What’s bootstrap marketing? Well for a start it’s a place where you must really think outside of the box and recognise that you can do a lot for your business and its marketing efforts in a very cost-effective way. Marketing is one of the most highly effective areas where you can maximize a bootstrap approach. There’s literally an unlimited number of ways to get the word out about your business without spending a penny!

Interested? We thought you might be. Here’s 11 very easy to implement bootstrapped business ideas that you can implement today.

1. Build Relationships and Get to Know Your Customers

Getting to know your customers should be one of your missions in life when it comes to your business. Why? It’s simple really. Not only will they purchase from you again, but they already believe in your product. Spend time with them. Invite them out for a coffee or to be a part of your latest launch – reminding them that they are important to you and making them feel special. Do this often and you’ll reap the rewards.

2. Build Your Email List For Simple Bootstrap Marketing

Ever since GDPR, many companies have run for the hills when it comes to email marketing. But, there’s still a huge potential to do it well. Contact lists help you engage with a relevant audience when the time is right and this costs very little to implement. Remember to segment your data as much as you possibly can. There’s no rule out there that says you can only send one newsletter. For example, if you sell pet accessories and know which of your customers own cats, send them a targeted email with news and products relevant to them and their furry friends. Niche is key and will help improve your open rates and thus your overall conversions.

3. Really use Social Media

“I’ve got a Facebook page, but I don’t really use it” – ever heard that line before? With literally millions of people online per minute, the social media highways can’t be ignored. Marketers will always take about tribes (people who love your brand and follow you) and it’s important you find out where your tribe resides and hang out there. Contribute meaningful advice to groups and build a brand based on expertise – it’ll help you go a long way on social media. Plus, it’s free, so it’s a bootstrap marketing technique you can’t afford to ignore!

4. Expand on that with a Podcast or ‘Live’

Podcast

A podcast is an easy and low-cost way to market your business!

We live in a time where now is everything and your followers soak up information at an incredible speed. Why not go ‘live’ on a few of the social media networks and let people get a real ‘behind the scenes’ look at your business? Going live and opening the doors to your business really makes people feel special and involved in what you do. Plus, a simple podcast can be cheap to set up and gives your customers another way to engage with you. If you don’t want to do your own, then why not try and become a guest on someone else’s? This is a bootstrap marketing idea that really works to help you attract new fans!

5. Host a Giveaway

Hosting a giveaway via your business can drive significant new interaction whilst adding an element of fun for your existing customers. You could give away a supplementary product or service for free when you deliver an item, or maybe a downloadable guide on your website to help your customers. A little extra for free always makes people feel loved, which in turn can help drive sales.

6. Sponsor an event with another local business

Remember that events don’t have to be huge to make an impact and co-sponsoring an event with a local business is a great way to promote yourself in your immediate area.

Let’s expand on this for a moment. Imagine you are a café in your local town sitting opposite a flower shop. You could host your towns annual ‘best garden competition’ or you could do something a little more grassroots like a tea, cake and flowers afternoon at a local care home. Sometimes bigger is not always better. Just have a think about what you can do, have fun, and spread the word about your business!

7. Engage with bloggers

The methodology of blogger outreach is very similar to a guest posting, however, it involves the blogger writing about a service or product you’ve sent them. Relevant and active bloggers collaborate on a content piece which includes editorial link mentions back to your business helping your search rankings. Bloggers work on either a gifted or paid basis, so have a look around and see who you could work with that will suit both of your budgets and expectations.

8. Guest Blog on other relevant sites

Like the above, this involves a piece of content that you provide to another site. It might talk about your area of expertise, give answers to a question or even be an interview! Guest blogging is a fantastic way to build quality links back to your business and giving you material to share on social media and your own blog.

Oh, and invite them to guest blog on your site at the same time. This can be a really cost-effective bootstrap marketing technique to help get your business out there a bit more.

9. Ask your loyal customers to help spread the word – with reviews

Reviews are key to an expanding business and everyone’s looking at them to find out more about you. Asking your customers to leave you reviews will benefit your business a million times over. Consider all of the networks you’d like to tackle (Google, Facebook, Trustpilot…etc) and come up with a strategy whereby you are constantly asking for reviews. Customers will be more than happy to talk about their interaction with your business and Google will love you for it.

Reviews

Your reviews are a vital part of your marketing strategy!

10. Use branded clothing (hats, bags, pens, shirts) for passive marketing

Sometimes it’s all about the SWAG. Reminding people about your brand by wearing it not only reminds them who you are but screams how proud you are of your business. It’s like wearing a modern-day coat of armour. And, there are so many options out there for branded clothing items that are sure to suit your budget in some way!

11. Hit up the local networking groups

It’s fair to say that networking groups scare business owners at first. The thought of talking about your business to people who you think won’t be interested generally gives a sense of dread. The benefits however far outweigh the perceived negatives. If you do one thing this week, book a networking event, then book another and then one more! You’ll thank us for it.

The main takeaway from these bootstrap marketing techniques is that you should tell your story – often, always and obsessively. It’s FREE and no one else is going to do it for you- so just get started today!

So, there you have it. 11 ways you bootstrap your marketing efforts and make a real impact. We’d love to hear about how your efforts go so why not tell us about your journey in the comments below.