“Getting the word out.” That is your goal once your start-up business has started up. After all the planning, hiring of staff and website building, now you’ve got to let your customers know that you’re open for business and what you’re all about. Without a clear marketing plan, you won’t garner any success. Let’s stipulate that the ultimate marketing campaign would be a Super Bowl television spot. Right out of the gate, you’ve got 100,000,000 potential viewers checking out your company. Of course, you also need several million dollars just to secure that spot. Let the big companies play with their millions. You focus on your immediate targeted customer. Who are you selling to? That is where you want to build your marketing campaign. Here are some affordable marketing ideas for your startup business:

Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn. Those are the dominant social media networks where you should set up accounts for your company. Start with Facebook. How many friends do you have on your private account? Whatever the number, you can get them to “like” your business page. What are friends for, right? You can then go out on these sites and find your target customers and begin liking their pages to bring them back to your page. Anytime you have a new product or promotion, you should post it across these platforms. Best of all, they’re all free!

Support A Local Team

Even if you have a home-based business (i.e. no storefront), you can still generate positive name recognition by supporting a local team. That would be a little league baseball team that lets you put your company name on their shirts. There are also many other community organizations you can get involved with. Take out an ad in all the local church bulletins. Help with a neighborhood carnival. These ideas might cost a little up front, but you’ll be generating some amazing goodwill and that is priceless.

Give Away Stuff

You’ve got a company logo and web address, right? That is what should go on bumper stickers, refrigerator magnets, pens, and other promotional giveaway stuff. These handouts can be practical, too. For instance, you can promote a college football team with a magnet calendar. Every time someone crosses to their fridge, they see your logo. Bingo!

Offer Free Consultation

In addition to the free stuff you give away in the form of promotional materials, you can also offer free advice. No matter what your business might be, you’re now the expert. That means you have a personal value. Offering a free consultation related to your business gives you a chance to meet new customers and sell them your company. Plus, it’s free!