What to do when cash is 'key'

Whatever your business is, you need to find a way to attract people’s attention to its products or services, and help them make a conscious decision to purchase from you. But if you’re on a tight budget, that can be tough.

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The alternative is to ‘bootstrap it’. It’s about using creativity rather than cash to shout about what you’re doing. Bootstrapping has practically become a culture, as a way to build and market a business without risking a huge amount of cash. Here’s five suggestions for starters:

1) Keep your website fresh with new content: Google rewards websites that consistently do two things: keep the content up-to-date, and add new content regularly. So just keep adding new pages with fresh content. Make a commitment to adding one new page or blog entry a week and you will be surprised by how much extra traffic you get after a few months.

2) Get on YouTube: This video website gets a huge amount of traffic … and best of all, it’s easy and free to get on! Getting noticed on YouTube is often more about creative ideas and executing them well than just spending money. But don’t forget to put the video on your own website.

3) Give away unusual freebies: Pens with your logo on are ‘old hat’ but thanks to powerful digital printing techniques, there are literally thousands of things that your logo can go on. Would potential clients better remember something unusual and edible than a simple monikered biro? That is disputable but it’s different and people will talk about it.

4) Launch a competition: If it’s not too expensive for you to give your services or products away, do it regularly. Plug the competition on your website. Or better still, contact the relevant media that talks to your potential customer base and ask if they’d be interested in a giveaway. But be aware many media outlets have a minimum competition stock value.

5) Start a newsletter: Use a regular email newsletter or blog to keep in touch with your existing clients, and as a way to keep your business front of mind with potential customers. However, bear in mind that printed newsletters are more likely to get past gatekeepers such as PA’s and reach the bosses of big companies.

Hope that’s given you food for thought. If you’ve any bootstrapping ideas of your own, why not share them with us below.