20 Ways to Market on a Shoestring Budget

  1. Claim your Business
    1. Claim your business on Google My Business Listing, Nextdoor, and Yelp. This is free ongoing advertising for your business and an opportunity for loyal customers to give you praise and drive traffic.
  1. Get a Website
    1. Every business needs a website. Get one. A business blog is a very inexpensive way to attract readers and keep traffic coming to your site.
    2. Write relevant content. If you don’t have the time to write content for your site, you can enlist college students or other professionals that are looking to further their online presence
  1. Social Media Presence
    1. The third must-have for inexpensive marketing is a social media presence. Get the word out, and make sure you post frequently to keep your followers engaged and coming back. Don’t forget to add your social medial handles to all your marketing material. Make it easy for your fan-base to follow you by generating a QR code.
  1. Join Community Groups
    1. Connect with people and strengthen your presence in the community. The strongest form of marketing is Word of Mouth.
  1. Pay Per Click Advertising
    1. Sites like Facebook, Google, Linked In, and others regularly offer free advertising credits to lure in new business. You can get your feet wet in pay-per-click advertising without spending any money by waiting for these promotions to come around. This is a great way to experiment with all the ways you can fine-tune or broaden your campaign. If the ad campaign bombs, you haven’t spent any money or damaged your brand.
  1. Run a Class or Workshop
    1. If your business has a local presence, consider teaching a class or workshop. Make it affordable to your target market or free. If you don’t have room in your shop, you can use the local library for free or consider using a local park.
  1. Start Building your Email List
    1. There are a lot of paid and free CRM programs that will integrate with your website. I highly suggest MailChimp if you are just starting, their smallest account is free, they will not spam you, and you can pre-schedule your emails in advance.
  1. Co-Marketing
    1. Consider co-marketing with either a similar business on the opposite side of town or enlist a local espresso cart or bakery to help spread the word.
    2. Consider Co-Sponsoring a Contest
      1. This is a great way to get business in the door and cut marketing costs.
  1. Start an Ambassador Program
    1. This is the fastest and cheapest way to reach more people.
  1. Host an Open House
    1. Make sure you kick off big but within budget. Contact local businesses to see if you can collect donations for door prizes-this is a great way for other business to tap into a broader market and do some marketing without much effort. With the right amount of planning and outreach, it’s possible to have 80% or more of the expenses covered by other businesses.