Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend thousands on a marketing budget in order to attract customers.
Step #1: Firstly, it starts off with having a product or service that customers actually need and want. Your product or service also needs to deliver value to your customers and be in an affordable price range for the average person.
Step #2: Once you have a product that your customers are definitely going to love and use, it is time to connect with existing traffic sources. This means that you need to target high traffic community sites such as Facebook groups, Reddit, Twitter and other niche forums in order to begin promoting your product to the right demographic.
AirBnB, the popular holiday house rental site did a great example of this and got most of their leverage from posting on a popular community called Craiglist (Gum Tree equivalent in the states). It was through Craigslist that users were redirected to the AirBnB website and the startup was able to get most of their traffic from there.
Another great way to interact with relevant communities is to join Facebook groups. There are thousands of Facebook groups out there for every type of niche or demographic.
Choose a few groups and start becoming active on them. You don’t want to spam the group with links all the time, but throwing in a link to your site every now and again can definitely help boost traffic. You may also be able to negotiate with the leader of the group to share and promote your posts for free or a nominal fee.
Step #3: A great way to capitalise on your existing traffic is to incentivise your readers to share your content, products and services. Word of mouth is still the most effective form of advertising out there so use it to your advantage.
There are also many successful startups that are living proof that incentivised sharing has worked, for example- DropBox offered users a free 500MB if they were able to get a friend to join. The company is now worth $10 billion dollars.
This tactic can also be used to offer clients and customers a discount when they share on social media or offer them a chance to go into the draw to win a grand prize if they share or tag friends through social media.
The possibilities with this strategy are endless and really prove the power of social media and word of mouth.
Step #4: Once your social media trend is growing you can reach out to other popular blogs and vlogs in order to cross promote or give your products a shout-out.
Many bloggers will happily exchange a share for a share, and many podcast hosts or vloggers are constantly looking for new inspiration.
Reach out to already established leaders in your niche and find a way to connect with them in a way that is mutually beneficial.
A great example of this is from a website called – forwebsiteowners.com, the CEO was able to get huge volumes of traffic thanks to the relationships he had built with influencers on YouTube and blogging platforms like Tumblr.
Step #5: Another way you can build relationships and establish your brand is by guest blogging on other popular websites. This instantly makes you an authority on your topic and offers the potential to increase your traffic and sales.
Writing blogs on other sites also allows your voice to reach a whole new circle of potential customers which can help your site grow a lot faster.
In fact, many popular bloggers today got their start by doing guest posts on popular websites and building their way up from there.
Step #6: It may seem old and outdated, but selling in person actually has his merits, especially if you have done some work to develop a solid social media following.
Selling in person does not have to be daunting, all it takes is getting into the right type of networking events, meetups and local groups in order to promote your product. You can also go door-to-door.
Yep, door to door sales are not as cheesy as they sound. In fact, AirBnB apparently also went door to door to acquire customers and because of their strategy it helped them to get the running launch that they needed.
Step #7: Whether you provide a product or a service, why not offer it away for free in exchange for reviews, testimonials and free PR?
Many companies or even students are happy to review your product as long as they are getting it for free.
Who you chose to give your product away to however, does matter. If your product is targeted at students then you have a great market right there, however if your product is catered to business professionals, why not reach out to the appropriate company and offer something in exchange for a review, like, share, retweet etc.
Step #8: The final step in acquiring customers for next to nothing is reaching out to your family and friends.
Sure, you may not want to bombard them with your products and services, but asking them to share or retweet your site even once can help promote your brand.
Friends and family are also likely to be supportive and many even offer a review or testimonial for free. This is a great way to start building traction, especially when you are just starting out.
As you can see, you don’t have to have a huge marketing budget in order to connect with customers. As long as you have a solid product and implement some of these easy strategies, you can grow your user base to record numbers, all while turning over healthier profits.