To get a business going you have to have two things. One is an idea, service, or product. The other is the skill and ability to communicate with particular people about your idea. In the good ole’ days, the only way to communicate with potential customers was to spend money bombarding them with telemarketing calls, television and radio ads, direct mail spam, and print media. And then, something incredible happened: the internet.
With literally zero dollars and a bit of creative thinking, you can use the internet to create hugely effective marketing platforms. Just think of yourself as the author, and the internet as the publisher. Now, you need to know how and what to publish online so that you get found. Enter, this blog post! You’re already taking a step in the right direction!
First, wrap your head around the concept of “Inbound Marketing.” Hubspot.com will be your best resource here. You can no longer push your idea on consumers. Your company must put ideas and content out in the marketplace and let leads and customers come to them. To get started, create a blog! A blog will be your best bet for attracting search engine hits and pulling net surfers to your idea using informative and creative content.
Next, get in the social media game. It’s no longer an option; you need to use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and any other social networks so that you can communicate quickly and effectively with your audience. This is just another one of the many free platforms that will help you get found online.
Next, put together some webinars. Although not all webinar software is free, at Shoeboxed.com, we started with a free trial for a webinar company and were able to generate enough traffic and content during the free trial alone to make it worth our while. Host as many webinars on as many different topics as you can. If they’re informative, internet traffic will trickle in. To find out how to make good webinars, watch some online. Sign up for Shoeboxed’s next webinar to see how we do it: www.shoeboxed.com/webinar.
Once you have a website up and running, pay special attention to your landing pages. The language and style of these pages are crucial for capturing leads and converting them online. There are unending resources and blogs out there that cover landing page tips and pointers.
Finally, get really creative. I mean, really creative. Try something quirky or crazy like a media stunt, viral video, crazy T-shirt promotion, online voting competition or gift giveaways. The sky is the limit for cheap online marketing if you really put your mind to it.
For more in depth reading on topics like low/no budget online marketing, visit hubspot.com, read Seth Godin’s books and blogs, check out problogger.com, Dosh Dosh, and many more. Most importantly, don’t give up. Inbound marketing is cheap, and if you get your content out there, your customers will come to you.