$0 Marketing Budget? Here Are 4 Creative Ways to Land Clients

Small businesses and startup companies often face a common problem in the business world: a lack of marketing budget.

This experience puts a strain on businesses that need to find more customers to grow so they can use the money for marketing.

However, without marketing money, they can’t attract new customers.

Someone is working on their laptop

See the challenge?

Fortunately, there are quite a few ways to market your business without a budget.

All you need is some strategic problem-solving skills and creativity. Here are four creative ways to land clients with a $0 marketing budget.

Incentivize Your Audience to Share

One of the most effective low-cost marketing strategies is to incentivize your audience to do the work for you.

The more you can encourage them to share your content, the better.

There are a few ways to go about doing this.


Contests are one way to reach a broader audience and encourage people to buy.

You can host a giveaway of your services based on likes, shares, and follows on social media using a random name picker.

Alternatively, you can use a nomination and voting system to get people actively engaged with your page.

You can even use a contest to generate some marketing spend.

Offer entries for a grand prize to people who purchase your product or service in a timeframe.

Then, use those profits as seed money for your marketing efforts.

Referrals and Offerings

If a contest isn’t right for your company, consider a value-added offering instead.

Customers who refer a new client could be eligible for a discount or free offering from your company.

Duolingo is a company that does this well, offering a free week pro subscription for each referral.

Dropbox is a success story when it comes to referral marketing, and grew their company 3900% by offering expanded storage in return for referrals.

Think about what you can offer your customers in return for sharing your content.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is similar to referral marketing.

However, in this scenario, customers who refer new, paying customers receive a financial kickback.

The benefit of this approach is that the onus is on your customers to do the heavy lifting.

Additionally, you don’t have to pay any money upfront for their efforts.

User-Generated Content

Encouraging your audience to create user-generated content is another cost-free marketing strategy you can use to extend your reach.

Encourage your current customer base to share images online using a product-specific hashtag.

With permission, share those images.

With enough user-generated content, you won’t have to worry about curating social media content.

Use Video Marketing

Cellphone is recording video

Video marketing is making waves in modern marketing practices. Not only does it present a cost-friendly way to repurpose content, but viewers love the increased engagement and quick bites of information.

You can find out more about it in this blog content by The Boost Apps on inexpensive ways to market your small business.

Recording Best Practices

You don’t need fancy recording or editing equipment to make high-quality video marketing content.

All you need is a smartphone, headphones with a mic, a well-lit space, and stability.

For more formal situations, use a tripod to hold your smartphone.

Live vs. Recorded Videos

Both live and recorded videos play an exciting role in video marketing.

With recorded videos, you have more control and editing capabilities.

With live videos, you can circumvent the social media algorithms and interact with your audience on a more personal level.

Webinar and Training

Hosting webinars and training sessions is a great way to build an engaged audience and market your products or services.

Host topics relevant to your offering while presenting valuable information that solves a problem for your customers.

Don’t hesitate to try a classic upsell at the end of your training session.

Shareable Topics

When you create recorded videos, do it with shareability in mind.

The more compelling, humorous, or entertaining your videos are, the more likely your audience is to share them.

Try to keep them short and sweet so that they can be shared across platforms.

Offer a Freemium Service or Trial

Working on their cellphone and laptop

Another effective strategy for marketing your business without spending is to create a freemium service or a free trial.

Here are some compelling reasons you should go this route if possible.

Trials Build Trust

Offering a free trial allows you to build a rapport with potential paying customers.

It shows that you have faith in your product or service and have customer care at the top of your mind.

Creates a Strong Sales Funnel

Free trials are a compelling lead magnet and practical entry point for a sales funnel.

By capturing the emails of those who use your free trial, you can develop an email marketing strategy to improve conversions.

Covers Various Markets

When you have a freemium service with different engagement tiers, it allows you to cover various markets without being too broad or vague. It also creates scalability within your business.

As your customers grow and thrive, their success will impact yours.

Can Be Used For Your Efforts

Don’t forget to look for products and services that offer free trials and freemium services for your business to use.

For example, the social media scheduling platform, Buffer, has a free version that you can use to schedule your marketing promotions at no cost.

Hone Your Approach and Trim the Fat

Working on her laptop

Too many businesses make the mistake of trying to take on too much when it comes to marketing.

Remember, it’s always better to do one thing well than many things poorly. Hone your approach and trim the fat for better marketing while using fewer resources.

Choose Your Social Media

You don’t have to have a social media presence on every page.

Yes, it’s worth your while to reserve your brand name across multiple platforms and create consistent imaging.

However, focus on and link to the ones that make the most sense for your business.

Drill Down on Your Niche

If you haven’t recently identified your niche and created a customer avatar, it’s time to revisit that essential marketing activity.

Doing so will help you ensure that your messaging is optimized for your target audience.

Again, focus on targeting one demographic well rather than numerous demographics poorly.

Tips for Success

Team working together

As mentioned before, the best approach to marketing is doing one thing well.

Choose one of these strategies to put in place before expanding your efforts.

Set goals when creating your marketing strategy, as well as KPIs that will help you measure their effectiveness.

By implementing these four creative ways to reach new customers on a $0 marketing budget, you’ll generate the revenue you need to expand and grow.