Marketing your startup on a shoestring budget

As anyone who has started out in business will testify, there’s no such thing as “build it and they will come”. On the contrary, it takes immense effort to attract customers to your business.

The term “marketing strategy” might sound very corporate and perhaps too big for the typical small business but trust us, it’s not. Fail to have such a strategy, and it’s going to be an uphill battle.


One of the significant issues that a lot of businesses face is not having an appropriate marketing budget. While this may have once hampered their efforts, nowadays, you can work around it.

Let’s take a look at some of your options.

Use social media.

The first and most obvious solution is to use social media. It’s free, easy to use, and everybody’s doing it. You can reach a vast audience with minimal effort, and if you’re clever, you can even make a bit of money from it.

There are a few things to bear in mind, though. First, you must ensure that your content is high quality and engaging. Nobody wants to read a bunch of boring marketing material, so mix it up with some interesting blog posts, infographics, videos, or whatever else you can think of.

Second, don’t be afraid to use paid promotion. A few pounds here and there can go a long way, and it’s worth it if it means reaching more people. It all comes down to the time and effort equation, and by investing small amounts, you can free up considerable amounts of these commodities.

Outreach to nano-influencers.

Just like celebrities who have followers in millions, nano-influencers are everyday social media users or the most active ones with anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 followers.

To be honest they are not “Professional” influencers but they have a decent reach of audience. You can take the help of these nano or micro-influencers to market your startup.

Make sure you market your business accordingly to their content type as the majority of their posts feature typical content like selfies, photos of their family, friends, cat videos, and memes.

PR (Public Relations).

Another great way to get the word out there is through PR. If you can get your business featured in a newspaper, magazine, or even on TV or radio, you’ll reach a whole new audience. Of course, this isn’t always free, and it can be difficult to get media coverage. But the local press is desperate for stories, and if your new business is doing something out of the ordinary, you might be in with a shot.

Do networking.

Another great way to market your business is through networking. Just like we make friends in real life we can make some professional friends too who can lead us to success by sharing working experiences and ideas. Get out there and meet people, attend events, and give talks.

Similarly, take matters into your own hands. Hold a marketing event at your offices and tell the world that you truly mean business. Sure, you’ll need to ensure you have facilities, staffing and documentation (i.e., public liability insurance) in place beforehand, but it can be a great way to get noticed.

Word of mouth.

Last but not least, don’t forget the power of word of mouth. You’re halfway there if you can get people talking about your business. Naturally, the best way to do this is to provide an excellent service or product. If you can make your customers happy, they’ll do the marketing for you.

Of course, you can also try traditional methods, such as flyers and newspaper ads. But if you’re on a tight budget, then these four methods should be more than enough to get you started.

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