Promoting a business with no paid advertising is not something that will work forever, but it will work well enough to get you off of the ground and making enough capital that you will be able to invest in future advertising.
A lot of people assume that you have to invest a lot in marketing in the beginning, but that just isn’t true. In some ways, not spending a lot or even any money on advertising in the beginning tests both your fortitude and the viability of your business. If your business can generate enough money on it’s own to launch itself, then you know you have a winner.
Take Advantage of Social Media
Social media can be a wonderful form of free advertising if you use it correctly. What you really want to aim for with your social media is awareness and interaction. You want as many people as possible to see, interact with, and share your posts. Here are a few tips on how you can use, or better use, your social media platforms:
- Use an online graphics editor like Canva to create bolder more professional looking posts.
- Ask open-ended questions to get the conversation started and encourage engagement.
- Share useful content more often than you share advertising or you will bore and drive away followers.
- Like, share, and engage with your followers’ content.
- Don’t stop at Facebook and Instagram. Make sure you have a presence on the newer platforms such as VSCO and TikTok.
- Know your audience. Facebook demographics are different than those on Instagram, which are different than those on TikTok. Make sure you are sharing appropriate content for your audience.
Read Also: 10 Reason you need a website
Do It Yourself Traditional Marketing Materials
From flyers, to mailers to business cards, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to have a professional looking marketing tool. Paper marketing materials are very versatile and effective. They help to boost word of mouth recognition and sales. While you might want to opt for more expensive paper or card stock, it is easy to save money by designing and printing the materials yourself. You can design flyers and mailers on Canva and you can find business card templates at Business Cards.
Don’t Ask for Money, Ask for Help
Sometimes when you are starting a business, family members and friends see you coming and start to prepare their defenses as to why they can’t help finance your business venture. This doesn’t feel very good and it doesn’t get you the help that you need. If your approach is, “I would never dream of asking you for money for my business, but it would mean so much if you would share my business posts on your social media!” you are much harder to say no to.
Make Yourself Visible
Starting a business takes an extraordinary work ethic, but don’t get so busy that you forget to make yourself visible to the world. Networking will always be one of the most important aspects of marketing and branding. Also, remember that being at events as well as hosting them can be a great way to put your brand out there. You can write off your expenses if you host an event, but also consider using sponsors or co-hosting an event to limit your upfront expenses or eliminate them altogether.
You will find that it is not at all impossible to promote a business with no paid advertising. The most important thing will be your ability to be creative and think outside the box. If you are willing to put in the work yourself you absolutely can promote your brand for free.