Shoestring Marketing

By: print_place01

If you’re a fledgling entrepreneur you’ve likely run into one of the first stumbling blocks along the way to success. You need to advertise to bring in customers and generate a steady stream of profit, but you need that profit before you can afford to advertise. It’s a classic catch 22.

In our modern, mass communication culture, the first thing most struggling startups turn to for cheap advertising is the internet. While this sounds enticing, with the billions of potential customers around the globe you could reach, it is also problematic. Everyone and their brother has a web page (or twelve) and, unless you are investing thousands of dollars in your online marketing to ensure your site comes up first in searches of google or yahoo, your company is going to get lost in the vast sea of information.

Don’t give up hope, though. There are alternative and you would be surprised at how simple, effective and cheap they can be. For instance, consider some of the following examples.

Business Card Printing - Taking a note from the latest internet 2.0 trend, you can use social networking to promote your business. Instead of wasting hours on a web based network that’s geared mostly toward teenage cyber flirting, print out some business cards and get out into your community, where your real customers are going to be coming from. If you take this route, though, I really recommend you go with full color business cards. The price difference between color and black and white is negligible and color business cards give a more professional appearance.

Label Printing - Maybe you’ve already been doing business on the internet, selling your products over auction sites like e-bay or maybe you haven’t established a brick and mortar store yet. When mailing products, professionally printed labels on your packages can give you that “big business" look without the big price tag.

Sticker Printing - As internet viral marketers know, sometimes the key to generating curiosity and interest just means getting your name in the public view. The only difference between viral marketing and guerilla marketing is the price. Putting enough stickers in noticeable places, like car bumpers and at busy subway stations, can create a buzz for your business while spreading awareness of your company brand.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but should serve as a spring board for further cost effective marketing strategies. Don’t rely on untested and ineffective advertising and don’t go broke trying to turn a profit. There are cheap and easy alternatives that have been proven to work. Let them work for your business.

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