Marketing Doesn’t Have to be Expensive

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Marketing Doesn’t Have to be Expensive

There’s a myth that good marketing has to be costly and that hiring someone will be a huge expense. That’s simply not true. In fact, marketing can be scaled to any budget from absolute zero to thousands a day. Small business marketing can be organic and DIY or a whole job for a single person. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be investing in your image and presence through marketing. It’s all about knowing what you can do at this point in your business.

Small Business Marketing With No Budget

Even if you don’t have a budget, you have time. You probably already have a Facebook page too, and that’s all you need to begin. You need to post, and you should do it at least three times a week. Try to post what you offer, industry news, how-to guides, blog posts, and even photos of your work or product. Organic marketing will be the name of your game at this stage.

Make sure to talk to your family and friends. Get them to share your posts and try to get them to get their friends to do the same. Organic marketing is all about reach and any free reach you can get for yourself the better. Also, if you don’t have a blog, now is the time. Every business needs a blog. It’s great for ranking online and shows your customers more about you and how much you care. I’ve written about how to start a blog of your own should you need a guide.  Having a blog opens so many more doors.

You can spend an hour a week looking for places to guest post. This will get you more attention and links to your page. You can also do interviews with local or online industry bloggers. This is a great way to get free exposure in your industry as well as links to your site as well. Even if you don’t have a budget, there are plenty of things that you can do today to get started with marketing your business. All it takes is a few hours a week.


Networking isn’t always free but is always vital. In fact, it’s the first form of organic reach, talking to people! All you have to do is look online for free events for your industry in your area. Use apps like Meetup or check out Facebook for local events as well. If you are still connected to your college, check with them as they might have ideas for you.

Many events are free to attend while others will cost a cover fee or a meal fee. Make sure you know what you are going to and make sure to dress the part. Don’t be afraid to bring business cards or even a tablet that can show quickly what you do. Networking events are a great place to find all kinds of people that can help you. For example, you might find new clients, a mentor, a business partner, someone who knows someone or more!

Marketing doesn't have to be expensive

Small Budget

Many times small business marketing comes in spurts. You may have just $1000 for your entire budget this year. When you realized this, you might have thought that since that’s only $83 a month, you still wouldn’t be able to do anything. Again, I’m here to say that’s not true! Small business marketing can be done on even small numbers like that. Your best options are to look into either interns or training for yourself.

With an intern, you can either pay nothing (I don’t condone that) or you can pay minimum wage + credit hours. At $83, that’s still 11 hours a month they can work. It might not sound like much, but quite a bit can be done in just three hours a week. Your intern will be able to get valuable experience while also helping run your social media as well as blog and whatever else they can take on.

On the other hand, maybe you don’t have time to manage an intern. If that’s the case, then you can spend that money on training yourself. At the end of your training, you’ll still be left with money that you can use for paid Facebook ads or events that you want to network at. If you go to someone like me, you’ll get someone who understands what it’s like to start a marketing department with no budget. They’ll be able to explain to you how, why, and where to go for cheap and effective marketing. They’ll be able to show you just how you can increase your reach with just a few hours a week. Eventually, when you build up your marketing and get more clients, you‘ll be able to move up the latter and hire someone to do it for you!

Monthly Budget

You’ve made it this far. Now you have a “real” small business marketing budget. Yet, what if it’s only $200 or $300 a month? Can you get a lot with that? Yes. It’s all about finding someone who can work within your budget. Though interns would work great here, another option is to find a freelancer. You can find freelancers that charge as little as $15 an hour up to well over $100 an hour. Better than interns, freelancers offer education as well as experience. To top this off, you don’t have to worry about putting them on payroll or giving them benefits. On the other hand, these aren’t employees. With freelancers, you are their client. Here, it’s all about mindset.

Also, something to note, it’s important to know what you want. If you are just starting marketing, your best option is to hire someone who can offer you and consultation and marketing plan. You’ll know that this person really understands you and can offer you the best way to reach your goals. If you already have a marketing plan, you can just hire a social media manager or content creator. These people will be able to create just what you are looking for in a budget you can afford.

Don’t Beleive Me?

I’d love to show you. If you contact me, I’ll take two hours out of my day to give you a free consultation with no strings attached. If you don’t have a dollar to your budget, I’ll help you decide which free methods would be best for you. On the other hand, if you have a budget, I can not only give you advice on the best ways to spend it but what my pricing would be as well. If we aren’t a match, I’ll help you find the person you are looking for.


Small Business Marketing is Something Any Business Owner Can Get Do


  • Organic Marketing is Almost Free: Though the process itself is free. It’s great to remember that any kind of marketing takes time. Organic marketing is the best way to reach new clients when you don’t have a budge. Make sure to involve your family and friends. By sharing your posts, your small business marketing efforts will go further will no extra work!
  • Networking is vital: Networking is something any business owner can and should be doing. There are plenty of events online and in-person that you can attend both free and paid. These are great opportunities to find new clients, help, mentors, and ideas. The more networking you do, the larger your network grows. When you don’t have a budget, this is one of the best ways to get your name around.
  • Training or interns are the best low budget small business marketing option: If you’ve got yourself a small budget to spend on marketing, you still might not have enough to hire a “real” freelancer or part-time worker. The best thing to do here is to hire either an intern that can work for credit+pay or get training on how to do the basics yourself. In one case, you don’t have to do it yourself while in the other, you might have some extra money to pay for paid marketing each month.
  • There is always someone in your budget: As long as you have a monthly budget, there is someone that can make their skills work for you. You’ll find people who charge from $15 an hour to well over $100 an hour. Even if you can only get the lower end of the budget for a few hours a week, you will be able to find someone that can help you grow.
  • If you don’t know what to do, I can help: I offer a free consultation to anyone who is interested in their marketing department. Even if you can’t afford to pay for services, I’ll go over ideas with you. If you can one day hire me, I’ll set you up with the package perfect for you.
By |2020-08-20T14:14:04+00:00November 19th, 2018|Marketing|

About the Author:

Ashley Madden is the free-spirited founder of Helianthus Advising - through which she helps small businesses grow. While she loves her job, she's also quite fond of video games, hiking, reading, and playing with her pets (Loki, Freyja, and Hela.)

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