8 Zero Budget PR Hacks for Startups — MAKE SHOR

Are you a brand new Startup? A bootstrapped one? or a Funded one? But still thinking about some innovative ways to market your startup with zero budget or without burning much of crucial investors money.

Thinking about how to make people talk about you?

How to create hype around your product / service?

Hmmm…so we are on the same page…we are in sync… then this read is for us.

[Note : Some of these ideas require zero budget and a few very very less budget]

Polls and surveys

They are a great way to gather sentiments of the audience on the most newsworthy topics/issues taking place at the moment.

For example: Inshorts leveraged it’s massive user base in creating truly interesting content by conducting a series of polls in 2016. Each of these polls received participation of lakhs of users and received extensive coverage in the press.

Their recent poll on Demonetization garnered participation of 2,79,000 users and was covered by many leading publications.

Side Projects

You should always keep speaking with your users and see what’s complimentary with your main product that your users will anyways be using in their day to day life and then think of various use cases.

For example: If you’re a offline hiring events company or May be coming up with a resume making tool can be a good idea to market your mainstream product. And you may want to give it to all the students for free.

Also, there’s a great example from Buffer — Social media sharing tool.
They have made various side products to market their mainstream product. Like, Pablo by Buffer (@Buffer) is a side project which delivers beautiful social media wallpapers to your newsletter once a month. This is a great strategy for engagement and also keeping the people talk about you as all their users are social media users, so they must anyways be using pictures from some source.

I would love to share there two very insightful blogs on Marketing through side projects with you:

Side Project Marketing is the New King — Examples from Buffer

How Side Projects Saved our Startup — From Mikael Cho, Cofounder & CEO at Unsplash

Write blogs on Influencers who are using your product/ service and who you meet

Dr Ritesh Malik, Founder, Innov8 Coworking is really good at this.

He maintains his blogs really well, writes short blogs on what influencers keep visiting Innov8, his coworking space in central Delhi, how he met an influencer, etc.

Here are some of them:

Why do celebrities use a coworking space? Hosting Kanan Gill at Innov8

Chief of Websummit, Paddy at Innov8

How I met Rajan Anandan of Google

I remember writing a few blogs on influencers even before starting with HelloMeets. Whenever, I met them, I wrote something, if not as a blog, just a social media update, well it truly helps in building long term relations. You can come across 100 people, shake hands and exchange cards, but what you do after saying hello matters.

Here are a few:

Serendipity with Amit Ranjan

To the man whom Bill Gates paid a surprise visit

Events & Startup Competitions

Keep speaking at schools, colleges, events, where ever you get a chance, it’s a free PR.

Also, Startup competitions are a great way to PR even if you just end up participating.

YouNoodle by Torsten Kolind is a very good platform. You must stay tuned to get regular newsletter about startup competitions and events happening globally.

Younoodle newsletter keep you updated with all the Startup events & competitions happening globally

Example: Zify, the car pooling Startup — As a young company, always looked for great PR to help them reach out to a larger audience, but that usually comes at a cost, which for most startups is a luxury.

They started to reach out to industry leaders and groups around the world and luck was on their side. They were invited to showcase and talk about Zify at the Hanover Motor Show in Germany and the Paris Motor Show. Not only it helped them reach to a global audience but it also created a brand value for Zify within the automotive industry.

Make all your interns write a blog when they join and complete the internship

We did this and it helped us in getting more registrations for our campus ambassadors, internship and event volunteers.

We learnt this thing while building this community and got some inspiration from Ryan Hoover, Founder & CEO, Product Hunt. Here is one of his blogs that inspired us and it’s a must read for all the CEO’s.

Giving Credit is the CEO’s role by Ryan Hoover

And a few more from his blogosphere:

Why internship at HelloMeets was my best decision

How HelloMeets brought out a different me

Make a Facebook group, whatsapp group, slack group if possible.

This is the best way to keep engaging with your users, exchanging ideas, useful resources with them and also to make users to interact with each other.

A few examples of engaged community groups are:

Product Hunt on Slack

FoodTalkIndia

CMXHub (CMX)

MozCon

HelloMeets

User Generated Content

People love to read and see, in what they invest time in. Share it as much as possible, it proves really good for word of mouth marketing. Your Users friends might end up trying your product/service.

Keep taking regular feedback from your customers and then share it on social media tagging them and their work.

We do this after all our events and also you can always take insights from everyone, compile them and write a blog.

User generated content

Sending emails to influencers mentioning your growth and thanking them for being a part of your journey.

This helps in building trust and keeping you in the mind of people.

We loved this mail by Apurv Agrawal, Founder & CEO SquadRun. They send this regularly whenever they come up with a new feature, increase in customers or launch of a market.

Tag pictures of your product, events you attend, feedback and check in into your startup location as much as possible.

Remember the idiom “Monkey see, Monkey do.” So same psychology rule works here.

Closing thoughts —

YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE
To have customers and fans, you need to create value first. When you create value first, people pay attention. Giving someone something useful they can apply to their own lives has the biggest impact.

Hope this blog helps you with your PR strategy.

To get notified about our future meetups, click here

Blog written by Sahiba Sethi, Founder at HelloMeets and Editing by RJ Taleha N. Khan , YouTuber/Vlogger at YouTube, Blogger/Owner at RJ Talz Ohh So Me Blog

Special thanks to the Marketing Experts, Founders, Startups, Newsletters and Blogs that inspired us to write this blog — Aman Raj, AVP Communication & Content Marketing at Inshorts, Anurag Rathore, Founder, Zify Carpool, Brian G. Peters, Social Media Manager at Buffer, Leo Widrich & Joel Gascoignes, Founders at Buffer, Torsten Kolind, Founder at YouNoodle, Dr Ritesh Malik, Founder, Innov8 Coworking™,Apurv Agrawal & Vikas Gulati, Founders SquadRun, David Spinks and Carrie Melissa Jones, Founders at CMX, Shuchir Suri and Anjali Batra, Founders at Food Talk India, Rand Fishkin, Founder at Moz, Ryan Hoover, Founder & CEO, Product Hunt and Mikael Cho, Cofounder & CEO at Unsplash.