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When you are a startup, perhaps the most important element of your strategy lies in marketing. Marketing is the key to communicating who you are and what you offer to your potential customer-base in hopes that this will turn them into sales.

In the beginning of the life of any company, a do-it-yourself approach is essential; this is why we’ve created a list of 5 marketing strategies for non-marketing startup owners or team members.

Click here to apply to Bootcamp's Startup Sprint.

1. Offer more than your service:

It’s difficult to get someone to buy something before they build trust with you and your company. One way to build trust is by giving your audience something for free, as a sample of your offerings and to establish your credibility. A valuable infographic, an ebook or free consultations are all great ways to engage with your potential clients. Make sure the content is valuable and well thought-out  because if they’re satisfied, then they’ll engage better with your service, and thus be more likely to turn into customers.


The offer you choose depends on your target market. For example, teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 prefer videos to ebooks and college students between the ages of 20 and 25 prefer infographics to whitepapers. Of course require them to fill out their name, email and phone number on your website in return for the offer and start building your database of emails to use in future campaigns.  

2. Email Marketing:

Email marketing is all about sending the right content to the right people. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time and ending up in the spam folder anyway. With the free offers that you’ve set up (see #1) or even with a newsletter subscription, now you’re ready to send important information about your paid products or services to people who actually care about them.

Email Automation:

Email Automation is a software tool that sends relevant content to an individual who has set up a trigger. For example, if this person downloaded your infographic on marketing strategies, perhaps they’d be interested in your upcoming workshop on the same subject. To read up more on email automation, check out this handy guide that gives you loads of successful examples:

3. Moderate a Workshop About Your Service:

Create an educational event to showcase your product or service, where your potential customers can get a clearer idea of what they’re paying for. You can’t go wrong with valuable content that also educates people.


  • Create a sense of urgency with the event by limiting the number of seats available for registration.
  • Make sure there’s a landing page with a registration form to collect your contacts’ information where you can later reach out to them with a series of automated emails. It can be as simple as a google form you embed into your website.
  • Promote this workshop across your social media channels for a two-fold effect: communicate your brand and convert new leads. Social media posts and ads you’re running should have a call to action that redirects to the landing page.

4. Facebook Competitions:

The fall in organic reach on Facebook by 10%, means that you are reaching less than 5% of your fans organically (without paying for boosts or ads) and fan engagement is at an all time low. Social media contests can drastically boost your engagement, give your fans free stuff, build a relationship or at least start a conversation. You are still going to have to dedicate a budget for this, but it could be as simple as a post that reads, “tag at least one friend in the comments for a chance to win this free…”  


  • Project your end goal before announcing the game will help determine the reach you need for your goal to be met.
  • Utilize all your social media channels: the more eyes on your contest, the better participation you will receive.
  • Develop simple rules that are easy to understand and follow.
  • Don’t forget to set a start date and end date for the winners to look forward to.
  • Create a sense of immediacy by choosing a foreseeable date, rather than a date too far down the road.
  • Push users to share your post for extra entries;this will allow you to reach the maximum number of people.
  • Avoid asking a user to complete too many steps, since they will likely decide that entering your contest isn’t worth their time.

5. Search Engine Optimization:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) depends on the choices you make inside your website to make sure that you are the first (or at least on the first page) of a “natural” web search. This means using keywords (searchable words) relevant to your industry and call-to-action that complement buyer journey stages and the value of the content itself. 

The next step is to promote your website by linking it on all your social media channels, posting it every chance you get, and always thinking of ways to direct back to your website. 


The Bootcamp startup program applications are now open, apply by April 16.

We hope this list has helped you get started or get moving on your marketing strategy.

One last tip:

No matter what you do, or how you strategize… BE HONEST and BE YOURSELF.

People know when you’re being “market-y” or when you’re talking down at them to try and sell them something. Just be honest and be yourself in all your communications

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