Blog Post - DIY Marketing ideas on a shoestring budget

Marketing ideas on a budget

You can do DIY awareness marketing. Just take it 1 piece at a time

The idea is to keep moving forward

Social media posts made to your personal network plus 1 local directory profile & 1 industry specific directory profile per day and you’ll build search engine authority over time.

By now you should know that while promoting a business without a website is like handing out business cards without your contact info on it, conversely having  website without promoting it is like placing a stack of business cards in a dark room waiting for someone to find them by accident. Separately, it doesn’t work as affectively as they do together. 

So, now you have a website that is (in order of importance) secure, fast, beautiful, mobile friendly, and has a compelling message as well as proper on page search engine optimization. Sadly, there is little or no budget left to promote it professionally. Now what do you do? Like building a website, there are do it yourself options. However, I would recommend smart DIY promotion of a website over DIY website design. If the website is built correctly, it makes promotion of it a bit more efficient.

Here are a few ideas for do it yourself marketing for the small business / micro business owner on a shoe-string budget (things I’ve simply done for myself to grow my business). As a website builder, the following is not meant as professional advice from a marketing standpoint, simply ideas for you to ponder and implement in your spare time …

1 – Social media for the top 5: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pintrest. Set a plan to post 2 – 5 times per week. Make each post relevant but unique. Showcase who you are and what you do as well as your expertise, passion and personality in a way that is memorable without being rude, obnoxious, pushy or salesy.

A. Open an account as you personally in each one, then as appropriate add a business side.

B. Facebook (open a personal profile, then add a business page). Same for LinkedIn. For twitter, your profile url is your personal name, but the handle can be your business name. Same for Instagram and Pintrest.

C. For Facebook and LinkedIn, post to the business page and associated network, then share it to your personal newsfeed and associated network.

D. Invite your personal network to like and share what you post on the business pages.

E. Use certain # hashtags and keywords. From here, if you want to pay to have certain posts boosted (visible based on location and other demographics), you can do so.

2 – White-hat, ethical, manual relevant Link building: One at a time (not purchased in bulk from an “SEO Agency”), manually build links back to your website in relevant places where your target market might be looking for you. However, in doing so, you also build authority with the search engines. The more authority the website your link is on, the better it is for you. BUT, don’t worry about that for now. Simply make sure where you are linking from is relevant to what you do.

A – Industry specific directories. Simply do a search for (my business’ industry) directory”. Go to each website, create and account and associated profile. For me, I looked up directories for website designers.

B – Local directories – same as above. Some “local” directories are also “industry specific”. The major local directories include Google Maps, Bing Maps, Mapquest, the BBB, Chamber of Commerce, YellowPages, YellowBook, SuperPages, Merchant Circle, Manta, Yelp,, Thumbtack, Angies List, and lots of others. Next Door and Alignable are also huge resources for local customers.

C – The idea is to add A & B above to your morning and evening routine. 15 minutes a day, over the course of time, can help Google take your new website seriously as one who is not fly-by-night. For next level link building (like promoting blog posts or 2nd & 3rd tier link building), we can put you in touch with someone who has the secret recipe for that.

3 – Networking: Groups include the local Chamber of Commerce, BNI, and thanks to our current times, lots of other new local and national options such as Accelerated Global Connections and The Happy Neighborhood Project. MeetUp is a good resource to find new groups. I know and know. Too time consuming with little ROI right? The idea here is to build trusted relationships. Business relationships and blossom into outside of work friendships. Like Google & link building, it takes work but the long term ROI is worth the investment of time.  Each networking group is different in terms of cost, approach, rules, and expectations. But each has the same principle of “it works if you work it, so work it cause you’re worth it”. You are networking within each of the “networking meetings”, hobnobbing before and after the meetings as well as giving your 60 second pitch during the meeting. BUT, don’t forget to pick someone who you can be a mutual benefit to, and ask to meet them after the meeting and get to know them on a deeper level. Ask what you can do to help support them – and then follow through. With a bit of luck, they’ll ask the same of you and that’s your chance to earn their approval of you.

There is lots more you can do to promote your new website. All it takes is one small bite at a time. 1 new local profile each day, 1 new industry specific profile each day, 1 phonecall to someone you met at a networking group each day. And all 3 don’t even have to be done all on the same day. For social media, start with your personal network. Let them know about what you are doing and get them to share with their network the fact that you are awesome at what you do. Give it time. It’ll blossom.

Let me know how I can help.

Rob Shurtleff
The Website Guy
We offer quality, affordable, brochure style website design services for local small businesses in
Lino Lakes, Hugo, Centerville, Forest Lake, White Bear Lake, Vadnais Heights, Blaine,
North St Paul, and the surrounding Twin Cities Minnesota area.