Starting and marketing a new business is tough.
But do you want to know what’s tougher?
Marketing without any money in the bank.
We remember when we were about to throw in the towel and give up completely on our company. We had been in business for 3 years and had only got our revenue up to about $40,000/year.
And that was before expenses… and whatever was left was getting split 3 ways.
So yes, we weren’t really making any money.
But we decided to give it one more shot. We said if we can’t grow this thing within the next 12 months, we’ll call it quits.
Fortunately, we met our goal.
We implemented a marketing campaign, with very little money, that ended propelling us to becoming one of the fastest growing companies in the world in 2019 and 2020.
Now, we want to show you how to do the exact same thing on a budget.
In this post, we’re going to teach you how to do your branding and design your logo for FREE. We’re going to give you the most cost-effective ways to build your website. And most importantly, we are going to give the most cost-effective marketing channels that do not cost you an arm and a leg!
If you’re opening a new business, or if your business is not generating enough revenue to sustain itself yet, then we believe this post will be highly beneficial to you.
We’ve been there and believe it or not, most small businesses are started with limited capital.
We started our company with just $300.00 in the bank. And according to Fundera, a third of businesses start with less than $5,000 and the average business starts with $10,000.
That’s not a whole lot of money.
But if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty, it’s enough. If Steve Jobs can start Apple with $1,300.00 in capital and turn it into a billion-dollar business, anyone can.
You just need to spend your dollars wisely and implement a marketing strategy that does not drain all of your money in a few weeks.
So now, we’re going to tell you what we did and what we would do again right now if we had to build another business on a shoestring budget.
Here are the steps you need to take.
How to Market a New Business With No Money
Step 1: Hire Yourself as the Marketing Expert & Save Thousands
If you only have a few hundred or thousand dollars to invest into marketing, you don’t want to spend it all on some guru or expert that claims they will turn your business into a multi-million dollar machine.
For one, the person you hire can drain your entire marketing budget so much that you won’t have any money to invest into your actual marketing campaign.
Secondly, you need to demonstrate to yourself that you can sell your products or services. If you find out that the market doesn’t even want your products or services, then any investment you make into marketing will be a waste of money anyway.
When you are marketing on a budget, you can save yourself thousands of dollars by learning marketing yourself.
Don’t waste your money on interns that don’t know what they’re doing. Just because you can afford something, doesn’t mean it will work.
Do the hard work. Read the books. Study our YouTube channel. Get as familiar with marketing as you possibly can and run your own campaigns until you start selling products.
Once you’re making money, then you can use that revenue to hire a marketing agency or person in the future.
But don’t do that upfront unless you’re comfortable with the risk of losing a lot of money before your product or service has demonstrated that it will sell.
Step 2: Build Your Brand & Design a Professional Logo For Free
Now that it is clear that you’re steering the ship, let’s talk about marketing.
When you’re marketing on a budget, you’re more than likely not going to get millions of impressions and eyeballs that suddenly become aware of your brand. So before you even launch a marketing campaign, you need to make sure that you make any future impressions your business gets count.
You can do this in advance by building your brand.
Branding is a person’s gut feeling about your business.
So you’ll want to carefully choose your brand logo, colors, website, and media.
But if you don’t have any money, what should you do?
First, study brand personalities to determine what brand personality would resonate with your customers the most. BrandPersonalities is a free website that we’ve used several times.
Second, create a free account on Canva to build your logo. Canva has free logo templates that you can use for your business.
Forget about having the most cutting-edge logo in the world for a second. When you’re balling on a budget, you need to just choose something clean and professional to start.
Step 3: Build Your Website at Extremely Low Costs
The next thing to do is build your website. The cheapest thing that you can do is build your website on something like Wix, but we STRONGLY oppose this.
Wix websites look very cheap.
We’d advise you to build a WordPress or Shopify website for your business, depending on your business type.
Now with website design, you have two options.
One barely costs you any money, but a lot of hard work. While the other costs you a little money, and minimal work.
Let’s start with the one that barely costs you anything, which involves you learning how to build a professional website. These days you can start with a premade template and design your website without knowing any coding.
If you go this route, be sure to choose a template by someone who has a YouTube channel. Sometimes, they can walk you through how to build a website correctly by using their template.
Now, we must admit, while you can build your website without coding knowledge today, that doesn’t mean that this process is going to be easy.
Website design is still a very technical process, and if you want a website that gets the job done that doesn’t cost $5,000, then consider contacting us.
We have some ready-to-go websites that we can deploy for you at the fraction of the cost that most website designers use.
If you’re not a technical person, then buying a website is most likely worth the investment. So if you’re only working with a few thousand dollars to play with, this is one thing that you’ll need to buy.
Anyway, your options here are to use a free template and learn how to design your own website, or hire someone who can build a low-cost website for you without all the bells and whistles to preserve your budget.
Step 4: Leverage an Organic Marketing Strategy That Doesn’t Cost an Arm & a Leg
If you’re not sitting on a stockpile of cash to run really expensive advertising campaigns, your only alternative is to invest into organic marketing.
The best part about organic marketing is that it doesn’t cost you anything but time. You would only spend money if you want to hire someone to do this work for you.
But if you don’t have any money, consider learning how to do this yourself.
In fact, this is exactly what we did.
SEO is how we generated over 4 million visitors to our website.
Blogging and content marketing is how we brought over 5 million visitors to our website.
And social media marketing is how we drove over 35,000 hits over to our website.
To leverage SEO, you need to make appropriate changes to your website and help Google recognize your website as an authoritative site.
To leverage content marketing, you need to create content that adds value to your customer base and motivates them to take action.
To leverage social media marketing, you need to create a presence on channels your audience actually uses and share content that they engage with.
The good news is that we already have posts and videos on each of these subjects that teach you the basics of how to do this. Just check them out here on our blog and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss out on any of this.
Step 5: Only Use Paid Advertising to Boost Your Organic Marketing
If you don’t have a large marketing budget, do NOT try to play around with a Google Ads PPC strategy or a direct-response Facebook ad campaign.
If you think you’re going to run a single advertisement and people suddenly start buying your products, you’re going to be in for a big disappointment.
Don’t get us wrong, digital advertising is very effective. It’s just that it often takes thousands of dollars to create enough awareness to start motivating people to start buying from you.
That means if you only have a few thousand dollars in the first place, you’ll likely wind-up creating a lot of awareness but not enough sales because you will likely run out of money when you need it most.
So it’s best that you follow this simple rule: only use paid advertising to boost your organic marketing efforts.
Instead of running an ad to try to get immediate sales, run an ad to promote your latest blog post or social media post. And if a lot of people like that post, they’ll follow you, share it. And who knows- maybe it’ll end up ranking on the first page of Google!
And the best part about organic marketing is that the content lives forever. We’re still getting views on content that we created years ago, for completely free.
With that said, you’ll get a better return on your investment if you only use paid advertising to boost your organic marketing efforts. To be clear, that may be spending money on boosting posts on social media, promoting content to build your email list, or sponsored posts to increase backlinks to boost your SEO.
The good thing about doing this is that you DON’T have to spend a whole lot of money. This stuff can work on its own. So a little $25 boost can make a huge difference.
Alright, so those are the 5 steps to marketing on a tight budget.
Now let’s recap everything we discussed today very quickly.
Today, we discussed how to market a business with very little money.
The TWO biggest things you need to keep in mind are that you can save a whole lot of money by:
1. Learning how to do marketing yourself
2. Investing all of your energy in organic marketing
If you do this, you can grow your business online with very little money.
But if you do have some money to invest, then expedite your organic marketing by sponsoring posts that drive more attention to your organic efforts.
As long as you do this, with a professional brand image, it will only be a matter of time before your business starts growing.
Then, you can invest more into your business, or consider hiring an agency to help you along the way. If you’re already in that stage wherein you have the capacity to hire a digital marketing agency, LYFE Marketing is dedicated to help you. Contact us here or talk to an expert at (404) 596-7925.
Web Design, Digital Marketing, SEO agency, Arepo, Ibadan & Lagos, Nigeria