What is the best way to promote a new service without paid advertising?
Getting attention is very difficult, and I'm not convinced that I want to promote my new business with advertising (yet). How do you recommend that I reach out to managers to promote my service, AwesomeBoss.com?
I would try to concentrate on inbound marketing rather than advertising. In summary: produce free content (blog posts, social media, videos). The content should be as much as possible insightful and share-able. Try to go viral. Good content can be training pieces, giving the start of an answer about a specific pain point your potential users may have. user cases, funny stories, heartwarming stories...The best would be if the content is interesting and share-able by non-prospects so that you can reach even further. I can see multiple possibilities with your topic. "bad boss", "bad management" are topics everybody likes to rent about, so they will share the stories (especially if it's a funny video about a bad management practice, you could conclude the video with "he hasn't heard of AwsomeBoss.com yet..."). Obviously, that's on top of my head, check if it hasn't been done yet so you don't infringe on copyrights or get bad return on virality.
The biggest failure that I see in startups today is lack of an advertising budget. You can't advertise without a budget and expect any kind of results. You can try Facebook and Twitter..but don't expect a ton of growth and plan to spend a ton of time (time=money).
That said...you've got a great start. You have a great domain name and website. Good luck!
Are you attempting to do a soft launch or a test market? Then direct marketing (digital or print) along with content development will be one way of going.
Managers is a pretty broad category. If you intent to do a soft launch, then you need to hyper define what type of managers at what level (C-level, VP, Director, or Manager) within the food chain and in what functional department (executive suite, finance, HR, sales/marketing, engineering, operations, etc.). Once you've defined that target, search for the appropriate trade organization, trade publication(s) and list that you could reach out to.
Develop an email to send to your target list. Create a press release specific to the trade group and publication.
If you want a wide release of your new business, then hire a professional to develop a media list for you. Then create a press release and send it to the list while posting in on a distribution service like PRWeb, PRNewswire, BusinessWire and alike.
I would also follow Francois suggestion of inbound marketing.
In either scenario, you need to generate brand awareness first followed by demand/lead generation, which may or may not be concurrent.
Keep in mind that you'll need 4-11 touches per prospect before it will lead into a purchase of services, and the prospect will need 5-8 pieces of information to interact with during the buying journey.
Network network network!!!!!!!!!!!! only effective free advertising in todays market.
Well, if I talk about now then the best option to move forward is by taking a little help from social media platform. Start by creating a page over the social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn ...etc and then start promoting yourself over their once you start generating enough attention over the social media platform then you will automatically found yourself in the eyes of the managers or the business individuals you are trying to target upon. If you ask me personally then it's better to concentrate more over LinkedIN network as its much more concentrate towards business individuals so that would the best option to move from !
I have found that networking events through chambers, BNI, and meetup.com have been very helpful. If the other business owners in those groups believe in you, they will promote you through word of mouth.
Social media is another great source. Create a business page and share what is happening with your business!
Best of luck!
What you have to offer?
I mean you need to have a consistently list of customers if you don't want to pay for advertising.
If you don't have the list of customers, I advise you to build one first.
The cheaper way for you to do that is by your business be willing to give something first.
You also could negotiate with complimentary companies to yours, by creating large packages between both, or even you could approach those companies with large list of customers and offer something for free in change of customers.
After you have the customers, well you know what to do do with them!
There is no such thing as non paid advertisement, organic days are over. You are limited in every way, even most viral videos are tailored in agencies.
Best you can do is have a strong website with heavy original content, that will help, other than that hit your niche at forums, linkedIn etc.
But sooner than later, you will be advertising.
(Ive worked in one of the biggest media advertising agencies in the world)
You don't want to reach out to managers. That's called outbound marketing (old skool) you want them to reach out to you (inbound marketing). You need to find out what they are actively searching for and determine the market demand for what you are offering. There are ways to perform quality inbound marketing without seo, ppc, or even social media. What you need to do is interview these managers and uncover the problems/struggles with their current solutions. Then you create your value proposition around your unique solution. There really is a solid formula for executing this correctly. It includes consumer research, automation, and creating a unique and proprietary solution and user experience. The more unique your solution is, the less money you'll have to spend on advertising. I'm covering this topic in depth in my upcoming webinar "Growing Your Startup". Be sure to get registered by visiting http://bit.ly/1K9RHYw and click on the "Get Started" button. You don't want to miss this free training.
Social media marketing! :D While I have to agree with you that getting attention is very difficult, making advertisements on the social media is the easiest and fastest way to get notice. You just need to put consistent effort on it. ;)
Inventive loopholes can include email marketing, (lists can be obtained many ways) organized campaigns for credits towards your product or service, (Entailing the active recruitment through social channels) Reviews (also best to compensate reviewers) etc.
It seems the manager is your persona and the end user.
But If I may ask who is the decision maker (the paying customer), is that an HR dept?
For me , it's Email and Social Media Marketing. But of course you need direct emails for that.
What do you think makes you unique and different from the competition?
If you don't advertise or market, how will you get revenue?
You can start with your friends and your network to see if they need what you sell.
One of the first things you can do is use your website to generate leads. However your current AwesonBoss.com does not even say what you do on your home page. Plus there is no phone number to call or contact information. And no compelling reason for anyone to sign up for whatever it is is you do.
If someone were to go there, they have 3.4 seconds to decide to stay. Since you don't state what you do or why you are different, I bet they leave straight away.
Contribute to discussions that your target market are involved in on social media.
Create content that they will watch and read. The easiest way to achieve this is to give free information. Hints and tips or solutions to the problems that your business solves. But don't throw the baby out with the bath water.
All business solves a problem remember.
Keep it concise. Very few people really read huge articles or watch really long videos.
Thanks for the great responses, everyone. I'm going to be busy for the next day or so, but I do want to come back to continue the conversation. Talk soon! Thanks again!
B.J. There is a website I often recommend that has annually been offering a list of 100 FREE Marketing Ideas. Check out www.100FreeMarketingIdeas.com. The site is actually a handout from a 15-30 minute speech that Tara Jacobsen of MarkertingArtfully.com gives at networking events. If you have a networking event particularly in the Denver, Boulder, Clearwater or Tampa area look her up.
Remember your time is worth money as you evaluate your options. Also, missing information will cost you visitors. Certain critical information, if not present, will quickly send them away. Do you know what they are and how to fix them? You can sign up for the answer to this and other Web Design secrets for free at: www.pragmaticwebdesigner.com/landing/we-share-our-secrets/
Today's answer: www.AwesomeBoss.com has no pricing information. This is so easy to fix. Are you affordable? If so, I don't know the answer. Lots of folks won't sign up just to find out.
-The Pragmatic Web Designer
I would start small and local. Do a couple test cases to vet your service. Once you know the service will actually help your intended client, you can feel more confident advertising. Community networking and social media is always a cheap/free alternative to advertising when you're just starting out.
Good luck! Hope this helps!
Well, for one thing, you just did (noting the domain listing at the end of your question). It's a mistake to ignore the value of advertising but we work with companies in your situation to create a PR blitz that will give them both exposure and credibility. Start with a press release announcing your service and promote it locally. Use that media coverage as the street cred you need and forward it out into your social media, website and other online marketing efforts. PR is NOT about free advertising, it's about gaining what advertising cannot give you - credibility.