Life Hacks for Startups Without Spending a Lot of Money on Marketing

Life Hacks for Startups Without Spending a Lot of Money on Marketing

Kickstarting your business and getting it off the ground might just be the most difficult part of any company’s lifecycle. Indeed, having a startup is quite costly, but it’s that first stage that you need to pay attention to if you want to establish yourself on the market.

An integral part of this is marketing. Many startup owners and entrepreneurs immediately assume they need to spend a lot on marketing, but this is not always the case. Hence, here are some life hacks for startups without spending a lot of money on marketing.

#1 Define Your Branding Strategy

The first step is to define your branding strategy before you start advertising or marketing your business in any way. The way you brand yourself can make or break your startup, so you need to be careful with your choices here. Moreover, your branding is in itself a form of marketing – it directly impacts brand recognition.

If your branding is smart, it will already boost your promotion, but it isn’t entirely self-sufficient. For instance, having a unique product will already attract attention to you, but you still need to market that product. Moreover, understanding what your branding is about will help you move in the right direction and stay consistent in your marketing.

#2 Utilize SWOT and Set Priorities

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. By using SWOT, you can better understand your own business and craft the most fitting marketing strategy for it. For instance, if the strength of your startup is your diverse team of well-known experts in your field, then you could use that as a marketing point.

Once you have assessed your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, you will also need to set your priorities. By having a clear set of priorities, you will be able to choose the right techniques to use in your marketing and advertising campaigns. Moreover, you will be able to allocate your resources more smartly.

#3 Assess Available Resources

Speaking of your resources, another thing you should do is assess the resources available to you. Think about your budget, human resources, material resources, and anything else that is relevant to your case. It’s important to remember that even with few resources and a small budget, it is still possible to have a very successful marketing strategy.

For example, you might not have any writers on your team which means you will either need to hire writers or find an alternative. Hiring in-house writers can be quite costly, but you still need someone to create content for you. That’s when you can freelance part of your content creation. A good starting point is Best Writers Online, a website that collects reviews of writers and their services. Freelance is the perfect solution for anyone who wants affordable professional writers.

#4 Automate Part of Your Work

Startups often have small teams with employees performing multiple jobs at the same time. As the company grows, you will be able to hire more people, but for now, you need to find ways to reduce the amount of work your team must do so that there is enough time for everything you have planned. That’s where automation comes in.

Automating part of your work, especially the easier tasks, can save a lot of time and money. There are numerous online tools you can use for this as well as free software that is relatively easy to master. Once your employees are acquainted with such tools, they will be able to automate part of their marketing activities and do more in less time.

#5 Use Free Software

As mentioned above, it’s a good idea to start using online tools and free software to help you out. Using such programs and applications is great not just for saving time, but also for saving money. In most cases, you can find at least one tool or program for free that will have the features you are looking for. Moreover, you might even have different options to choose from.

For instance, some of the most popular task and project management tools are Trello and Asana. The two are similar in the features they offer, but they still have differences that can make either tool more interesting for different teams.

The best part is that most free tools (Trello and Asana included) offer a pretty functional set of features for free while letting you upgrade later on if you feel the need for it. Once your startup grows, you won’t have to switch to a different, more advanced tool – you can simply upgrade this one.

#6 Focus on Quality in Content

When it comes to content marketing, the focus is often on quantity rather than quality, but this is the wrong approach to this type of marketing. Instead, you need to focus on quality above all else. This is important for your branding as well as for building a reputation as a reliable and authoritative figure in your niche.

It is better to produce content less regularly, but always make it count. If you cannot afford to have in-house writers, you can always freelance content creation. A website like Writing Judge can help you get started in your search for writers. Remember those freelance writers are just as good at what they do as are in-house ones.

#7 Interact with Your Audience

Instead of solely focusing on selling your products or services through your advertising or marketing activities, reach out to your audience directly. You need to establish a strong link with your customers if you want them to stay loyal to you and keep coming back for more.

The best part about interacting with your audience is that it is often much cheaper than launching ad campaign after ad campaign. If you have even a single employee working on this, you can already achieve amazing results. Repost UGC on your social media profiles, leave comments under posts, join groups and forums to participate in discussions, etc.

#8 Network at Relevant Events

Another way to promote yourself without using any “traditional” marketing methods is by networking at relevant events. Essentially, it is the same as interacting with your audience online, except that you are doing it in person.

Such events are also a good environment for positioning yourself as a new, growing startup and finding potential partners. Leaving a good impression on your industry peers can go a long way and can help you get valuable connections that will lead to even more opportunities.

Networking is also the best opportunity to exchange business cards and market your business locally thus allowing you to discover new possible collaboration opportunities but also clients that will get a direct word of mouth referral from these interactions.

#9 Rely on Word of Mouth

Some of the best marketing is the ones that you don’t directly participate in. In other words, when your customers are promoting you, it can turn out even more successful than anything you could ever do yourself. That’s the power of word of mouth as well as social proof.

Social media platforms, forums, offline and online events, and even simple family and friend meetings – all of these are spaces where people share their experiences with your brand. And if they have something good to say and are eager to recommend you, you could earn yourself even more customers. This is precisely why your branding is so important.

#10 Freelance Part of Your Work

Last but not least, as already mentioned, freelance is a good solution for those who can’t afford to hire in-house specialists. You can virtually freelance any type of work, but it’s best to focus on something that your current team really cannot do.

In many cases, this is content creation. Freelance writers, animators, graphic designers, and video editors can all help you excel in this without having to spend a lot of time or money on it. You can significantly reduce your expenses and, in turn, increase your ROI this way.

Final Thoughts

All in all, you don’t necessarily need to have a big budget or a lot of resources available to you to excel at marketing. Good marketing is first and foremost smart marketing. Use the tips in this article to help you create your marketing strategy and get your startup off the ground.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most important thing in marketing hacks for startups?
The initial thing to do is define a branding strategy before you start advertising or marketing your business in any way. How you brand yourself can make or break your startup, so you need to be careful with your choices.

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