Professional Branding on a Budget
Launching a startup can be incredibly expensive. The cost alone is enough to deter many people from even attempting to follow their dreams of owning a business. Everyone knows that failing to thrive will keep many startups from ever seeing their second year.
You will need to employ some creative strategies if you want to keep your overhead costs down while trying to get your brand going.
You may remember the old adage, ‘time is money,’ but you may have forgotten just how true it is. You can literally take your time and use it to save yourself money! This is how you can do that!
Step 1: Become the Expert
Instead of hiring an expert, become the expert yourself. There are so many online resources, blogs and even free courses that will help you learn about marketing and branding. As a business owner, this information is invaluable to you! It will give you an edge in knowing how to better address branding issues for a lifetime. Read everything you can find, both about branding, but also about your chosen industry. Build your own brand book, and be the mastermind of your own marketing plan. To get started on a brand book, try the templates here.
Step 2: Do it Yourself Branding, Branding on a Budget is Possible
Again it is not necessary to pay experts hundreds of dollars for something that you can easily do yourself with just a little thought and research. You can easily create your own logo and tagline. Do a little bit of research. Consider the trends in logos and taglines within your industry as well as across the broader marketplace. Consider the meaning of the colors and symbols that you want to work with. When you are ready to start work on your logo, try Logo Creator, a free online tool here.
Step 3: Do it Yourself Marketing
While huge corporations like AT&T, Ford and Amazon may spend billions of dollars on marketing every year, that doesn’t mean a startup has to bust their budget just to get a foot in the door. Effective use of and engagement on social media platforms as well as basic email campaigns and promotions can be done for absolutely no cost if you are willing to put the time and effort into making them a success. Once you have an email list ready to go, you can start a small campaign for free here.
Step 4: Extraordinary Customer Service and Professionalism
It costs you nothing to care. Smiles are free. Making sure that you treat every customer, vendor and any other person you associate with in the name of your brand with courtesy, respect and honesty will build brand loyalty and a good reputation. People will pay more to do business where they are treated well. No matter how cheap the prices may be, no one wants to do business where they are treated poorly or do not respect the behavior of the company as a whole.
All businesses worry about their budget. No matter what kind of business you have, how big it is or whether it is brick and mortar or ecommerce, some of your best assets and biggest strengths don’t cost a thing. Most of the traits that will make you successful as a business owner are internal, like strength, diligence, and a strong work ethic. Using your own natural talents along with the free resources available will allow you to cut your costs while still looking professional and staying competitive. Don’t be afraid to put some elbow grease into building your brand!