Your Startup is finally up and running and you are super excited. Few customers are already in the system, maybe from family and friends. But then reality sets in.
How do you go from having a few customers to enough customers to sustain your business and fuel its growth since you don’t have millions of dollars from VCs to spend?
A marketing team might be the next point of call for you, but what if you don’t have the budget to hire a full-time person, and don’t have money to invest in marketing initiatives.
Well here are five simple, straight-forward tips on how to market with little or no budget.
Think deeply about your brand and your message, and try to be consistent
Carefully think about who you are, who your customers are, what you want your brand to represent, and what your message should be. After figuring all this out, stick to it, it’s easy to lose sight of these details. So pause and take time to really focus on your brand and your message. Launched already? Schedule in some time to do this asap, it will save you time and money.
Engage Word of Mouth Advertising
Word of mouth marketing costs us nothing, reach out to people you already know, listen to your customers when they have ideas or suggestions for how to improve your platform, take this feedback directly to our development team.
Always remember that how you treat your customers after they’ve signed the contract matters, and a positive relationship might be all you need to scale your startup in terms of finance.
Implement Search Engine Optimization (SEO) when building your website
When building the first version of your website, don’t forget to implement SEO because your site might look amazing and it’s user-friendly but if potential customers never see it, then it’s actually useless. When people type in your company name on Search Engine, does it bring out your details? You might decide to hire an SEO Expert on a part-time base to audit both the Frontend and Backend of your website. All of this will increase your visibility.
Take advantage of different Social Media platforms
To get the best out of Social Media, you need to be consistent and focused. Make sure what you post is consistent on all your social media platforms and it’s in line with your brand. Watch out for typos and apply professionalism. Check out your social media regularly to be sure it’s on track, and be sure it accurately reflects your brand. If not, make adjustments before further damage is done.
Network! Network!! Network!!!
Plug into the vibrant tech community in your area, this might involve guest speaking at events, engaging in philanthropic activities and taking every opportunity to spread the word about your company. Watch out for opportunities to be interviewed by, or be a contributor to various publications. Although these activities might be time-consuming at times, just remember that its a step in the right direction. It will pay-off eventually.
Although these tips might not necessarily open the floodgates when it comes to new clients, have a realistic view as you invest energy, effort and time into building the marketing foundation for your startup.
This foundation will help in three ways. First, it will provide your team with valuable leads that can help propel your initial growth.
Second, it will prevent you from losing the interest of potential customers, who could be turned off by sloppy or unprofessional marketing messages.
Finally, when you are able to afford a full-time marketing/communication/PR professional, that person can truly focus on bringing your company to the next level, preventing him from wasting time and money on experimenting different marketing strategies.