If you have a new company or brand that’s just starting out, it may be hard to know exactly where to start, especially if you’re on a budget. Obviously, we’ve big fans of retaining a rad creative agency (cough) to strategically guide you through the process, but we know for most start-ups, that’s just not in the cards.
If you find yourself in that category, though, you’re not without options. Without even realizing it, you may have a great – and free – resource right beside you.
Remember that time you did a huge favor for your friend Billy, who just happens to own a screen printing business? Or the time your friend Alyssa, who is always on social media, needed help with her grad school project? You may not see it right away, but these existing connections could help you and your new business get your feet off the ground.
Most new companies in their early days of existence have limited financial resources, making your existing connections a convenient and economical option as you work to gain exposure and grow your brand.
For example, say you want to create custom branded products, such as t-shirts, coffee mugs, etc. to promote your brand. You may already know someone who can help you do this. This is where your old friend Billy comes into play. Knowing someone in the screen printing industry could help you out immensely as you work towards developing this branded product, and it doesn’t hurt if you’ve done him or her a favor in the past either! You can use your friend Billy to help you get the best bang for your buck, and maybe he can even hook you up with a discount as a way of returning the favor that you did for him in the past.
Now let’s think about social media – another great, free resource. At first, it can be very hard to gain a following, but luckily you know someone who can help: enter, Alyssa. Alyssa, who knows her way around the social media world, could help be your mentor on social, guiding you on content and best practices, and introducing you to some of her best connections (hey, influencers!).
Don’t try to reinvent the wheel – be open to (and welcoming of) guidance from people who’ve already achieved what you’re hoping to accomplish. Since Alyssa has a huge social media following (130k on Instagram, to be exact), it’s pretty safe to say that she knows how to market herself online, and maintain a strong social media presence. Utilize her skills and ability to grow your social media following the right way – that is, in a way that will ultimately benefit your business. Pick her brain and get as much free advice as you can until you are ready to elevate your social media game with the help of a professional partner.
Friends, family, a friend of a friend, coworkers, etc.: all of these people could be possible connections well-suited to help you with all the little things you need to do to get your company up and running. Do keep in mind, though, you are only as good as the company you keep. Since all your connections may not be paid professionals, be thoughtful about who you associate with. Your best bet is to work with like-minded, trustworthy individuals whose brand values align with your company’s, and who will not put your company at risk. If you keep this in mind, you should be just fine.
Never be afraid to ask questions or reach out to someone for help or advice – the worst they can do is say “no”. Reach out to your network on your own social media pages and ask if anyone has experience in the area you need help in. You never know who out there may be willing to help, for free, at a discount, or in exchange for a chance to tap in to YOUR skills and expertise.
Need help taking the next steps to really grow your brand? Let’s chat.