4 Steps To Marketing Your Startup On A Budget
Getting your startup off the ground can be tricky, especially if you have little financial backing. At the early stage, marketing is usually an afterthought – an exercise you do when you can to try and drum up a few extra clients.
For startups today, marketing is considered a crucial arm of the business that elevates an organisation, but a few still fail to create messages that resonate with (or even reach) their audience.
With this in mind, read on for guidance on how best to market your services without breaking the bank.
Network as often as you can
You don’t even need branding for this one (other than the persona you carry yourself). Networking mostly costs nothing as events are often free to attend, and it gives you an opportunity to get in front of your target audience. Put yourself in as many situations as possible where you have unrestricted access to prospects and practise your pitch, and you’ll be awash with leads.
Be conscious of how you come across to others during networking. At this stage, you’re the first impression of your own business. How you carry yourself on the day will impact their opinion of the quality of your service. If you were hoping to join a franchise business, most franchisors will expect you to have some experience in networking and pitching your own ability, making this a useful talent regardless of the size of your company.
Build and nurture a following on social media
Social posts don’t need to eat into your budget; if you have an audience active online, you can motivate them to like or follow your business. Using Twitter, for example, startups will typically follow potential clients and similar organisations to themselves. For example, a specialist cleaning and restoration business could follow companies in the local area as they slowly build up a following.
While this gradual approach can feel painstaking at times, it builds a community which you can talk to and use to inform your branding and online behaviour. Social media shouldn’t make up your entire marketing efforts, but it can encourage healthy interest and interactions. Use it to advertise offers or promotions and proactively engage with your target audience.
Create positive word of mouth
Once you’ve networked around the local businesses and managed to garner a few clients, start making waves through their social circles. Perform your job so well that it warrants word of mouth – go the extra mile and innovate where others aren’t. Recommendation and referral can turn into a reliable source of income, so see every client serviced as an opportunity for more business.
Getting case studies on your site and posting reviews on your social media is a positive way to build up credibility, especially if you’re a startup facing heavy opposition. If you’re a franchise business, then it’s likely your franchisor will have testimonials you can use that describe the operation as a whole, but it’s a good idea to build up your own loyal following.
Advertise like a local
If there are methods of advertising that your audience are typically used to (for instance, local newspapers, direct mail or radio contests), these are generally cheaper than online and nationwide advertising avenues and can generate moderate interest. If you’re struggling against long-standing competitors who have been in the area for a while, then challenge them through media the local populace is familiar with.
Look like a local by using their method of communication and listing in it. You don’t need to spend thousands on PPC campaigns if there’s a local magazine that is frequently circulated around the offices of your target audience. Franchise businesses usually work from a wealth of experience inherited from the franchisor – this will include valuable industry-specific magazines, along with useful local papers.
If you’re itching to kickstart your business but are concerned about the finances of your organisation, why not try a secure path to success with a franchise? Rainbow franchisees have access to a whole suite of marketing resources, provided by the franchisor. What’s more, they are guided by the marketing successes and failures of their fellow franchisees.
These resources are handed to the business owner immediately, along with the training you’ll need to become a specialist cleaning and restoration expert. Take advantage of our experience today; simply speak to a member of our franchise team by requesting a callback now.