Few entrepreneurs have unlimited funds to grow their business. If you are just starting out as a small business owner, there’s a good chance that you’re on a tight budget. Unfortunately, the only way to survive in this economy is to grow. This means that you’ll need to find ways to market your business and build your brand, with little to no financial investment. Here are seven marketing tips for aspiring entrepreneurs that can help grow your company and its bottom line results.
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1. Make Sure You Have a Product/Market Fit
It’s going to be difficult to market your business if it’s products or services don’t fit your target market. You might have glanced at this before your startup launch, but it’s essential that you take another look in this direction before you begin any marketing campaigns. If you don’t have a product/market fit, you may need to rewrite product descriptions or refocus your efforts in a different direction.
2. Know Your Industry
If you want people to hire you for any reason, it helps if you appear to know what you’re doing. There are several ways to accomplish this feat that are completely free. First, learn as much as you can about your industry and use Google alerts to get the latest industry news. Next, become a thought leader online by delivering meaningful content to readers through your blog and social media accounts. You can also guest post on other blogs and offer interviews on relevant media outlets for additional exposure.
3. Drive Traffic Using Social Media
It might seem as if everyone is doing this (they are), which is just one of the reasons why you should also be on social media representing your business. It’s important that you don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to post on every social media site. Instead, take another look at your target market and find out where they are spending their time, then use that platform to interact with users and drive traffic to your company’s website.
4. Invest in Your Brand
Assuming you are on a shoestring budget, it’s still probably a good idea to set some funds aside to build your company’s brand. Even if you are driving traffic to your website via social media, your efforts won’t be effective unless you have a clear and powerful message to present once they arrive. For architect marketing and similar professional services, having a well-presented and aesthetically pleasing portfolio of past work is critical. Have a reputable website designer work on your company’s site and hire a professional to write the content.
5. Adopt Marketing Automation Tools
As a small business owner, it’s next to impossible to do everything single-handedly. The good news is that there is help available. Look for some free or cheap marketing automation tools that can keep your company’s name in front of clients while you work on running your core business.
6. Build a List
As your business picks up speed, ask clients to hand over their personal details, including email addresses. Use this data to start building an email list. This can be one of your most valuable marketing assets. You can send out newsletters and exclusive offers to your list, and even give incentives for referred business.
7. Take It Offline
While much of small business marketing today is accomplished online, you can still talk up your business and build your brand without an electronic device in sight. Do this through such things as networking, participating in community events, and asking current clients for referrals.
Growing a startup can be a challenge in any industry. While there may not be a guaranteed roadmap for success, there are some tried and true methods for marketing a business. The strategies that allow you to build your brand at the same time that you are forming relationships are going to provide the greatest return for your business. These are where you should concentrate your efforts so that you’ll have the most significant opportunities for long-term success.