5 Low-cost Ways to Market Your Start-up
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It's a dream of everyone to start something of their own, to be independent and mark her name in the field of innovation. But it's difficult at the same time as it requires a lot of capital invested during the initial stage to market the brand in the industry. Startups need visibility so that it gets noticed by investors, media and most importantly potential customers. The main aim of any startup to run successfully is people knowing about it. Since most startups are bootstrapped they can't splurge on marketing as also may not be able to afford to hire a PR agency to get them access to media.
There are creative ways in which one can market their start up and I will be sharing 5 low-cost ways of doing the same:-
1. Evangelize, Evangelize, and Evangelize
There is no better way than having champions who vouch for your product or service and spread the word literally!
They could be your customers, friends or well-wishers who like what you do and more importantly want to be contributing to your cause in some way.
This could be in the form of putting testimonial, being available for referrals, creating campaigns on social media amongst others.
They expect your love and support and if you gift them your product or service that would be the icing on the cake.
2. Promote Your Venture in Your Community
When you normally think of marketing we think too wide and too far, its best to start up in your community where you can speak up and share your ideas.
It could be your shared office network, a society where you leave or your college alumni network for that matter.
Make sure you relate your startup to some potential benefit for your community.
There is a waste management company based out of Bengaluru which conducts free seminars and a hands-on session in societies on how to manage community waste being generated in large societies and housing complexes
3. Participate in Awards & Competition
There is nothing better than getting showcased in startup awards and business plan competitions which are dime a dozen in today's time!
This will give you free publicity and if you are lucky enough to win than the prize money can even fund your startups and there a lot of startups who in fact use this as a strategy.
More importantly, you will be able to connect with some great Entrepreneurs who can provide you with insights on your business or customers and make some important introductions for you.
4. Champion a Cause
It is very important to champion a cause which is the larger goal of what you are trying to achieve and your startup is a vehicle for the same.
For example, there is agriculture professional in Hyderabad who runs a startup and his mission is to help farmers in every possible way and that is his business model. He uses every opportunity to spread this message and talk about the same.
So use your cause to spread awareness about the business issue you are addressing and that will definitely capture the attention of media, investors and your customers
5. Participate in Flea Markets & Exhibitions
There are innumerable events taking place in your city organized by a community, event Management Company, media house or a group of enthusiasts and that is the best chance to meet your potential customers and partners.
This could be to take market feedback on your product or service or simply to generate sales.
Make sure you choose an appropriate event which matches your target audience and you do your homework before deciding on the same. There could be Government schemes to encourage entrepreneurs to participate in select market fairs especially internationally which would be a great opportunity if you are targeting international business.
One of the well-known bakery brand from Mumbai started by putting up their cookies in the back of the car which was stationed outside a very popular mall in Mumbai and they used the footfall of the mall to create demand for their products and more importantly generated sales.
Above all, keep in mind that sales should be the driving force to market your startup because once you have numbers then your Excel sheet will begin to impress investors.