Last year, I started working on an idea for a platform, called Consel, currently available as an app on iOS and Android devices, offering advice to all professionals and paid advice is.
As a designer, I was lucky enough to work with an incredible developer from the very beginning so we knew we could turn this idea into a working product. However, it was only when I, influenced by my marketing background, decided to build a business around the app that I realized how disgusting and uncertain the realities of setting up a new online business have been.
Thanks to advancements in e-commerce, services like Shopify have made it very easy to set up your store or create a landing page – but how can you actually set up your business and reach your target market?
With a shoestring budget and a dedication to keeping it lean, we wanted to use as many free and open source resources as possible. Here is a handy list of useful tips, tools and resources that helped us establish our business. Also includes some insights from our experience and the marketing services we use.
Design with Invision and Adobe XD
Invitation and Adobe Experience Design (XD) helped me create quick and dirty prototypes that I could easily share with my developer.
Both modification and XD design you for different screen devices, emulate gestures (tapping / swiping), creating hotspots and linkages, and viewing your design on the device you want so you really have a good idea To see how your finished product looks, feels and works.
While Invision requires a subscription if you go beyond the free level, Adobe Experience Design is a beta and is currently free. Make the most of it while you can!
Communicate and collaborate with Trello
Trello is a free collaboration tool that lets you create and manage lists
Trello is an excellent (and very popular) tool that we use every day to communicate within the team. This allows you to create separate “boards” to host your task lists and manage your communication channels and team members.
We have one board for communication between the founders, one for communication with the advisory board and another one for the digital marketing team. This allows us to not only discard information and manage to-do lists, but also manage access easily. There is no longer any need to check in with team members via email or text and Trello adds deadlines to any task so you know what you are doing and what is going on.
Grab some free, courtesy Facebook Start
Facebook gives any new business to develop FbStart app
Any new business with the app can apply to the Facebook Start program.Depending on where you are in the business cycle, you can apply for a bootstrap or accelerate track.
FbStart often upgrades startups to Accelerate track so that you can get started with the bootstrap track and work in your own way.
Hire internals – and train them through Google’s digital garage and more
The interns proved to be a great resource for us. There are two major considerations if you want to hire an intern:
How do you provide them with the knowledge and training required to do their job?
How do you make it worth your time – especially if you are not paying them (or at all)?
Luckily for us, the answer to both these questions was available online for free. We had our interns take and complete the Google Digital Garage course, which equips them with a basic understanding of digital marketing. Even they finally get a certificate if they complete all the modules; A good underlying incentive.
Google’s Digital Garage curriculum includes a variety of modules that can train any beginner on the basics of digital marketing.
For social media interns, I took them for the Hootsuite course on social media, for online tutorials for email marketing intern Melchimp and for Facebook advertising, useful training resources available directly from the source.
Find Your Niche With Google Trends
As any marketing resource will tell you, identifying and understanding your target market is the key to a successful digital marketing initiative. When you can always fine tune, add axes and audiences as you go along, it is necessary to start with one or one segment, for which you can tailor your marketing strategy.