Tag Archives: marketing

Get your business online for under $600

So you want to get your business running online but you don’t have much cash or design skills to throw at it? Well, never fear because there a dozens of ways to skin this cat and most of them can be done much cheaper than you realize. For reasons of example, I am going to assume the following: Our business needs a new logo, a website, an ability to process payments, a way to advertise and, because I have already worked out the budget, we are going to keep it all under $600.

 

1. Logo: Although there is a lot to be said for brand development, for this example I am just going to focus on the logo itself. 

Allow me introduce you to a little known secret called 99designs. This site is for designers and clients alike. The way it works is a business will post an ad for design need (eg, a logo) along with a price. Artists will then draft up several designs and you pick the one you like. Each contest last several days and you are able to pick which logo you favor and give the artists feedback so they can tweak their designs to your liking. You pick the price (obviously, the higher prize the more designers will work for you) and the rest is easy. On average $200 will get you enough interest and options that you will find something you will like.

 

2. Website: One word, ‘Shopify.’ With packages starting for as little as $24 p/month you can be set up with website design (via templates), web hosting (with unlimited bandwidth!), payment gateways (Google Checkout or Paypal Pro), site statistics and you can even use your own domain name or go with the free myshopify.com domain. You can also change your package at any time as your business grows.

 

3. Advertising. Forget Google Adwords for now. There is so much competition in that space that you will be forking out more money than you want to in order to get your ads displayed. There is, however, a nice alternative found in Facebook. Depending on your target, a FB Adwords campaign can yield great results for around $0.30 per click. You set your per click bid and your daily maximum spend and you will never go over budget. Of course, the more you spend the better the results and if you are advertising in a popular market, you may have to spend more per click. With a daily budget of $10 and a click bid of 30 cents, you can potentially get up to 33 clicks per day which means nearly 1000 clicks p/month and you’ve only spent $300.

 

Altogether, we have only spent $524. We have a fancy new logo, a website that is hosted and maintained and we have even have our own advertising campaign. The rest is up to you to see where you can go from here. Good luck!


It’s called Social Media for a reason

I have just been flicking through a book called “Social-Media Marketing” and, in my humble opinion, the title strikes me as a contradiction. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that if the title was what drove you to buy the book, you’re starting on the wrong foot. Don’t get me wrong, I support what Social Media Marketers set out to achieve, but sometimes a better title for what actually happens would be, “Social Media Advertising”. No one would buy a book titled “Cold Calling Your Close Friends & Tips to Make Them Buy!” or “Turning your Relationships into RelationSHOPS!”, it just doesn’t work like that. Well neither does the Social Web.

(hehe...myspace.)

The tide is turning. More and more value is being put on contribution and relationship. A new, web-savvy and advertising-shy generation is emerging and they don’t need to take your word for anything anymore. They will, however, give their Permission to Influence to those who have proven themselves through contributing to relationship.

I can only shake my head when I see companies getting involved in the Social Web but treat it only as another channel for news and sales pitches. They are the ones that will, sure-enough, follow everyone on Twitter who follows them (that’s just good twitiquette), but they only ever broadcast company lines and marketing buzzwords. Try to ask them a question or get support for their product and it’s a never-ending black hole (hint, hint TomTom!).

If businesses really want to leverage Web 2.0 to their advantage, it comes down to one thing: making friends the old-fashioned way. That means actually involving yourself and making a positive contribution. It may not pay off in one day…but give it time and you will have a genuine network of support that will provide PR for you that money just can’t buy.

That’s just my 2 cents, anyway. Have any examples of businesses doing it right (or wrong)? Let me know!