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Updated 26 Feb 2020

4 Ways to market your start-up for free

Marketing your start-up without a lot of cash.

Ryan Currie, Entrepreneur, 12 October 2013  Share  0 comments  Print

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Start-up enterprises don’t usually get off the ground with thousands of extra rands lying around for marketing efforts. Unfortunately, if you fail to market your start-up correctly you may find out the hard way that the greatest idea is worthless if no one knows about it.

Here are a few ideas for marketing your startup without a lot of extra cost.

Use social media every day

Social media is the best free marketing tool since the soapbox. What it does cost, however, is time and you have to make sure you’ve got a social media plan just like you would any other marketing strategy.

Start by creating profiles on all relevant social networks for your brand. From there, make connections both with potential customers as well as industry people – competitors, influencers, even journalists.

Getting the word out is simple when you’ve already got a network to spread it through.

Provide a service

Even if your startup isn’t service-related, you’ve likely got some type of knowledge to that people would be interested in.

Whether it’s teaching an online course on scoring venture capital funding or going from office to office in your local area offering to give away your startup’s app for free, providing people with something useful is a great way to build confidence in your brand without spending a ton of money.

Get involved in your community

And not just your local community, either. If your start-up revolves around food, for example, you should make an effort to connect all across the country with other food startups.

There are conferences held annually just about every niche market and if you work for yourself, your travel expenses are tax deductible!

Likewise, making your brand known locally is a great way to get some grass-roots marketing. Host a charity 5km walk/run, sponsor a popular festival, or simply be present at every local event you can.

Blog for your business

Your start-up has a website, right? Well, if it doesn’t already have a blog on it, it should. Your business blog is a place you can become an industry expert and also helps your website’s search rankings; it’s a great way to connect with influential bloggers.

Ask to guest post on industry blogs and generally spread the word about your business among the blogging community. If you’re going to give away free product or services, do it for bloggers and you’re bound to get a free write up or two.

There are dozens of ways to boost your start-up’s profile without spending a lot of cash.

The first rule of marketing without money is to be visible, anywhere and everywhere you can. Online, via social, and especially live and in person, there’s really no such thing anymore as over-saturation. Your start-up needs all the publicity it can get to stand out from the masses.

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About the author

Ryan Currie, Entrepreneur

Ryan Currie – product manager, Ryan Currie has five years’ experience in online marketing and product development. In addition to web related businesses, he also enjoys the latest news and information on emerging technologies and open source projects. Visit

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