Business Development · Marketing

What are some of the best free marketing stunts you’ve seen entrepreneurs do to get their startup on the map?

swati gupta QA at Virtual Employee Pvt. Ltd.

December 1st, 2016

Recently, I quit my job in order to pursue my dreams and to start my own company. I have always had a passion for fashion and jewelry designing was my hobby and my side job. Now that I am full time occupied with it I made a business plan and started selling also online. As I have no funds for a large scale marketing campaign I would like to find out about some of the best low cost (even better, free) marketing stunts in order to get my startup on the map.

Lee Stein Owner, Stein Writes, Inc.

December 1st, 2016

In part, it depends on who your audience is. For instance, is what your designing gender specific for females only? Or also for males? Let's assume it's mainly oriented for females. What age range and likely income range is your audience? If you can answer that, then search online for every demographic tidbit you can find about (for example), Women over 50 with incomes over $xxx/year. Or Women under 30 on a budget. Once you've hit on about 5 keywords, double-check them in Google Trends and pay special attention at the bottom of the trends page to see related keywords. Then start writing a blog featuring your jewelry and using keywords and phrases you learned from your research. Which social media does this audience use the most? Instagram, Facebook, etc. Post there as well. To slightly expand Mr. Leeds comment, make sure you're giving your jewelry to people who fit your target demographics, not just because they're your friends. Since presumably your products are very visual, presentation online is crucial. So many sites have really poor photography. It would be great if you could find a really excellent and experienced product photographer to make your designs jump in your posts and on your website. You might be able to even trade. Hope that helps. Best wishes.

Rob G

December 1st, 2016

if you are specifically interested in publicity "stunts" here's a good article: http://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2016/06/16/25-greatest-publicity-stunts-our-time

Airbnb's original "Obama O's" and "Cap'n McCains" cereal boxes is one of my favorites - that was as much a way to generate some much needed funding as it was for publicity. 

David Albert Founder & Principal at GreyGoo

December 1st, 2016

Keep in mind "stunts" aren't sustainable. It's like when tech startups get some press on Venture Beat or TC or Mashable--it only gives you a bump, it's not sustainable long-term. Build a long-term strategy around your goals. I think Lee gives some great advice--with wearables, it's all about social proof--if you can appeal to influential Instagrammers, fashion bloggers, fashion press and build a following on FB/Instagram/Pinterest then you'll start pulling people in. Make sure if you sell online on your website, you make it really easy to buy from you--offer deals to first time customers, reward repeat customers with promotions, give free shipping on orders over X, etc. Also, Lee's comment about photography can't be underestimated--great photography is crucial to success. You might have awesome clothes/jewelry/whatever but what sells is the emotion behind it. Great imagery does that--build a brand around your product using a unique aesthetic that you can own--it's a crowded space so anything you can do to stand out.

Mary-Lis Viñuales Managing Partner

December 1st, 2016

There are companies that will promote your products online in exchange for a cut of The benefits arising from the sales they get. You may try that. I don't know of any specific names but I am sure someone in this Network will. You could also try to do Facebook promotions with another company that does something Complementary to yours to cheapen the costs. Good luck! Please excuse the typos. Sent from my iPhone

Raj Prasad Marketing/Sales/Technology Consultant

December 1st, 2016

Hi Swati, You can try using Social Media as a way to create free buzz. Take Images of your products with and without models(ask friends for help!) and use hastags(#) as way to promote your messages. The ways to find the best hashtags is to look at what your competitors are using with their messages and go from them. Engage with people by following people who might like your product. If you use the right hashtags and engage with the right types of people they will re-tweet, share, like, re-post and help create virility with your posts. Hope that helps!

Nena Djaja

December 10th, 2016

Hi Swati, I just started reading the book Traction (recommended by a few successful startup founders) and it's an amazing resource! They have a framework for marketing and user growth, basically how to approach that whole thing. It provides real-life examples from startup founders and what they did to grow their user base. If I were you, I would get the book and start doing what the authors suggest (both successful entrepreneurs) :)

Michael Leeds CEO & Founder

December 1st, 2016

Make sure you start with the basics: always wear your jewelry and give some to others who will wear it and talk about it with others. You might want to approach companies that would like to use your jewelry in a way that's valuable to them (to include in a contest, to add to an existing employee recognition, etc.).

Rupert Meghnot MBA CXO, Burnout Game Ventures, LLC

December 1st, 2016

Have you ever heard of 1 Million Cups? By presenting your company to other local entrepreneurs (and investors), you never know who's in the audience. Someone may even have founded and operated a large jewelry store chain. Or, a marketer who's interested in helping a startup such as yours. Go out & present & network.

Marc-André Launière Conseiller en gestion / Travailleur autonome

December 9th, 2016

Congratulations for your big decision
You can check for influencer marketing ...a lot of buzz at the moment