What are Some Ways for Startups to Invest in Marketing with Little Cash?

You cannot grow a company without some investment in sales and/or marketing. The question is really your time versus capital and which would generate the best results (ROI, speed, quality of leads, etc.).  If your business model and products are sound, you should likely raise some capital, as it will be needed for more than marketing.  It is nearly impossible to build a significant business without some capital and/or sweat equity invested.  You cannot create something out of nothing.

Social media allows unpaid marketing and is the most obvious strategy. This can be time-consuming but is also rapid to measure and so can be used to test the messaging and refine it quickly. 

The more unique your product or service, the smaller the marketing budget you will need. For example, Tesla spends extremely little compared to other automakers on both marketing and sales. Word of mouth does it for you when you have strong and unique products.  “Differentiation”...

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10 Keys To Copy That Sells

10 Keys To Copy That Sells!

By Alexandria K. Brown, "The E-zine Queen"

Whether you're selling a product or service, the 10 tips below are your keys to writing great copy that communicates and persuades ... to get results! These guidelines can apply to Web copy, e-mail, sales letters, brochures, direct mail, and more. As long as your goal is to elicit a reaction from your reader, you've come to the right place.

1. Be reader-centered, not writer-centered.

Many ads, brochures, and Websites talk endlessly on and on about how great their products and companies are. Hello? Customer, anyone? Think of your reader thinking, "What's in it for me?" If you can, talk with some of your current customers and ask them 1) why they chose you, and 2) what they get out of your product or service. TIP: To instantly make your copy more reader-focused, insert the word "you" often.

2. Focus on the benefits -- not just the features.

The fact that your product or service offers a lot of neat features is great,...

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Optimizing Your Sales and Marketing Process

How to Increase Sales Without Spending More

Ask marketing people what a company should do to increase sales, and most of them will probably say that you've got to spend more money on advertising. Or they'll come up with equally expensive, complicated strategies that they think will capture new prospects. However, the reality is that very few companies obtain really good conversion results from prospect names they have already generated.  Most of those leads go to waste. The conclusion is inescapable: the route to dramatically improved sales is properly optimizing your marketing and sales process.

What usually happens within a company is that the marketing folks generate the leads and then a bunch of names is somehow handed over to sales. This process is problematic because it implies some sort of magical transition from marketing on the one hand to sales on the other. There must be a combination of sales and marketing directed at everyone in your prospect funnel. On a...

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