I have a startup for which I want to advertise. I can’t afford the prices of advertising. What should I do?

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As sugar is to coffee, so is advertising to a business. Though not everything, its absence makes a difference. To make real profits, you will have to advertise. For advertising, anyone needs a budget. But let’s get into how much you can advertise, even with a very low ad spend.

Let’s bust a myth first. The more you advertise, the greater your profits. Well, it’s not always like that. The same goes for ad spend. More is not automatically better. The profits depend more on the effectiveness of the ad copy, the value of the product to the target audience, etc.. Pricing, marketing, competition, etc. will all make a difference. Advertising is paramount for a business’s success, and it’s not just about immediate sales. It helps in branding, creating awareness, sending messages, and reaching to the target audience. No one can deny that. With the growing awareness level of the customers as well as the need to introduce more innovative concepts in the ads, the budget of advertisements has increased. Another reason for the increase in advertising budget is the availability of a large number of platforms and formats of ads. That has made it difficult for small businesses, especially startups, to advertise with a small budget. Due to which most startups prefer not to advertise initially.

Anyways, I have three solutions for your situation:

1) Create business social media pages. Make regular posts from those accounts. That’s free of cost and would help you reach to the people, who in turn will become the potential customers for your product. If you want to make more out of that, you can opt for paid advertisements on social media with a budget as low as $1 per day, with the potential to reach 600-700 people in the area you decide.

2) I am not sure if your startup is an online or offline business. Whatever be the case, get a website for it. If you already have that, perform Search Engine Optimization measures for its content, so that you get more customers. Of course, I can help you with that if you have questions.

3) Start with a small budget for advertisement, and do not increase it until it is at least breaking even. Until then, keep testing at very low ad spend.

The above points can help you start with a low budget. Ultimately, it is advisable to have a budget for advertisement, as, without that, the journey to profits could be time-consuming. The difference between low-budget and no budget is pretty huge. I can give you more specific suggestions if you share more details of your business.

As an aside, you might be surprised to know that due to increasing budgets, some startups have started to drop the plan to advertise initially, until they make enough to afford to advertise. Creative types like artists, especially introverted ones, try to make this work, and it never does. As the initial time is crucial in creating awareness for a product, ads work as a base for branding the product. On the contrary, imagine how the world would have been if there were no advertising.

Well, that thought made me value advertising even more. I have penned down that thought into a post that would give you more ideas on advertising, and how you could use it. If you are interested in reading my post: Welcome to a World Without Advertising, you can click here and follow the link.

In conclusion, I would say: Spend wisely on advertising by first setting and sticking to your budget, however low it may have to be at first. If you can’t afford that, go free for a while and build up a social following and website content. Don’t burden yourselves financially by advertising as your competitors might be doing when you aren’t ready. In case you need any suggestions, please feel free to leave me a reply. I would be pleased to help you.

Good Luck!



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