Drive traffic to your website and convert them into customers/clients for no cost…
I’m of the opinion that there is no substitute for paid marketing. It allows you to control the results you’re getting, and turn the money tap down or up depending on the capacity you have for traffic, leads, clients, etc. By having that control you’re never short.
Free marketing doesn’t allow for control. That being said, many startups will be unable to afford a lot in the way of marketing, nor do they need to create too much business right now.
That’s where free marketing comes in. Free marketing can help startups gain their first customers/clients, enabling them to slowly scale up and grow over the coming weeks and months.
Traffic is an essential step to creating customers/clients. The more people that can be driven to your website, social media or physical store, the more you’ll sell. But how can that traffic be generated at no cost?
Method 1: Affiliation
Whatever your startup offers, they’ll be other businesses that serve the same kind of people who are not direct competitors. These businesses are a great opportunity for affiliation — where you and them help each other.
For example, you could both agree to promote each other on your website, or recommend the other to existing customers/clients. This can include email swaps, where you email your list promoting their business, and visa versa.
Being a startup you may not have many people to promote the affiliate business too. But promotions on your website or social media have an infinite life span and so businesses will be more interested in affiliating with you.
Method 2: Write articles and blogs
I believe strongly that marketing and selling has evolved into education. Businesses trying to sell directly will fail, whilst those that aim to educate people will succeed. That is because by educating, people recognise your knowledge and experience, and are more likely to trust you.
That being said, writing and submitting articles and blogs on many different sites (like Medium), especially those that specialise in your industry, will generate streams of traffic to your website consistently.
Aim to write articles and blogs that have valuable information, and invest a lot of time and energy into them. The more you write and submit, and the more sites you post on, the more your traffic will compound.
Method 3: Join online communities and forums
Joining and taking part in online communities, forums, etc is a great method of generating free traffic too. It acts similar to writing articles/blogs, as you’re aiming to educate people. But you do so by reading other peoples posts, and offering advice and information on topics.
Again, this takes effort and consistency to generate steady traffic. Don’t give up after your first week just because you’ve seen very little in the way of an increase in traffic. Keep at it.
The key with all 3 free traffic methods is consistency in combination. Don’t pick just 1 for your startup, pick and do all 3 — as often as possible!