Marketing your brand new business is tough—especially when you're just starting out and have only a slight clue of what the hell you're doing. Brittany and I have never had a huge budget when it came to acquiring clients, so we had to get creative on the ways we put ourselves out there into the world. Instead of buying ads on Facebook or Google, we started marketing ourselves in a more community-centric way, focusing on Instagram and free content to lead our way. Here are some of our ideas!
one — we created a website
If you're marketing your business, you need a place for people to land and learn more about what you offer—a website is the best way to do just that.
two — we signed up for google my business account
I think we can all agree that Google is a powerful thing, and we'll take all the help we can get. Having our address, business hours, and reviews present there has lead to some traffic to our site. And, bonus! It was super easy. The only hassle is waiting for the little postcard to come in the mail that verifies your address.
Plus? It makes you look more legit—even if you're in pajamas working from your couch most days.
three — we write this blog!
Search engines love fresh content. Now, I'm no SEO expert, and I don't play one on TV. I'm just a business owner with the know-how to google something, and all of the articles and blogs that I've found say that fresh content is KEY to your website getting found online.
Not only does the blog boost our website online, but it's a really great resource for other designers, business owners, and potential clients (or so we hope). The idea with this blog is that we want to help as many people by offering some of our knowledge for free. Bottom line, not everyone can afford a professional, but everyone should have access to the things we know.
Also, I'd like to think it gives our readers a little insight into the people we are, the sense of humors we have, and whether or not we'd be a good fit for their project! See, marketing!
four — we post consistently on instagram
Ah, instagram. So powerful, so confusing, so effective (most of the time).
This point should be it's own dedicated blog post—and it shall, soon. We promise.
In short, post great content. Think about what your followers want to see. Is it a tip/trick? Is it some of your newest work or the services you offer? Is it a photo of you? Write your posts for your people! And then do it consistently, so they know they can rely on you for information and what they want to see every day.
(Bonus tip — cross-post your blogs and projects from your website with links so you get traffic from your Instagram to your website)
five — we host giveaways for local places on instagram
We love a good giveaway, and giftcards to our favorite local places is always the way we go. The trick? Make the entry requirement that they "tag" two friends in the comments. It gives you instant exposure to potential new followers without feeling icky about sticking your neck out for likes.
We used this strategy when we first launched our business, and it worked great for us!
six — we offer free things on our instagram & blog
Like I said...we love a good giveaway. Another way we utilize free things to engage our community is through freebies like phone backgrounds, downloads, and printables. It's a fun way for our interns to practice their skills, and it adds value to our presence online.
seven — we work in an amazing coworking space
You read that right—coworking. If you've never heard of it before, take a peek at Fellow Coworking's Website and check it out. We pay a monthly membership to use a beautiful office space with a ton of amazing people, and our business has thrived because of it. Not only is it the most inspiring space to be in, but we've built lots of relationships with other local business owners, non-profits, and other creatives—so fun.
eight — we hire interns from local universities
We love our interns. And we love the relationships that we get to continue to build throughout our community, too. Not only do we get to build relationships with professors and administrators, but we get to know our interns at the very start of their career—which we hope to see build in Spokane through the coming years.
nine — we participate in great local networking groups
Spokane is so lucky to have so many great networking opportunities for women in business. We get to be a part of Vested and More than Me — two great spots to meet new people, potential clients, and most definitely learn more about business and what we can do to help ourselves be successful.