Dear Olga: I have $0 for marketing my online startup. What should I do?
~ Candy O., New Reviews Website, Irvine, CA
With a zero dollar marketing budget, you need to be open to marketing yourself and gifting your expertise. In order to do that effectively, you need to know what you are best at and shout it from the mountaintops. The number one way to get the word out is to genuinely help those who are in need of your products/services. What is it that you can give or offer?
Of course, that being said, you have to know what your UVP is before you get started. What is your “-est”? (If you’re not already familiar with this concept, see my earlier blog posts for a full explanation.)
Once you’re ready to share your expertise, flaunt your “-est,” and discuss your UVP, there are several places you can go…
10 Ways To Market Your Business For Free
1. As the author of your own blog or e-newsletter (either written or video).
2. As the author of an eBook.
3. As a contributor to industry blogs and blogs that your customers follow (via comments and/or guests posts).
4. As the author of articles or white papers you contribute to publications (e.g. magazines, websites, Chamber newsletters, etc.).
5. As a source with expert opinions that you can offer to journalists covering your field. (Get involved with HARO.)
6. As a participant in LinkedIn forums and creator of your own LinkedIn group.
7. As a partner of industry associations, offering educational content and/or joint webinars.
8. As a post of useful or interesting content on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
9. As a complementary product/service to other companies that are open to join marketing campaigns.
10. As a volunteer to community organizations.
Now, don’t go getting overwhelmed! Just picking one of the 10 items above and fully committing to it can bring forth your value into the world. Once you’re viewed as a contributor to your community, that trust will get the word out. Don’t worry if people don’t respond right away. As long as you are giving of your talents, you’ll do fine in the long run. Marketing in the 21st century is where you need to try new things in order to connect. The good news is that all of the above 10 items cost you zero dollars.