Bootstrap marketing is an ideal way to start a new business on a shoestring budget with less debt and interest costs. It requires time and effort, but the payback is growing your business with minimal investment while contributing to a positive cash flow. Let’s have a closer look at some marketing methods.
Get Creative on Twitter
Twitter’s 328 million monthly users and the ease of setting up your company on this platform make it a fantastic tool for marketing your small business. Engaging with your visitors is crucial to ensure they follow your tweets and help you grow your business. Look for Twitter chats relating to your industry and join in and reply to the conversation. Share a creative graphic, keep a list of users and keep track of each Twitter chat you participate in. Retweet, continue to reply and share content with these users.
Plan ahead a few weeks of special events like Thanksgiving and Christmas to generate creative, high-quality content. Follow and contribute to these trending events as they occur in real-time.
Blow Your Own Horn
Blowing your own horn with grace, style and tact is a very effective way to increase the visibility of your business. Research what makes your service or product unique and how it provides value to your potential customer and show how it does that through a video or story. Conveying a strong belief and confidence in yourself makes your customer feel more comfortable doing business with you won’t hesitate to refer you to others.
Do Your Own Market Research
The best way to understand your target market and grow your business is to conduct market research on a regular basis. Research areas like your competitors, the industry, your ideal customer, operations and your product or service. The main purpose of research is to understand your customers and their preferences, identify opportunities to grow, plan for industry and economic shifts, understand how your competitors operate and mitigate risk in your company.
Primary research can take the form of surveys, questionnaires and interviews through phone, in person or online. When doing research get out of your comfort zone and reach out to people other than family and friends.
Use the Internet and books to conduct secondary research to explore competitor company records, surveys and research studies. The government is also a great resource to uncover valuable information relating to potential customers and to your industry.
Find Your Target Demographic
It is essential to find the right customers for your business, as these are the ones who will refer you to friends, write reviews and share experiences on social media. Most importantly, they will be engaged and provide important feedback to allow you to improve your product or service. Once you know your target market (use your market research findings), you can hone in using market segmentation.
Segmentation includes age, gender, education, income, ethnicity/religion, marital status and children. Use psychographics to further segment the market by using lifestyle, social class, opinions, interests and beliefs.
Next, write a clear statement of who your target market is. For example, ‘My target customer is a middle-class man in his 40s or 50s, married with children who visits the gym and is a big proponent of recycling.’ From your research, you know what their pain points are and how and where to target this type of a customer.
Bootstrappers have a unique quality apart from others because of their enthusiasm, passion, mindset and relentless drive to succeed. Companies that start out using bootstrap methods learn very quickly what works and what doesn’t and are persistent in searching out what they need. They tend to stick around longer than others and are more successful in the long term!