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7 Affordable Strategies To Effectively Market Your Start-up

7 Affordable Strategies To Effectively Market Your Start-up

Start-ups, unless they receive an insane influx of investments, are often strapped for cash, usually so much so that they have no real marketing budget. However, there are options for those start-ups to inexpensively market their product or service in ways that rival the companies with the big bucks. Here are seven good options for start-up marketing.

1. Join All Relevant Social Media Outlets

Social media is essentially the key to cheap start-up marketing, a game-changing tool that makes it possible for the little guys to find big success. They are usually free services that offer an outreach far beyond what you could achieve any other way. Most of these strategies are related to it, either directly or indirectly.  Because the effort is fairly minimal and the cost is most often none, you should immediately register your start-up for every social media outlet that you think could possibly bring awareness to your business.

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2. Gain More Followers Organically

If you tap into the right niche you can develop a loyal following. I write for Minnesota Life College, a vocational school for young adults with learning differences. It attracts a large audience of people who want to advocate autism awareness, one of the best possible communities to help me spread their message far and wide. Find a topic to focus on that has a similar cult following and then engage your audience.

3. Interact With Your Community

It’s amazing what an “@” mention on Twitter will deliver you in the form of fierce customer loyalty. Treating your followers like people instead of demographics to advertise to makes a huge difference in how they view your company. Be sure to respond to every comment, whether it be praise or a complaint, by snail mail or digitally. Customers don’t need a lot to be satisfied. All you have to do is let them know that you care, and they’ll happily invest themselves in what you’re selling.

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4. Get Exposure

Social media is a powerful tool, but so is traditional media. Find a way to get a lot of attention by utilizing your ingenuity for start-up marketing. Create content that could go viral so that you might be able to reach all the corners across the web.

5. Keep Being Memorable

To stay in the public eye never stop making decisions that bring a lot of attention to your company. Continue to look for and find the niches you can fill, and fill them. Keep an eye out for any opportunities to get noticed. Initial media attention is nice, but it’s extra important to start-up marketing that you ensure that you are continuing to get coverage even during the slow periods of your product/service development.

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6. Make The Customer Experience Unforgettable

Delivering a quality product or service is obviously paramount to your success. The best way to create something people like is to ask the people what they want out of the thing you’re marketing. Field question and respond to them promptly. You might have an idea of what you want to create, but you’ll find more success if you give the consumers a voice in the process.

7. Become An Expert

Coming across as an expert in your field is invaluable. If you’re offering strong advice, people will flock to you for the tips and many will stay for the product or service you’re offering. Hire a skilled blogger that can help you position your business as an expert in its field. Look for people who are writing things that are useful, and contact them to see if they have the knowledge to assist you and an interest in sharing the right expertise for your start-up.

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Featured photo credit: Elijah van der Giessen via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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