Marketing · Marketing Strategy

How to market a free startup without a budget?

Brian Collin, Ph.D. Founder of Learn My Test, LLC.

Last updated on May 8th, 2018


My name is Brian Collin and I am the founder of Learn My Test ( I have a PhD in Educational Psychology and built what I think is a really great tool for students to study. The tool is absolutely free for students to use. I have no money to put into it as this is a side hustle. I am wondering if anyone has any advice on how to spread the word about the product. I have read the generic articles online about how to market your startup and they haven't been helpful. I'm looking for some more tangible strategies that I can use with limited resources.


Avinash Rathi Technopreneur | Doer

April 15th, 2018

Hi Brian!

I know its hard to market the product without money but its not impossible.

Brain is the ultimate weapon and it can bring you whatever you want.

Its better to identify the market first. As in your case, its Educational segment. So your target audience is the students, professors, schools, college and educational institutions.

Now you have to make few efforts, might 2 hours in a day to make connection to these institutions. Make a list to work. Find the contacts using linkedin, FB, twitter, Linkedin, yelp, google and through other sites. Get in touch with each person, remember people only want to listen their profits, so talk their profits.

You can also ask the schools and other institutions for seminars where you can provide information or you can tell them how your product will benefit them.

I know its not easy, but when you have to travel the world, then don't waste time in thinking, make your first step out and yeah you are now one step forward.

So lets do it man!

Hope it might be useful for you

Please let me know if you need any help, I would love to assist you.

Thank you!

osar cabada ...

April 15th, 2018

Ok so, I can see different approaches, but in depends on how do you want your business to grow. And of course that is the first step: 1. Stop seeing it only as a product, visualize your business model, what resources do you need and what alternatives do you have in order to generate income: - Donation? - Ads? - Sponsors? - A paid version? 2. Once you know how your income is going to be generated, you must elaborate a commercial plan to reach that customer (remember that in this case, your customer is different from your user/consumer). So, where are they? What do they need? How can you reach them? What is the value you offer to them as a business? (not as they were users of you product) When you start to write everything down you will realize what things you must do, the rest is up to you and your creativity. No money for ads? Make an educational event? Make a party and invite people interested in investing, go to events where people with the same objectives than you go too. There al lots of ways to achieve your goals but always remember that if you are alone is always to be harder. Find the right people to partner and work with.

Dan Hubbard Founder, www.FocusedAgility.Solutions/

Last updated on April 17th, 2018

The easiest way to test and grow a product likes yours (yes, I have been on your site, registered, and took a test) is to put it into the hands of users with a kicker. Think of some incentives you can offer those who will implement it in their regimen and offer feedback. I know a number of educators that assist with SAT/ACT prep that might be a focus group to evaluate the platform and get the word out. Or, perhaps it could be implemented in an adult test & learn program for GED, or any number of other applications. Examples and trials always help.

However, to make this work, you have to reach those people to begin with. Your FB page has but 35 likes ( I think you'll see that number jump pretty quickly;-), and the posts are not very inspirational to drive traffic to your site. Join some FB groups whose members you believe might benefit from the platform, and talk to them (don't just post a link, talk to them). Next, you need a blog that discussed the underlying methodology and the platforms benefits. That blog, ON YOUR WEBSITE, shall then serve as the contextual basis for your social media posts. Finally, about $300 per article get's you some really nice publicity on sites/blogs where your target audience reads. Shoot me a message and we'll help pro-bono. Like the product, BTW.

Brittany Lehman Manager of Sponsorships and Host at Business Rockstars

May 8th, 2018

Promote in Facebook groups!

Robert Cleary Entrepreneur

April 16th, 2018

If the goal is to only spread the word and not generate an income from it, then most articles wouldn’t be helpful. If you don’t already have one, I’d create a demonstration on how the user interacts with your site/product. Try to highlight what makes your product great. A demo video with a nice voice over would really “sell” it. If it’s for students, go where the students are. It’s been a while since I’ve been through our education system but I’m pretty sure, committees still exist that focus on the success of students. Approach them with your site/product. Approach the principals or the deans. These people, in theory, have the students best interests st heart. A simple and standard email can be send out as initial contact. That way you could save on time and not have to run around town to talk in person. Also, there are some cities that have tutoring companies. You could approach them with your site. Sell it as an aid for them to use. -Robert-

Pedro Sostre Marketing Pro. CEO @ WebLift. Founder @ Black Helmet (acquired). Author, Web Analytics @forDummies

April 17th, 2018

Hi Brian,

If you've got no money to spend, Gary Vaynerchuk's $1.80 Strategy is the simplest way to spread the word. In the simplest sense: leave your .02 cents (comment with your thoughts and try to provide value) on the top 9 trending Instagram posts for 10 different hashtags that are relevant to your brand or business every single day.

It's free, it only takes a few minutes, and you will absolutely see results.

Read more about it here:

Chowdari Babu Founder @

April 18th, 2018

Grow your user base , whether its university students or corporate learners , build revenue model to support future development , launch it with learnings from user inputs

Waleed Barakat CEO & Founder @jodyshop, is an online shopping website and a new startup business.

April 24th, 2018


the most important factor of increasing sales is to get noticed and become popular trademark. Here is how to do that...

You have to try this Marketing plan & Optimization Methods

1- Create and submit New Video about your business.

2- Social media submission.

3- Guest posting submission.

4- Press Release writing + submission.

5- Citation optimization by submitting your business to local directories.

6- Product or Service promotion worldwide.

7- Email Marketing submission.

8- Genuine content writing for new posts or new pages.

9- Influencer Marketing (Radio and podcast business mention).

10- Building quality Backlinks for your website.

Also, there is another free ways you can search online for them.

Nikki Cheah Attenbrough Founder of Piqo, R&D electrical engineer, programmer, multilingual

May 10th, 2018

I agree with Avinash's point about approaching education institutions. I don't know what level of education you're focused on. But I would go through education institutions simply because, if you're targeting university students, instead of spending time talking to 100 students, you talk to 1 university and they can spread the word to the thousands of students they have. But it might be good if have something to bargain/barter with the university with. For example, you can promise the universities some splash ads because your next market segment you're targeting are high school students and high school feeds into universities etc etc. And with enough volume, you can actually start charging the universities for the ad space. Just my 2 cents.. All the best! =]

Carlos Rodrich Portugal HUB UDEP Business Incubator Director

May 10th, 2018

Hi Brian. try with Boostraping. I recommend you the book of Peter Levels (Make-Boostrapper's Handbook)