If you REALLY want to do it yourself, this will get you started.

by Teri A. Coutu

Most small business owners have a lean budget and, especially in the beginning, opt to do their own marketing to save money. While there are many options out there to help make it easier to handle some marketing tasks yourself, there IS still a time-consuming learning curve if you’re going to do it right. Here are some tips and resources to help start your marketing program.

  1. Easy Website Builder.
    To get started, you want a website builder that is pretty easy to work with and offers some security options and basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I recommend either WIX, for the most basic site, or sign up at InMotion Hosting and use Bold Grid for a simple WordPress site that can grow as your business grows.
  • Branded Business and Rack Cards.
    Put your best foot forward and make sure your website, business cards, and other printed materials have a VERY similar look. If you want a custom look, try Fiverr.com or UpWork.com and search for a graphic designer. However, if you really need to keep costs low and you want to handle it all yourself, Vistaprint is a cost-effective option with their wide variety of templates and online design feature to make it easy for you to get matching business cards and more.
  • Stock Images.
    If you are going to do it yourself but want to look a little more polished than your competition, select images that are better than the standard freebies available through website builders and print templates. Unsplash.com has free photos from some great photographers, but it can be challenging to find appropriate images for some industries. Try Canstock.com or iStock.com for a short-term subscription that will let you select from their millions of photos and illustrations.
  • Social Media Posting.
    I don’t believe every business needs a social media account right from there start. But, there are benefits to selecting the right social channels to post to. If you choose to post on Facebook or any of the other hundreds of social media platforms, the key is to make your posts count. Don’t just promote your business services, products, and specials, provide useful tips and insights that can truly help your customers and show you as an expert they can trust.
  • Google Ads.
    I generally tell people not to waste time and money on Google Ads if they have a new business or are on a tight budget. While it IS really easy for most people to create Google Ads, doing it without wasting money takes a lot of knowledge, skill, and time. If you really want to advertise on Google, (and there can be some big benefits when done properly) hire someone who truly knows what they’re doing. It will save you money in the long run.

Every business is unique, so depending on your circumstances, everything here may apply to you, or nothing at all. There are countless free articles and videos that will teach you about marketing if you want to take the time to learn. And, since most marketing companies offer a free consultation, it may be beneficial to meet with a few and get some professional suggestions to help get you started.

Additional resources are available on my website at: TericSolutions.com

Teri Coutu is a Business and Brand Consultant.