While it is certainly helpful to have Bill Gates levels of cash at your beck and call, remember that Bill Gates—as well as Steve Jobs, for that matter—essentially started from nothing. They had scant resources and built those scant resources into an empire. This took a long time, and it was a roller coaster ride—Steve Jobs lost his own company for a while before they needed him to return. But hard work, perseverance, and wise strategy combined to result in profitability on a global scale. Now certainly, there’s more to their stories than this brief abbreviation; but the takeaway is clear.
Brand Strategy and Time
You don’t need to have massive resources to acquire them. You just need to have proper preparation for the proper opportunity. This is one definition of luck—where preparation and opportunity come together. For a small business, that preparation often comes in the form of strategy. That is to say: you plan for what you can as you can.
One of the first things you want to do is take stock of your existing resources. What do you have, what don’t you have, and what can you do with what you’ve got where you’re at? Let’s take it from one of the absolute smallest possible selections of resources. Imagine you’ve got a business idea, but work a primary ‘day’ job, and only pull in £2k a month.
After expenses, you’ve only got £300 to devote to marketing, brand-building, and all the other things necessary to grow a lucrative business. How can you do anything with so small a sum? Well, you’ve got to make every single pound count, and you’ve got to look for cost-free opportunities.
Online Marketing Considerations
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a means of exploiting existing circumstances to your advantage totally free of monetary cost—your only expense is time. Of course, you can work with agencies to get the best result on your SEO campaigns, but you also have the ability to conduct them yourself with a high degree of success.
Basically, you want content, keywords, structure, video, and pictures that all lend themselves to your target market’s proclivities regarding searches. So say you’ve innovated a means of propping up a smartphone for the purposes of taking a picture of yourself. There are selfie sticks, maybe your innovation is a sort of radial arm that allows for sideways selfie shots, or something of the like. The point is, it’s a relevant addition to an already popular and lucrative portion of the market.
Well, your target demographic is going to be those most likely to take selfies. Actresses, dancers, singers, performers, high school girls—you get the idea! You might include a picture that’s really hard to get and looks like it required an additional individual to take, then write about how that picture was taken with your new product. You then pepper the article with keywords people use when searching for selfie equipment and ensure you have the right picture.
Note: We interviewed five experts on the current trends in online marketing. Check the interview here.
Getting Your Writings Seen
From this point, you want to post such a blog on your website, and on guest websites who serve similar audiences. Not all guest-sites will accept what you send them right away, but if you read submission guidelines and structure your content accordingly, some will. You want to choose guest blogs which reach a demographic that is similar, or congruent, to your own. Such blogs already have an inbuilt audience, and this will allow you to have a much greater impact than you could otherwise.
With the right web hosting service, all you have to pay for is the ‘rental’ cost of your URL. This can be far less than $300 over the course of a year! Also, you want your website’s URL to be SEO-optimised, and you want to look into meta-tags—that’s HTML code optimisation. When you’ve got such features defining your SEO efforts, your visibility to search engines increase substantially, yielding greater traffic to your site.
If you produce fifty blog posts that are around 500 words apiece on a monthly basis, you’re going to be at the top of SERPs, or Search Engine Results Pages; this should drive traffic to your site, and subsequently, sales. Ultimately this will build the awareness of your brand for the public who you’re trying to reach.
Beyond online marketing solutions, which are definitely worth your time, you want to look into cloud-based hosting and computing options. There are a great number of cloud apps that are free, or very cost-effective. Additionally, for a low monthly cost, you can develop, process, store, and augment data online. This allows you to compete with much larger organisations for a much-diminished fee.
Something else you’ll want to do is design ‘swag’ as well as merchandise for your brand. Swag would be like pens, pencils, hats, buttons, stickers, shoes, socks, T-shirts, sunglasses, keychains, bottle openers, and whatever else you can think of to slap your brand name on. This kind of merchandise will be given out for free as a sort of three-dimensional marketing campaign that organically spreads. When people use your branded merchandise, they remember your brand.
Accordingly, whatever branded merchandise you disseminate, you should ensure that it is of a quality which you find representative to the products and services you produce. If you have your brand on a pen that quits working immediately after it is used for the first time, that reflects badly on your company as a whole—so while you may be able to go ‘bottom dollar’ on swag, given that it’s not something you actually sell, this may, in fact, be a poor strategy.
Selling And Distributing Branded Materials
Something else you can do is sell T-shirts online. Now between selling merchandise and branding it solely for the purposes of advertisement, you have several options. If your brand is entertainment-related, fans may want to buy a T-shirt. There are companies that will print and ship a T-shirt for 50% to 75% of the buying cost, leaving you with the rest as profit, and saving you the seed money for production and shipping.
When people use your branded merchandise, they remember your brand.
Additionally, there are bespoke websites that can design T-shirts precisely to your specifications, after which time you purchase them as you need them. Whatever you do, you want proper customisation. If you get T-shirts, they should be made like you want—that’s what The Tee Hive believes; according to the site, their mission is: ‘…to give you exactly what you want for your school, event, sport, business, or if you are just looking for that one special design.’
When you have acquired a comprehensive marketing campaign that utilises what resources are cost-effectively available to you, and you spread yourself through quality swag and other strategies, then when an opportunity like a big convention comes your way, you will be properly prepared to fully exploit it.
Ideally, you want your branded swag and online presence in place for when your brand gets the kind of publicity you’ve been seeking. Conduct your marketing campaigns with this strategy in mind, and when the time comes, you’re much more likely to see the results you seek.
T-shirt Printing for Businesses
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From the moment you get in touch, one of our ‘printing experts’ will answer all of your questions and find efficient solutions to your needs. It is our mission to help you reach your goals. We deliver all over the UK with flexible delivery services that can adapt to most deadlines. Printing T-shirts has never been this easy.
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