From time to time, we search out Facebook Groups for questions and invite questions from readers of the Blog.
A Facebook questioner recently asked, “How do you advertise your small business if you have little to no startup money?”
This is a great question, and one that is certainly relevant.
We live in an interesting time. Marketing knowledge and automation is so advanced that a company could spend millions per year on advertising.
At the same time, it has never been more affordable than now to advertise your small business!
This may not make sense at face value, but there are at least three ways in which small businesses owners today can advertise with no startup money.
1. Define “Advertise”
First things first, we must define terms. Advertise, in 2017, means many different things. It used to be pretty cut and dry, but today, there are many different ways to advertise! I’m afriad that we assume dollars (and lots of them) are necessary because we’re using the traditional definition. Two years ago, when I had no startup money for this business, I priced advertising in a local newspaper. They wanted thousands per month. I thought they were nuts! Today, my business (though not huge) has grown steadily, all without having paid a dime for advertising. It’s possible!
2. Use Your Network
Secondly, you must realize that your current network is the most powerful thing available to you. In his book, The Power of Who, Bob Beaudine subtitles the book with a powerful claim: “You already know everyone you need to know.” What he means is that your personal network is already replete with the connections you need to achieve your ultimate goals or advertise your small business offerings. The old saying is, “It’s not how much you know, it’s who you know.” And, that statement rings true today. Learn how to search within your network when looking for new customers.
3. Become a Social Media Ninja
Finally, you must become an EXPERT at social media. If you’ve ever watched the ABC series, Shark Tank, you realize how powerful social can be. Many entrepreneurs have shown up with millions of dollars in sales, all coming from social sharing. Some aspects of social are paid–of course! But many see success simply by finding the right groups of interest, friending the right people, and making the right connections. Frankly, social media is where people live now! Unless you are targeting the one market segment of individuals who, for some reason, don’t use social media, you can reach almost anyone with it! Why pay for physical advertising, when digital advertising can be done for free?small business website is the hub of your digital marketing campaign.
This, while not free, is a necessary expense. We have a great managed website plan for startups that will get you up and running the right way, the first time, all for an affordable price.
Done right, your website will be the primary generator of your income, rather than a “cost of doing business.”
Don’t forget to subscribe for more weekly advice such as this, and feel free to contact us with your questions!
Discussion Question: What free/low-cost methods have you found most effective in advertising your small business?