As entrepreneurship is seemingly very hyped up and very excited, the reality is still that it takes a lot to actually stay afloat with your business (most startups go broke after just five years). As the economy is slowly recovering, there are a few more funding options for entrepreneurs but it still doesn’t mean that they will become successful. Funding is one obstacle that many entrepreneurs must overcome, and sales is something that every entrepreneur must do to stay in business.
Before doing any web marketing, you must first know who your product is for. Before there were numerous public resources, it all depended on what you learned from marketing at school. Now, almost everything can be Googled, but let’s start with marketing research.
If you are that creative student or that entrepreneur that just got fired and ventured into the world of having his own business, you might not have the budget to hire a big web marketing company (or even a small one for that matter). If you know what product or service you want to provide, you need to find out who and where your clients are. This marketing research can be done by simply using platforms like SurveyMonkey. With their multiple packages, you can see what fits with your (already) small budget. One can tailor the questions to get the most out of the survey, and from this data you can get a better picture on who your client is or even what they prefer.
Look at me!
Now that you know who your client is, how do you get them to notice you without having to dig too deep into your pocket? You’ll definitely need a website! GoDaddy can help you get set up, but if you would like something to look sharp, you might also be interested to try Wix. Wix let’s you setup your own website for a considerable monthly fee.
Let’s say you don’t even have the web marketing budget to register your domain name for the website. You still have options. Facebook and Google+ are good platforms to start with. When Googling, people will get your Facebook page or Google+ page in the results. Setting up a Facebook business page is FREE and easy. It must be a business page otherwise you’ll look very unprofessional, plus Facebook actually doesn’t allow people to run their business through their regular personal profile. In the worst case scenario, your profile might be removed if it is noticed. As for a Google+ page, all you need is a gmail account, which is also free, and a business page can be setup from there.
Keep looking at me!
Now that you have an online presence, how do you get your audience to keep paying attention to you? After setting up your Facebook page, chances are that you’ve invited everyone in your circles to like your page. After a month or two, the amount of likes starts to slow down. As Facebook is actually forcing you to spend money on advertising I would advise the following.
Since your Facebook advertising budget doesn’t need to be anything big, you might consider saving some money from your first clients for an advertising campaign. The traffic will bring more visitors to your page who might have the potential to buy your products (if you present it well enough). Once you start getting some clients in, you’ll need a website because emailing clients with an Outlook (previously called Hotmail) or Gmail account is acceptable for just so long. If you did very well with your sales, feel free to hire a company to setup a website for you. If not, you can always get back to Wix or some other platform that costs considerably less.
Furthermore, you will need to keep all eyes on you with your content. Google’s search algorithm is also based on the content which is placed on a page or website. If a website or page keeps coming out with new content, it will increase its chances to be placed higher in Google search results. Dynamic content might seem like an actual hurdle or kink in the road. No worries, you can just start to blog, yet another free web marketing tool. Who knows your field better than yourself, correct? It does need to be noted that different content has a different effect on different platforms. On Twitter it is better to get noticed by placing images, while blogs are more useful on websites. This is where the inner entrepreneur needs to come out and become a real strategist to see what works for him or her.
I have to do what?
Everything that is mentioned works effectively, but you’ll notice that it is an ongoing process where you need to go from effective methods to efficient methods. The efficient methods usually come hand in hand with a bit higher price tag. These web marketing tactics are general ways to get noticed in this “game of strategy.” As an entrepreneur, you will always need to look at how you can improve your sales channels, look at what works, what doesn’t work and most importantly, what is the rest doing? You’ll have a full plate of duties from dusk till dawn, but with growth one can evolve and work even better.
Guillaume is the CEO of the web and mobile application development company, CreateAppsHere, which he started while still a student at University, figuring out the ins and outs of the business while being a true entrepreneur at heart and being open minded in the world of business.
Join the Conversation!!!
What methods have you employed for your web marketing tactics when you were on a tight budget?
What would you use again and what do you wish you had known before?
Share your stories below!