll be in a position to charge a premium for your services.
Try new channels
If you’re a startup, then you’ve got content that you’re marketing (You do, right?). The thing is, are you marketing it correctly? Most people aren’t. They push it across their social media and hope for the best. That’s not an effective strategy, as those channels aren’t built up all that while yet. Besides, the people that you reach through those channels are exactly the people that already know about your brand and are already converted.
The solution? Push yourself across groups, channels, and new social media platforms. Constantly be looking for new places that you can put up your articles. Try to follow their rules as best you can, of course, but that shouldn’t really be a problem as you won’t spam anybody if you simply make sure that you’re constantly posting your content on new platforms and in new places.
Share and share alike
When you’re starting out you might not have a budget, but you should have at least the beginning of a group of interested people. That is already worth something. So why not find other startups that aren’t direct competition and offer to share and share alike?
The idea is very simple. They share some of your content and you share some of theirs. If you find a group of other startups to do this with you can boost your reach multiple times.
Get involved in events in your niche
Sponsor them, speak at them or just attend them. The opportunities to network and find new people to stay in touch with are often well worth the price of admission (And besides, there might be cool workshops). Besides, there is something to be said for shaking somebody’s hand and looking them in the eye. Often, that’s far more effective than any email or social media message.
After all, we’re a visual species and we like to be able to put a face with an idea. So don’t, just do your marketing online. Go out, get involved and get your name mentioned. Then the mere exposure effect can do the rest.
There are a huge number of opportunities to market yourself in the world all around us. All we have to do is take advantage of them. That means having a spiel ready when somebody asks us, making use of the rapidly developing nature of the internet and making sure what budget you do have is focused on the right people with the right interests.
If you can do that and keep doing it for long enough, then you’re bound to have results. That second part of that sentence is important, however. You need to take time for marketing. It can take a lot of effort to stick in somebody’s head. Only repeat exposure will get you there. So don’t fall for the instant gratification that we inhabit today. Instead, realize that marketing, just like everything else, takes effort and time. Only when you accept that, can you make the long-term plan that will make your startup into a giant within your industry?