The concept of crowdsourcing has been around for a while now and it can provide a good platform for other people to build your business for you… Ifyou have some sort of entrepreneurial idea you want to get off the ground visit here and see whether that appeals.
The businesses using Kickstarter vary widely, from a lady selling visual aids for learning Chinese symbols to the developer of “Spirit Steels”, which claim to keep drinks cooler longer than any other product on the market.
What they all have in common is that they can offer investors something in return. This can be anything from a screensaver to a free product. Be inventive and reach that next business milestone!2. Create your own material
You don’t have to pay a marketing agency hundreds of pounds to develop and print your marketing material. Open Source software is free and gives you tools equivalent to the software used in industry.
A good example is Gimp, which is a free replacement for Photoshop. All you need is a bit of creativity and you can create your own business cards, flyers or posters.3. Students!
If your talents do not lie in the creative realm, there’s still a way to get marketing material for free. Any media student will be desperately looking to build up a portfolio of work before they graduate. Take advantage of this and offer them a reference or work experience if they complete the work for free.
Students are also a cheap source of labour. If you need market research completed, flyers distributed or placards waved, these can all be achieved for minimum wage.
4. Social Media
Social media has exploded in recent years and getting your voice heard can be difficult, when you are shouting along with a million others. Your friends can help you on Twitter by retweeting your message to their followers. Commenting on the top trends will boost the visibility of your message, albeit temporarily. Make sure you engage twice a day, on Facebook and twitter. Why not try to run a timed competition once a week? Ask people to like, share and comment. Make your tweets interesting and retweet/share relevant tweets/posts onto your page. If you are quick each day you will build a great audience as people find following one person that has all the latest news easier than following hundreds.
Blogging is an easy way to establish yourself as an industry expert and show off your contacts. Spend a couple of hours once a week writing an article about your industry or what you are working on.
Guest writers can also add weight to your blog, especially if a client will write about the difference your business made for them!
6. Get Involved in the Local Community
It is easy to get people in your local area talking about your business, if you are willing to put the time in. You don’t have to go as far as sponsoring a whole event – keep it simple! At the next local fete, offer to pay a local charity the rental for the market stall (they rarely come to more than £15).
You won’t see instant results with this as you will need to build up your reputation over time. However the results will be worth it when everyone is talking about your business!
7. Google AdWords
Google’s AdWords service allows you to use Google to produce an advert for your company whenever certain keywords are entered into the search engine. You set the maximum amount that you are willing to spend in advance and you only pay when somebody actually clicks on the link in the advert.
8. Advertise in Mobile Apps
In 2011 OFCOM found that half of adults in the UK owned a smartphone, with 37% of these people highly addicted to them. So take advantage! There are numerous companies pushing to be the market leader and so rates can be competitive.
Even the BBC is taking advantage by selling advertising space through on its mobile content, so shop around and watch your website hits go through the roof.
9. Keep Connected with Your Current Customer Base…Does your product renew on a regular basis? Do you have add-ons that could benefit your customers? Well contact them when you DON’T want to sell these, just to see how they’re getting on with their current product. Keeping in regular contact will make your future sales calls far easier, as you have already crossed the initial barrier of building rapport.10. …And Reward Them for Referrals!
On the face of it, this might seem like the oldest trick in the book. In fact, your customers probably now expect a discount off your products and services if they refer new business.
However twist this and gift of their choice, depending on the value of the sale. By showing your customers you care about their wider interests, they will become much more inclined to help you out!
What other free marketing tips do you have? Let us know!