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I know there’s a wide variety of people who read this blog. It’s similar to my audience from the Marketing For The Now series; we have everyone from second year art students to CMOs. We also have a lot of entrepreneurs, and a lot of them have the same question when they’re starting out: “how much do I spend on marketing?” They want to know how much to spend, and where. My friends, they should be asking what to spend. My answer to those who are starting from scratch? Sweat, not coins.

1. Leverage Your Relationships

What do I mean by that? I’m a big fan of spending zero dollars at first and using your rolodex to get business. My first move for a new business that has no marketing budget is to go to the address book of their gmail and  their phone–and literally contact every single person you know.

Do a one on one email or text informing them in a fun way, not a spammy Crtl C Crtl V way, so that you use the context of your relationship with that person for your businesses. 

For example, if in 9 years I was emailing Joe S. on my team about something I was doing, the opening line might be a wrestling reference (because I know he loves wrestling). I’d make it about what’s happening in wrestling at that moment. Then I’d go into, “Oh, by the way buddy, I’d love for you to buy some flowers from my new flower shop”. That shows Joe that I actually took the time and appreciated our relationship. 

For any new business owner to do that with every email, from A to Z, in every one of their phones, would take a month to do properly. That’s what I think everybody should do instead of posting on their Facebook, hoping organic reach will get you somewhere. I believe that the first move for any new business is to put deposits using sweat, not coins. 

2. Contact Potential Sponsors Directly

This is important if you have ambitions to monetize your content by getting sponsors or advertisers. Let’s say you have a beer channel on Youtube. Go to Google and type in “beer”. There will be so many ad links related to what you just typed. Let’s say you click on a link for a small business that’s based in Austin, Texas, and sells beer related clothing. If I had a show that had 900,000, 700,000 or even 2,000 subscribers, I would find this company’s phone number and call them. 

You may not be ready for the big companies, but there are plenty of small businesses that would appreciate access to your core audience. Offer an affiliate deal, where they would pay you for any sale that comes from your code or channel. You have to convince them, you can’t give up. 

3. Google Your Way To Success

If I wanted to get sponsors for a blog, podcast, or YouTube channel, I would spend five to ten times the time I spend producing content, going out and finding sponsors. Sell them on the rationale on why they should sponsor your show instead of spending all their money on Google ads. You might have 1800 followers while Google gets an enormous amount of hits–but at the end of the day, what matters is an ad with you would be targeted. An affiliate link with a small business is entirely possible.

You’ve got to go out there and find people or networks that fit your interests. If you’re in technology, look for companies that sponsor tech influencers. Cold call, cold email, or DM people. Google your way into finding the people that are advertising in your space. 

Sell them – if you want it, you’ve got to “grab” it.

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