This post is for those who want to try to attract potential customers to the site themselves, having a limited budget for marketing.
With a well-thought-out strategy, your site will attract customers almost without your participation. This will even allow you to have several online projects at the same time.
Check out these simple yet profitable side hustle ideas!
1. Define your target audience
Create a detailed portrait of your potential buyer. Most often, the 5W Mark Sherrington’s technique is the best option for TA segmentation:
- What? – what is your product/service.
- Who? – who buys a product/service (age, gender, etc.)
- Why? – what motivates these people, why do they buy something.
- When? – when people need a product or service.
- Where? – where they interact with the product, make decisions and buy it.
2. Offer products for testing
This applies to goods, the effect of which is not immediately clear: the furniture may not fit the interior, the bicycle may appear to be uncomfortable.
Offer your customers to test goods for a while before buying them.
3. Involve media personalities
If you involve a media personality, you can find someone on Klout: this service uses a special algorithm that distributes users of social networks into groups (opinion leader, unifier, etc.).
You can come up with an interesting format:
- reality show;
- experimental day;
- blogs of project participants, etc.
4. Allow your potential buyer to make a step towards your brand
This option works great in cases where the usage of service consists of numerous «steps». You can offer to make some of these steps for free (not necessarily the first one):
- in the renovation business niche, they often offer a measurement of premises for free;
- in cleaning, companies offer free cleaning of the hall, for example.
If you offer a service, try to divide it into possible steps and think about which one you can offer your customers for free.
5. Offer an opportunity to win something
Most people are gambling. And, if the games are simply intriguing and involving, then the contest also has a competitive effect, giving people drive and excitement.
There are interesting examples of contests created by various brands. The rules are quite simple: if the customer loses, he agrees to find out more about the product, and if he wins, he gets a good discount.
6. Limited version (Freemium)
People will do everything to get something for free. And marketers are always ready to use it to increase loyalty.
Freemium strategy is popular in the IT field. Online services, cloud storage, CRM and other projects turn a freebie into millions.
Everyone can use Freemium products or services for free, but those who need advanced functionality will have to pay. In this case, a few customers finance the entire content of the service.
7. Use YouTube
In whatever niche you work, you can get a mini-studio for shooting videos. It is inexpensive, but the effect is amazing!
For example, if your service/product has an unusual name, ask people on the streets the question «What do you think is…» – it will surely turn out to be great fun, and the video can become viral.
With the proper approach, the YouTube channel is able to generate from 100 to 1000 new contacts of potential customers per month. In addition, as soon as Google sees suitable video content, he suggests watching it before reading an article.
8. Emphasize the attention of exclusivity
Pre-registration, invitation-based access, etc. can help raise the status of a project and succeed. Provocative teasers (intriguing prints, videos, ads, and banners) are a very good option.
9. Partnership with other companies
Create a special promotional code that offers a discount or special conditions to track the effectiveness. Agree on electronic mailing a quid pro quo.
10. Take part in useful events
There are many interesting offline events such as Creative Mornings and Meetups: if you want to attract new potential buyers (partners, investors), you should visit and even make an inspiring speech about your startup.
11. Promote your brand
It is worth trying to publish relevant posts and comments about your startup on Reddit and Quora.
If a startup can at least somehow be useful to Coursera students (and there are a lot of different courses), then you can safely open topics in internal forums – the audience here is very active and friendly.
You should also consider using Pinterest, Instagram, and other services.
12. Build communication in the right places
Google 5-10 search phrases that should lead traffic to your site – try to leave comments on those sites that are in the search results for your queries.
In general, keep track of your topics in the blog search to engage in discussions (of course, it is better to communicate as a person, but not as a company’s employee).
Many companies are known for the persons that are the «company’s faces» – become an expert and opinion leader, and it will be much easier to promote the company.