Trying to fund your marketing strategies might seem circular and impossible.
How are you supposed to find marketing money if you can’t sell your product or service, and how are you supposed to sell your product or service if you can’t afford to market it?
The best way to solve this problem is to circumvent it. A little creative thinking can help you find money to fund your first marketing campaign – and maybe even a little more.
1. Get an Accurate Estimate
You might already have the money you need to fund your first marketing campaign, but you won’t know unless you get an accurate estimate.
Don’t assume you need $10,000 when a $500 ad would accomplish exactly what you need. Unless you’re trying to hire a crew and shoot a commercial, marketing doesn’t need to be astronomically expensive.
2. Research Cost Effective Methods
Many businesses overspend on marketing because they don’t understand how to secure the best return on their investment.
Newer businesses, especially if they’re small local businesses, benefit the most from highly targeted advertisement. Social media makes targeted ads a breeze.
You can go as specific as you like. If you need to find women between the ages of 41 and 56 who enjoy jazz music and racquetball, Facebook’s tools will let you do it in just a few clicks.
3. Invite Investors to Work With You
If you need money and your forecast is bright and sunny, investors might want to come on board.
If they believe in what you’re doing and can clearly see the potential, they may be willing to fund your marketing campaign. They might even offer you some mentorship.
Alternatively, you can start a crowdfunding campaign.
If you offer people free or exclusive products or services in exchange for their early funding, they might feel inclined to get on board.
You can use social media to promote your crowdfunding campaign without spending a dime.
Just make sure the crowdfunding landing page is very specific about where the money is going and when people will receive their incentives for participating.
4. Cut Expenses in Other Areas
Reprioritizing the money you already have might be the solution you’re looking for.
How much are you spending on paper, printing supplies, and copying equipment? Go paperless. It’s better for the environment and it saves you tons of money across the span of a year.
Instead of leasing a huge building, stick to something with just enough room to grow into. Remember that all leases are negotiable, no matter how reasonable the price seems.
Another way to cut expenses is to avoid unnecessary hiring. If a small team of highly talented individuals with access to the right software can automate as many menial tasks as possible, you won’t need to hire more people until you’re ready to expand your business.
It’s better to spend a lot on a few rock star employees than it is to spend a lot cumulatively on a ton of people who aren’t capable of filling many roles.
5. Make the Most of What You Have
Creative thinking can help you profit off of your surpluses. When you decided to go paperless, what did you do with all the extra printing equipment you had? Sell it to make a few bucks. Do you have extra space in your office building or warehouse?
Rent it out as community storage, or share it with a startup who can help you pull in some extra money every month.
Selling and renting as much as you can will help you offset expenses, if not outright profit.
6. Trade Services With Another Business
Business owners in many communities band together, particularly if they aren’t competitors.
If your business has a physical presence in addition to an online presence, you may be able to advertise on other local business websites and in their locations. Exchange a stack of business cards.
Band together to split costs for printing flyers or buying a local ad slot. Work together and help each other succeed.
7. Get a Side Hustle Going
If you don’t want to take out a loan or work with a third party, you’re limited in your funding sources.
You might not be able to cut too many expenses without sacrificing quality or completely changing your business plan. If you find yourself in a tricky situation, start making money somewhere else.
Freelancing in your spare time will allow you to make money at your own set rate on a schedule of your choosing. It doesn’t need to interfere with your business. Share knowledge, provide services, or even write articles about your industry.
You might be able to get your name out there while you’re generating cash. When your marketing campaign finally starts, people might go to your website, recognize you from your freelancing efforts, and immediately have a favorable opinion of you.
While you may have to be a little innovative and push your creativity to its limits, there’s always a way to find money for your marketing campaign. Just don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
Top ways to make more room in your marketing budget:
- Get an Accurate Estimate
- Research Cost Effective Methods
- Invite Investors to Work With You
- Cut Expenses in Other Areas
- Make the Most of What You Have
- Trade Services With Another Business
- Get a Side Hustle Going
Emma Lewis is a loving mother, a devoted wife and a part of the team supporting Spacer – a company helping you find storage space in Melbourne whenever you need it. Emma is also a staunch supporter of the sharing economy and often mentions its benefits.