How To Market When Your Business Has No Money

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All businesses don’t have thousands (or sometimes hundreds) to spend on digital marketing or advertising in general.  In fact take a look at this chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics about Entrepreneurship and the U.S. Economy.  Each year there are over 650,000 new businesses created.  Within 5 years, 50% of those businesses will no longer exist.  If opening and marketing a business was easy, then the drastic drop in survival rate wouldn’t be a reality.  There are so many variables in running a business and its success or failure that we will just focus on commonalities.  In general if you succeed, you boost the economy in your area, help build jobs and strengthen our overall country.  If we value each others’ prosperity then we end up helping ourselves.  So, let’s help you get your new business up and going or strengthen your current one, even when you have low cash flow.

You don’t need thousands of dollars to have a digital identity.

Since the rise of browser website builders like Wix, Squarespace, Weebly and others; you can now build a simple website for very little money.  Sure, maybe it’s not the ideal jewel of a site that you want, but it can get the job done.  If you don’t have a website then your chances of success become incredibly low.  Websites are generally used for 1 of 2 purposes; either as a validation of your products/services or as a place to gain information/knowledge.  Knowing how your clients will use your site is extremely important.  This is 100% DIFFERENT than knowing how you THINK your clients will use your site.  We consistently see new clients with 25+ page websites only to look at their analytics and see that 2 pages of the site get 99% of the traffic.  The point is, quality over quantity is the name of the game now.  1 solid page with great, engaging content, will beat out a site with 100 pages of sub-par content.  Start with what you can do; build a cheap website with enough information so potential clients know who you are and what you do.  Then setup social media accounts that are relevant to your customer base.  After that just be consistent.  Seriously, think about posting and putting up new content the same way you would about physical training.  Each day, you exercise, not because you will get fit all at once, but because it’s an investment.  A strong digital identity is an investment either by you with your time or by you paying someone else to spend theirs.

Networking, cold calling and old school marketing still work.

On the flip side of no traffic, we have seen businesses with a TON of web traffic only to have almost nothing to show for it.  No matter what, you have to have someone in the business who is good with people.  Without that person consistently creating positive, memorable experiences, your influence base won’t grow.  Your SEO, website, social media and blogs can be on point, but if you aren’t working on where the next customer is coming from, you’ll eventually run out.  Relationships are still key to longevity, so don’t negate the importance of them.

Once you have a good funnel, you can’t stop.

Here’s a real secret (that’s not really a secret); your marketing shouldn’t cost you anything in net.  If you are spending time and money and getting 0 results then you are targeting the wrong people, not positioning your product/service correctly or what you are offering isn’t very desirable.  Once you figure out what IS working, even if just a little bit, don’t stop! Eventually you will lose clients for whatever reason and you will need someone to replace that revenue.  If you start finding that you have more clients than you can handle, that’s amazing.  Having that problem involves its own set of challenges but at that point you should have some free cash and be able to start utilizing a professional agency to start helping you manage traffic.

Rules of passive income vs active income.

One constant for everyone; there are a limited number of hours in a day, 24 to be exact.  Active income is revenue made by you physically doing something and getting paid for it.  Passive income on the other hand is revenue made from something you did in the past.  If you intend to continue to scale your business and still have time for yourself, you have to learn to balance these 2 types of income.  It’s might not be intuitive that time management and the way you are running your business relate to marketing, but without any time, you can’t market yourself.  Leave time each day to evaluate where you are at in your business plan, what the next step will be, and how you get there.  If you can’t allocate any time to your business, then do something else until you can consistently invest your time into it.

To sum it all up into a central idea; marketing with little or no money only means you go slower.  Often a slow grow with your business will yield better results, especially if you are new to running your own company or an industry.  When you have a strong base under you, you can begin to take bigger steps with less risk.  Once you are at a point where you are ready to go all in, agencies like AD-IOS have many tools that will help you get the most bang for your marketing dollar.  We focus on getting you the most clients, while giving you the freedom to shine doing what you love.



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I’m a beagle mom obsessed with all dogs. You can typically find me on the weekends taking my pooch out to the park or driving around with our heads out the window. I’m also nerdy and spend much of my free time playing D&D and getting excited about the next Marvel movie.


I am a God-fearing mother! I love me some cats. My family keeps me going, I love to be in the sun and just really enjoy life wherever I am and no matter the situation!


Mom of 3 and Nana to one grandbaby so I’m obsessed with my little family whether it be at the baseball fields or on the lake my kids keep me on the go 24/7. Anytime we get away from the kids we love to travel.