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15 Marketing Techniques That Cost You Time, Not Money

Harpreet Munjal January 12, 2021

15 Marketing Techniques That Cost You Time, Not Money 100%

Are you a startup owner, entrepreneur, or a solopreneur with big growth plans but operating on a shoestring budget? You have a brilliant product, but creating a space for yourself looks difficult as your established competitors with deeper pockets have already captured the entire market. You are in a catch-22: your business is not big because you can’t invest enough right now, and you can’t invest because it’s not big yet. If this is you, you’re not alone.

In this article, we discuss more than 15 marketing ideas that will cost you hardly a dime. Are you ready? Let’s get started.

1- Cross-Promote

Cross-promotion involves a partnership between businesses that promote each other’s products and services. Such an arrangement is ideally made with a related but non-competing business partner. It is an easy, effective strategy that can explode your sales.

For example, if you’re a web designer, you might recommend a copywriter or a content writer to your clients, and that writer can in turn recommend you to her clients. This method is time tested and proven to work. According to a report published by Nielson, ‘92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family.’

This strategy is a win-win for you and your cross-promotion partner, as well as the clients you helped.

2- Host a Webinar

Have you noticed a rising trend of webinars? Irrespective of niche and industry, almost everyone is into webinars because they not only provide value to your audience but also generate leads. 73% of the marketing and sales leaders claim that webinars are the best way to generate leads. However, coming up with an intriguing topic that can hold the audience’s attention for hours can be a challenge.

You should choose a topic according to the pain points of your targeted audience, your niche and expertise. The title of your webinar must be catchy and appealing.

It will help you to improve your conversion rate.

Try various titles, topics, platforms to find what exactly works for you!

3- Network in Person

Trying to create an impact from behind a desk is extremely difficult. Nothing can beat the magic of physical networking and face-to-face interactions. Attending networking events in your city can introduce you to new people and open up opportunities. Taking time to attend events not only shows your effort and dedication, but it also helps people get to know and trust you.

Unfortunately, it becomes harder to meet someone in person due to the COVID crisis. All offline conferences/meetups have been turned into virtual conferences and meetups. That you can join from your bedroom. But if you want to meet with a person (individual) then you can invite him/her to a virtual meet on Zoom or Google Meet.

4- Use Help a Reporter Out

Another great way to market your business is to sign up for Help a Reporter Out (HARO) a free service used by reporters to gather feedback from experts in a particular niche. If you can answer some of their queries, you can get media coverage on popular sites.

You can get featured on top news-media publcations like Forbes, NYTimes, and many others. By using HARO, you can get top-tier media coverage for your business without spending a single penny just by investing 1-2 hours a day.

This gets you free publicity while establishing your authority. Responding to queries on HARO also provides access to an entirely new audience. Plus, you can feature the logos of these media sites in the trust bar of your website (on the homepage and sales pages) to evoke trust in your audience.

5- Run a Contest

Although it is overused, this marketing technique still works. You can give away some merchandise, such as t-shirts and coffee mugs, or cash prizes. This strategy increases brand awareness and engagement on your social media profiles.

6- Launch a Referral Program

Another great way to market your business without increasing your marketing budget is to launch a referral or affiliate program for your products and services.
Launching an Affiliate program for your business will help you grow your sales and revenue without spending a dime in advance. You will only pay commission to affiliate marketers for every successful sale. They will make their own efforts to promote your business. Launching an affiliate program for your business can give automation to your business as well as reduce your marketing efforts.

This may not work for every business, but you can give it a try. For example, if you have a coaching business and sell courses, anyone who recommends your course might get a commission, and you can enjoy the extra income that you wouldn’t otherwise have made without hiring more salespeople.

7- Upsell

Upselling is a marketing technique used to increase the average sales value of a customer. It is based on the premise that it’s easier to sell more to an existing customer than to acquire a new customer. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% while the probability of selling to a new customer is only 5-20%. There are other advantages to upselling: deeper relationships with customers, lower cost of acquisition, and higher customer lifetime value.

8- Optimize Conversion Rates

If you’ve ever run ads on Facebook or Google, you know what conversion rate optimisation means. A few numbers up or down can increase or decrease your profit margins significantly. Getting people to visit your website is not free. Paid traffic costs money, and organic traffic costs time. Therefore, you should make sure that when someone lands on your website, they don’t leave empty-handed. To increase your conversion rate, strengthen the offer and make it time-bound to make it irresistible.

9- Get Help from Niche Influencers

Niche influencers have large followings around niche interests. For example, this Instagram profile is all about the love of pumpkins. Such influencers are thought leaders in their niche. They control the conversation and shape their followers’ perspectives. People follow what they say because they trust them. That’s why you get their help to promote your business. You can ask for the shoutout or recommendation or something that could be beneficial for both sides.

15 Marketing Techniques That Cost You Time, Not Money 100%

10- Get a Hashtag

Creating a hashtag can help you easily build buzz around a topic. When you create a hashtag, you give your followers a new way to get in touch with you. If people like your posts, they can simply search the hashtag to find all your posts in a single place. A unique hashtag also allows you to track and analyze what resonates most with your audience.

11- Build an Email List

Have you heard people singing the praises of email marketing? If you’re hanging on to any doubts about it, don’t, because magic happens with an email list. Email marketing is highly popular among marketers for its indisputable benefits and high return. For every $1 spent on email marketing, you can expect a return of $44. Building an engaging list of engaged subscribers takes time and effort, but it is worth every bit in the end.

12- Get Links from Service Providers

Every business needs backlinks to rank higher in search engine results. You can generate high-quality backlinks by building good relationships with service providers or business partners. Simply write a email and reach out to them for a link. Remember, you just need a few of them.

13- Find Unlinked Mentions

Finding unlinked mentions on other sites is like finding money in an old jacket’s pocket. Run a query of your brand name or personal name on Google and Facebook, and if you find any unlinked mentions, find website owner or editor’s email address to contact them and ask to make that mention linkable by adding your link there.

14- Get User-Generated Content

User-generated content is created by the customers or users of your products or services. Generating this type of content is not only a low-cost marketing technique but, if done well, can be more powerful than blogging on your website. For instance, you could ask your customers to share pictures of themselves using the product. Coca-Cola did this when it launched personalized Coke bottles.

15 Marketing Techniques That Cost You Time, Not Money

15- Blog

It might seem strange that I’m mentioning blogging last in this list when it is often the first low-cost marketing technique to come to mind. Its popularity means that we all know its importance already.

Blogging not only creates awareness of your business but also builds your authority, SEO, and links. Write engaging content useful for your audience, and you will witness significant growth in your organic traffic.

16- Guest Blog

If blogging works well, guest-blogging works wonders. If you want to spread your brand’s message, build a personal brand, and attract the traffic visiting other big websites, then start guest posting. That guest blogging is free and costs only the time it takes to approach the site and write the post is definitely a cherry on top.


As a business owner, marketing is one of the most important activities you do for your business. You may have heard sayings like; “you have to spend money to make money.” Although these sayings are not absolutely false, there are also smart ways to make money without spending much. Almost all the marketing techniques discussed in this article cost little or no money. All you need is some time and the inclination to make these marketing methods work for you.

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