Start-Ups and Website Branding on a Shoestring
The excitement of working a new business idea is a terrific feeling. The enthusiasm that you bring to a project elevates a working day to a new level. However, the realities of a start-up project soon become apparent when it gets down to finances.
The old saying of “money, makes money” is usually said by those of us with limited finances.
So, does this mean that a project cannot be started on a shoestring. Well no, it just means that you have to shop around for bargains and realise that your business is going to evolve and become more productive over a longer period of time.
One article does not give me the scope to cover all the initial elements regarding my recent internet based start-up and for that reason I just wanted to focus on;
Branding on a Shoestring.
This is open to discussion but for me branding has been initially about the following:
Logo – A quality Company Logo is really important. It provides the initial image your site visitors will see and symbolises your company. Often under-valued, a good logo can summarise your company just by the use of colour and shape.
Social Media – Well I am no expert, in fact I would class my social media expertise as pretty poor (well I am 43). For me, the most interesting aspect of social media is its ability to connect or spread a message/theme in the blink of an eye. Now if we apply that simple fact, it is scary how useful it can be for a business? Therefore, I have found that I have needed to work my Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. The more followers, likes and connections you can harvest the greater chance of a visitor to your business of taking it seriously. It’s a little like following a herd! Furthermore, the search engines are paying particular interest to social media connection/interaction with regards to website rankings.
Reputation – There is no greater business requirement than reputation. However, when starting a new venture how can this be built quickly? Well, I would draw on all your gained experience and skills and tell people about them. Make sure you can back up any claims and be honest. It can also help (and this is what I have implemented) if you can reach out to an audience using content and articles. Article writing is great for creating reputation and is also good for your business in the form of back-links.
So OK, a little sketchy and obvious, but I believe the above is a great starting point for any web business (please comment with your views). Initially, I talked about implementing branding on a limited budget and here is what it cost me to start things moving:
$30 and about 100 hours of my time. How I was able to do this is as follows:
$5 Logo – I forwarded basic ideas and had a graphic designer produce my logo.
$5 Twitter background. Once I had my Logo I employed a designer to produce my Twitter background.
$5 Promoted my website to 50000 twitter/face-book people.
$5 The cost of linking to over 500 + new LinkedIn connections (in one day).
$5 Promotion guaranteeing 100+ face-book likes
$5 Submission of my site to over 2500+ pages creating backlinks.
I have spent approximately 20 hours working my social media sites and approximately 80 hours producing the articles for my website!
It just goes to show that certain aspects of branding do not have to cost the earth. I must add that my hopes for my business will constantly evolve as will the quality of the image/flow my website portrays but to do that I need to make some money. After all, that’s what business is about. Right?