There's nothing quite like that feeling of starting a new business. Whether it's a side hustle or your new full-time gig, building a business is one of the most empowering and life-changing things you can do.
If you've got the website, you're well on your way. And if you've got that first client or job lined up, even better. But the thing is, it's 100% up to you to keep that trickle of new business flowing your way.
Whether you're looking to attract your first clients or to 10x your business over the next few weeks, these are some actionable, essential, and easy steps you can start working on right now to market your business.
1. Create a website: This one's easy! If you haven't yet, generate a website using Durable AI. It's the single fastest way to build an online presence for your business ever. A website is going to act as your home base for your entire marketing engine (and business), so consider this step as a "must-have" for marketing your business.
2. Generate your blog + content marketing: So, this one could be an entire blog post to itself. But long story short, you can now create an entire blog using AI with your Durable account. Creating a blog used to take weeks (or months). But with AI, it now takes minutes to generate dozens of articles. So, why content marketing? Creating helpful and in-depth content showcases your expertise, builds trust, and creates engaging content that you can share across all of your social media channels, email, etc. For example, if you're a mobile bike mechanic, you might want to feature a short video or article on how to true a wheel or fix skipping gears. It might seem like you're giving things away for free, but that's kind of the point — the more people engage with your content and find it useful, the more likely they'll consider you for that big repair job they need next month.
3. Post to your existing social media channels: If you haven't yet set up dedicated social media channels for your business, post to your own personal channels. It might seem scrappy, but you'd be surprised how many people in your network might be looking for your services (or know someone). Friends and family want to help and see you succeed — reminding them that you're in business via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or whatever else will very likely lead to a client or two (or ten).
4. Tell friends and family: There's a very high chance that your first few clients will be friends or family. There's nothing wrong with that! People love having a "go-to person" for different services, and you can be that person for friends and family. Don't be shy about it. Post to social, send emails, text, send a message in group chats, anything.
5. Post to Craigslist: Ah, Craigslist. The aesthetic might look as 1995 as it gets, but Craiglist has endured for decades for good reason. Make a simple text post under Services of Community. Sometimes you'll have to pay for a posting, but it's usually pretty cheap (about $7 per posting). Make sure your ad links to your website.
6. Post to Thumbtack or Nextdoor: If Thumbtack or Nextdoor are available in your area, go for it. Depending on your industry, building up a solid profile on Nextdoor and Thumbtack could be a potential goldmine for new and repeat business in your area.
7. Search engine optimization (SEO): Alright, time to get a little more technical (but not too much!). SEO is what determines how high your website ranks when someone searches for keywords related to your business (for example, "Pressure washing businesses in Tamarindo"). If you're SEO is well-optimized, you'll be closer to the top of the results page and more likely to get those sweet, sweet clicks to your website. Sound complicated? It isn't. Your Durable website editor includes SEO settings, and they take just a few minutes to setup (two minutes, maybe less). Here's a quick guide to check out.
8. Create dedicated social media pages for your business: This is similar to step 2, but essential. Your personal channels are great for raising awareness with your immediate social circle, but you'll want a more official and branded location on social media where potential clients can find you. What channels matter most to your business will depend a bit on your specific business and where your potential customers hangout online. Your best bet is to get up and running on as many social channels as you can, experiment with different content types, and see where you start seeing the most traction. Don't overthink it! Start posting, don't worry too much about quality, and see what sticks.
9. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising: Use PPC advertising, such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads, to reach potential customers and drive traffic to your website. This can be a cost-effective way to reach a large audience and generate leads. Our advice? Start out with Google Ads. They're easy to get started, and you can use Durable's AI Promotion writer to generate a Google Ad in about 2 seconds. Start with a smaller daily budget (as little as $10 can generate leads). Paid Facebook advertisements work, too, but generally require a higher budget to see results.
10. Influencer and partnership marketing: Partner with influencers in your industry or niche to promote your products or services. This can help you reach a larger audience and build trust with potential customers. Look for influencers with businesses that compliment your business, and don't compete with it. For example, if you're a copywriter, you may want to seek out a designer in a similar niche who can mention your services or feature you in a video post. Don't be shy about reaching out. Even if you don't know someone, DM them, be respectful, explain that you're motivated to grow your business, and see how they respond. The worst case scenario is they'll leave you on read.
11. Event marketing: Attend industry events, trade shows, and conferences to network with potential customers and promote your business. You can also host your own events, such as product launches or workshops, to showcase your products or services. Hint: if you go this route, get some business cards made!
12. Referral marketing: Encourage your existing customers to refer their friends and family to your business. Offer incentives, such as discounts or free products or services, to customers who refer new business to you. Don't be afraid about reaching out and asking here — the squeaky wheel gets the grease (or, in this case, money).
13. Community involvement: Get involved in your local community by sponsoring events, volunteering, or donating to local charities. This can help you build a positive reputation and attract potential customers who share your values. This is a bit of a longer play in terms of seeing returns, but don't neglect it!
So, there you go — 13 steps you can take right now to start marketing your business. There are hundreds of other marketing ideas and strategies out there. But for getting started as quickly as possible, the above list is your best bet.