4 Ways to market your startup with no budget

Bold marketing is one of the keys to early success as a startup. Here are some tips for founders who are strapped for cash.

Gaining early momentum is one of the best ways to mitigate the risk of your startup going under before it even gets off the ground. Of course, you must begin with a good product or service, but marketing well can make or break your company.

Good marketing tends to take money, which isn’t in abundant supply for most new companies. Luckily, there are some ways you can market your new startup for little or no cash at all — and they go beyond just email blasting the press.

“Marketing without a budget forces people to put more thought into strategy because you make up for a limited budget by working smart or working hard,” said Matt Lim, marketing strategist for Procurify. “When you have limited resources, it encourages creativity.”

Here are some ways you can market on a shoestring budget.

1. Talk to people

This is the simplest way to market your business, but it is often overlooked or done poorly. Attending startup events, hackathons, and local tech group meetings are great ways to build relationships with people who could potentially become and advocate for your product or service.

This is where having a properly refined pitch comes in handy. Be sure to explain the benefits of your product, but be honest and make sure people understand the story. Above all, keep it simple.

“Remember that word of mouth is still hot,” said K. Alexander Ashe, founder of Spendology. “Have a message that can survive ‘the telephone game.'”

Don’t overlook opportunities, regardless of how small they may seem. Sometimes, even the most unassuming conversations can impact your business. David Eberli, co-founder of smart-me.com, said that every time you meet someone, you should tell him or her who you are and what you’re doing, and hand them a business card.

“That’s the way I have found our biggest customer,” Eberli said. “By drinking a beer and talking to the stranger next to me.”

2. Generate content

A good way to draw people to your company is by generating useful content about the space your product operates in. Phil Sanderson, a venture capitalist at IDG Ventures, recommends starting a company blog and posting often. UpOut, a company Sanderson funds, has a blog that provides information to underground events in New York and San Francisco.

“Their blog has a steady stream of articles about weird news, local interest stories, and city-specific cultural events and causes,” Sanderson said. “It’s also nicely designed. UpOut launched the blog only a few months ago, and already they’re seeing one million visitors per month.”

If your company operates in a specific niche space, try creating and posting how-to videos or webinars. Use tools like Skype and Google+ to chat with potential customers and answer questions about your product and the market.

You should be researching online communities to identify secondary places where your content would be a good fit. Maybe there is an industry blog where you could write a guest post, or a Facebook or LinkedIn group you could contribute to. Also, don’t forget to post in popular sites like Reddit, and use the proper sub to get your information to the right audience.

3. Don’t forget the fundamentals

When marketing your startup, there are a few foundational tools that could be helpful — the first of which is email marketing. Roger Huang, head of marketing at Flatbook, uses email services such as MailChimp to remind customers to apply to his company’s subletting program.

“We have gotten a lot of applications just by gently reminding people when our deadlines are via a mass email to our list,” Huang said.

If your company operates as a B2B entity, you always have the old standby of cold-calling potential clients. Take some time with your co-founders and mentors to develop a list of potential clients and go to work. Here, a proper call script will be essential to your success.

Also, look for ways to get your startup featured as a the new must-use product or service. If you are marketing a physical product, try pitching to a cool hunting site such as Uncrate or Outblush. If you have built a mobile app, Sanderson recommends going after a featured list in the Apple App Store.

“Apple’s marketing makes its decision independently much like a restaurant review — they cannot be influenced,” Sanderson said. “However, you can get to know them, understand their criteria (such as apps that show off the capabilities of Apple) and follow their advice.”

Sanderson also recommends building in viral features to your product, such as messaging that encourages users to tell their friends or post to social media. Gamification and contests are good ways to accomplish this, as is the promise of free upgrades with compliance.

4. Think outside the box

Almost every startup will eventually need to raise money, and how you go about it depends on a variety of factors. However, if it would be a good fit, consider crowdfunding. Eberli and his team recently ran a successful crowdfunding campaign.

“More important than the money we got was the publicity,” Eberli said. “Several newspapers and blogs have written about us. And, this was even before you have launched the product.”

Additionally, startups shouldn’t overlook the local community they are apart of. Ashe said that startups should consider sponsoring local charity events through volunteering time or tech talent to help the cause.

Original article »
Source: www.techrepublic.com

Question: Have you ever tried fencing?

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What is your motivation?

Opening a business is no small feat. It’s really like everyone says, you wear a lot of hats and you feel like you’re never taking off. Wether you start without any capital or get a loan but still feel the pressure from all sides of the venture. When the hard times hit, you have to ask yourself what really motivates you. This one simple question will get you through most of the time and have you answering the hardest questions. Your motivation shouldn’t be just money, it needs to be more than that. If you have kids, there’s no doubt you’ll want the best for them. If you want to live in a better place and improve the world, there’s your motivation right there as well. Maybe you just want to leave something amazing on this world before you hit the hay. Any of these things can be valid reason why you’re starting your business.


People play sports for a living because their motivation is the enjoyment of the game, the winning side of it, the numbers, stats or even fame. It’s hard to think that even lawyers have a motivation to get their clients out because they love to help, and of course, they like to win hard arguments.


Now, you got enough pressure and tasks on your head and I don’t mean to place more on you but if you can figure out what your motivation is, it should put you at ease a bit and see things more clearly.


If you have a comment or idea to get through the hard times, feel free to comment below.


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A quirky blend of engaging words, intriguing photography, and bright graphics, offers inspiration and unflinching advice to help you be a successful, humble, modern gentleman. In offering pointers for achieving a surprise for your mate or a bucket list experience for yourself, Oscar Valdes (Fourteen Robots Publisher) wants you to live life on a larger, classier scale. Do you need to know how to make a delicious salsa, put up a hammock, or earn extra money without burning out? This short but impactful book supplies the answers and imparts lessons Valdes (Fourteen Robots Publisher) has learned so far in his interesting life. With a focus on accountability and perseverance balanced by suggestions for creating fun, taking time for yourself, and stretching your budget, EVERYTHING IS BORROWED challenges you to make the choices of a gentleman and gives detailed tips for a more enriching life, from making the perfect Michelada to taking better photos.

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Citizen Eco-Drive BM8475-26E

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Custom Decanters

It’s very likely that you have a favorite liquor, your go-to glass for that special drink at the end of the night. Sure you could keep that favorite whiskey on it’s original bottle but when you have a favorite drink that you’re loyal to, you want to give it that special treatment. Take a look at Iron Man’s bit on the “Good Stuff”. Notice that there’s no labels, that’s because Tony Stark knows exactly what he’s drinking. We know, it’s just a movie but there are good reasons to decant a good scotch, and even more reason to decant wine.

Personalize a decanter



What not to do when starting a business

At one point or another, every gentleman has the idea of starting his own business which may have sparked from either a product or a service. Whichever that may have ended up being, every business has it’s life on the line if not done correctly from the start. Here are some of the things NOT to do when starting your venture according to our experience.


  • Get into high debt without a solid thought out successful plan on Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Not creating a plan of execution, business plan, monetization, target audience
  • Marketing done through only one source or not marketing at all
  • Not planning on an exit strategy
  • Customer Service is non-existent
  • Not printing your business cards
  • Avoid attending marketing events and mixers
  • Not testing your service or product before launching it
  • Don’t organize your contacts and emails you receive from vendors, clients and networks
  • Don’t focus on branding
  • Not hiring a professional graphic designer, photographer, CPA or web developer
  • Not building relationships with your competition, vendors and clients
  • Not asking enough questions


Of course, there’s a reason behind every point I’ve made above and I could go into detail about each one of them. But this is just a quick list not meant to overwhelm you. I’ll get into detail as we build more and more content so please come back later or bookmark this post as I will keep it up to date with links to posts about each of these bullets.


If you’ve made any mistakes throughout your venture career, comment below and let us know how you’ve overcome or fixed it.

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We stumbled on this great artist (Stanislav Liepa) a while back and simply cannot stop scrolling through all the great portraits he’s shot throughout his career. Some of the faces might look familiar, most not so much, but in essence, Stanislav’s camera has captured great expressions in an artistic and beautiful kind of way that you just can’t seem to stop scrolling through.

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Timberland EK Chestnut Ridge Chelsea

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  • Textile linings and footbed covers are made entirely from recycled plastic bottles
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Our very first article

Good evening gentlemen! As most young married men, I assume you’re reading this at night when everyone is asleep and finally get to enjoy some quiet time without much distractions. If not, then I guess I’m human and allowed to be wrong. Let me welcome you to this site, whoever you are, man, woman, or both, we won’t judge. Through this site, we’ll publish many things that most married entrepreneurs with a family can relate to. We’ll keep it light, tasteful and a bit honest. Throughout this quest for a new form of entertainment, learnings and aha! moments in life, we’ll be posting articles about vices, tips on how to become a better entrepreneur, mistakes we’ve made so you won’t have to and all the great cool findings along the way from the distractions while we build this from the ground up.

We hope you enjoy our content. Feel free to interact with us anytime via email, we’re not hard to reach and we tend to respond quickly. If you have any ideas, comments or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us as we’re always open to constructive criticism and ways to improve.

Once again, thank you and welcome!


The Publisher of Fourteen Robots