After reading the title, the first thing you’re probably thinking is ‘if I don’t spend money marketing my new business, how will anyone know it’s there?!’ and I take your point. But I think this is where a lot of new businesses, regardless of industry or sector fall down – and as a result, they get disheartened about their new venture when it should be a time of exciting adventures!
When you started your business you were positive there was a gap in the market – no matter how small that gap might have been, you went for it and you’ve taken the plunge – congrats!
If you’ve opened a physical store, alongside an online store – you’ll have probably had to shell out some money for your shop sign and a website.
They aren’t the marketing costs I’m rebuffing.
The marketing costs I think you should steer well clear of for the time being include – flyers and promotional materials, pay-per-click marketing, Facebook ads (or any social ads) – any marketing that you pay for to target customers or get the word out about your brand.
The big question is WHY shouldn’t you spend this money?
And there is one reason why and that’s simply because – you don’t know who your audience is.
Wasting money as a new business is, of course, a big no for many with shoestring budgets. And whilst wasting a little money and making mistakes is all part of growing your business – wasting unnecessary money shouldn’t even begin to encroach on your budget.
So, what should you be doing in your first month?
You need to take the steps to find out who is interested in your products or services. You’ll have carried out the preliminary research into the market you’ve now entered and how competitive it will be for you to try and get heard but you need to start off by building out a marketing strategy that simply doesn’t require money, not in its infancy at least.
Free marketing tactics can you employ for your new business:
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Guest post marketing
- Search Engine Optimisation
When it comes to understanding your audience you need to build up a semi-fictitious idea of your ideal client; not clients who are blessed with millions of pounds – wouldn’t that be everyone’s ideal client?? You need to be realistic about who you’re targeting and exactly who will buy your product or service. HubSpot has some great buyer persona templates you can use as a guide here.
Using free tools including Google AdWords, Google Search Console and Answer The Public, you can find out what kinds of keywords are bringing your audience to your site, or, if you’re not up and running just yet, Answer The Public is perfect for uncovering the types of search phrases and queries people are searching for surrounding a particular topic – it’s really helpful.
Once you have a rough idea about what it is your audience is searching for then you can begin to create a content plan.
Time is like gold dust at first when you start up, so you’re probably thinking creating content is such as waste of time, but I disagree.
Creating content that your audience actually wants to read and will search for, helps your brand become an authority – this doesn’t happen overnight, granted – but it WILL HAPPEN.
When I started my business in April I started to practise what I preach. Not just with content marketing but with the help of my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts my traffic has grown and my content downloads and blog views have all increased, so I’m getting there.
Social media is, of course, a helpful and free way to promote your content, share other people’s content and generally interact with your audience and other like-minded people.
Many companies focus too much on exactly how they’re going to get business and then when they start getting people visiting their site, there’s nothing there to capture the audience’s interest. You need to adopt a well-balanced approach to marketing your new business.
Why spend out money you don’t have on bringing in an audience you don’t know and not generate any new clients or sales? Seems a bit backwards to me!
I’ve put together 33 FREE marketing tools I think every new business owner should know exist, you can access these tools for free here.