There are not many businesses you can start for free, but marketing start-ups are the exception. If you have the right skills and are willing to do some hard work up front, a marketing business takes little or no start-up costs.
- Organize your basic business administration functions. You need a bank account, business address, service rate card and business name. Starting a marketing business for free usually means you initially need to use your home address, personal bank account and your own name for payment purposes.
- Determine your niche. What are you selling and to whom? Start by using skills that you already have, such as writing, web design and graphic arts. Seek out familiar industries.
- Make a marketing plan. Take advantage of free marketing plan templates online, or simply use a calendar to write down your objectives. Include the 4 P’s in your business marketing plan: Product, Price, Promotion, and Placement.
- Make a list of your potential market. Reach out to friends, local groups and places where you do business. If you are a motorcycle enthusiast, start with bikers’ groups, bike shops or associated businesses. If you have doctors, lawyers or entrepreneurs in the family, ask them for a chance to bid on their next web project, brochure, or event.
- Advertise your marketing business online. Seek out web sites that offer free trials or free services to help you get started. Eventually, you need a web site with your own domain name. However, you can get started by using use free sites provides a nice business template.
- Link all of your personal social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to your new blog, web page, or online information. Ask your friends to “share” or forward the news about your new marketing business. Your new business must show clients that you know how to use the latest resources effectively.
- Market your business constantly. Every email you send should have information about your new marketing business in the form of a web address, slogan, or similar at the bottom. Holidays are opportunities to share a greeting from your business Facebook page. Social gatherings present an opportunity to mention your new business.
- Get referrals. Once you have a client or a lead, ask them to tell others about you. Consider offering a discount on their next project when they bring you new clients.
- Sign up for free marketing newsletters or blogs. There are many online, so be choosy. Pick ones that have value for you. Emulate ideas you like, but be sure to make your own blog original.
- Many computers come with basic business software. Check to see what you have, as you may have everything you need to get started on simple marketing projects.
- Don’t sell yourself short. Market your new business every day in some way for a minimum of one year, then keep marketing.
- The SBA (Small Business Association) is a good place to start any small business and get free business marketing tips.
- Be careful of Internet scams. There are many sites online that claim you can earn money with Internet marketing. Be sure to do thorough research before involving your new business.