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Low on Funds? How to Market Your Business for Free

ByMaleeka Hollaway,
business.com writer
| Last Modified
May 20, 2019
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> Marketing
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Marketing is expensive. And when you're a new business owner, adding another expense line item can feel like a ton of bricks weighing you down. From digital promotion to advertisements, getting the word out that you are in business takes time, practice and patience …especially when money is low.

Nowadays, many bootstrap minded business owners have found ways to navigate tackling their marketing details to bring in sales with little to no money upfront. Here are four tips you can use to do the same.

Ask for referrals from your customers and clients

The best form of publicity and marketing is word of mouth. People love hearing first-hand accounts of other people's buying experiences. Consider Google and Yelp reviews. If you leave a review, they'll email you to tell you how much your review is being seen by others. You want your customers to love being a patron of yours so much that they leave honest reviews that help attract you more business.

When you are strapped for cash, the people who love your products or services can be your walking billboards. Leverage the people you already have connections with to bring in more potential buyers. Offer incentives that entice people to be an advocate for you.

Take advantage of your social media platforms to plug your business.

For so long, social media platforms were the perfect avenue for marketing small businesses. Due to friends and followers" many new business owners had ready-made pools of potential customers at their fingertips. Now that these social media platforms have found ways to monetize the efforts of businesses who want to advertise, small business owners have had to start investing to get seen.

There is a workaround, however. It centers around you being intentional about every interaction you have on social media. From status updates to commenting or engaging in groups, use every opportunity you can find to let people know what you have to offer. If you run across someone asking a question that your expertise can offer a solution to, answer it.

Also, connect with others in similar industries as yours. Leverage the strength of using other people's platforms to help build your own. But be tactful. You don't want to be known as "that" person who is always selling something.

Use your own platform to provide insightful information.

In the seize for mass attention, many new business owners often forsake the power of their own platforms. Your website, social media sites, or business cards can serve as a platform for persuasive conversation.

When potential customers go to your site, they need to see a balanced mixture of visual and written content. The content can be photos of your products, video testimonials, or informational blog posts. If you have a winning personality and are the face of your brand, your platform should show you off in a way that creates the know, like and trust factor immediately. 

Your social platforms should be on brand and also convey the message you want to spread about your product or service. Your focus should be to teach your audience something new and to ask for the sale. Period.

Don't forget about the offline world

Although we live in a highly digital society, there is still a whole world of business that occurs offline. As a business owner, you can't just wait for business to find you. You have to take the initiative and go find the business you need. And if you open your eyes and your mind, you'll see your target market all around you.

A great starting point is local networking events. You'll meet new faces and make connections who may be potential buyers. In addition, attend trade shows, vendor events, and any event that puts you in a space where you can connect with people and do market research.

When there is a lack of funds, creativity can soar. You have to learn how to take your future in your hands and master being in the trenches of doing business. The more you stay consistent and stick with a strategy, the better your chances will be in generating business for yourself.

 

Maleeka Hollaway
Maleeka Hollaway
See Maleeka Hollaway's Profile
Maleeka T. Hollaway, a native of Atlanta, Ga, is a millennial serial entrepreneur, consultant, speaker, and writer obsessed with personal development, leadership, public relations, branding and small-business growth. A contributing writer to some of the world’s largest publications her goal is to teach small-business owners and entrepreneurs to position themselves to grow sustainable businesses and brands. She holds a Bachelors and Masters degree from Alabama A & M University and is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Business Administration from Capella University. Connect with her on www.maleekahollaway.com.
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