Growing your startup with a $0 marketing budget

The one thing I hear from most startups, is they are in the need of more money to grow and get users. I would argue this point all the time, and my response to them is if you get this money right now, how will you grow? Most of the founders don’t have a plan or have not done enough research on who their targeted customer might be. Which essentially leads to a huge waste of funds when founders start marketing.

ABSTRACT: I wanted to elaborate on some real-life experience on how we grew our startup from 0 users. We initially wasted a few hundred dollars on digital advertising and it resulted in no results. Then came the point where we didn’t have any money for marketing at all, the budget was extremely tight. So we had to strategically figure out how we were going to grow or sink the ship.

OUR STORY: We took a step back and focused on a small group of people who can use our product. When we figured who the small group was, we needed to figure out their interest, behavior, favorite things to do, etc. So we got personal with those of people. Then targeted those areas manually, by becoming part of the spaces they share. The discovery of this came as a truck hit us because then we dropped little air messages in the groups and spaces and that organically grew. We placed ourselves in public forums in which our target user would be and spoke at events, presented our idea, and validated our approach.

By doing it this way we were able to target our message to be cleaner and more understanding, we also were able to build a word to mouth growth in which we turned into a small model to increase growth. This was all happening with ZERO dollars spent. Also, another positive factor of doing customer discovery like this, actually makes marketing spend cheaper when it does come time to spend dollars. I get it you want to go big picture and get the most users, however, it starts with the tiniest steps which lead to the bigger ones.

SOME TIPS for founders in customer discovery trying to grow:

1) Drill your ideal customer to the smallest group you can that would find the most value.
2) Get personal with that group, learn where they eat, work, hobbies….
3) Get placed in the areas where your small group of users can see, or hear about you.
4) You can validate, and optimize your approach for higher conversions.

Meet Maya AI

Meet Maya, an AI business assistant that learns, grows, and guides founder🤓




🧑🏼‍💻 Co-Founder at Maya AI. 🔗 Marketing, design @meetmayaai | 🧠 Fascinated by neuroscience, psychology, inventions, and philosophy

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

7 Ways to Say Thank You to Your Customers

thank you to customer

Branding Wars : David and Goliath

The quick-and-dirty guide to creating a kick-ass content plan

How to Create High Converting Lead Magnets for Law Firms

lead magnets for law firms

2022’s Hottest Visual Content Trends

How To: Create a Free Site

Even Your Small Local Restaurant Needs a Good Web Presence

A colorful plate of food superimposed over a labyrinth

Planning a successful website with a digital strategist

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Shivam Ramphal

Shivam Ramphal

🧑🏼‍💻 Co-Founder at Maya AI. 🔗 Marketing, design @meetmayaai | 🧠 Fascinated by neuroscience, psychology, inventions, and philosophy

More from Medium

How to Increase Sales for Your Business

The Top Pricing Myths of Entrepreneurship

Building business in Flipped world

Leading Searches to Your Accounting or Bookkeeping Business