Marketing April 22, 2014 Last updated September 18th, 2018 1,695 Reads share

5 Steps To Bootstrapping A Digital Business

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You have a great idea. You know it’s a money maker. You have the skills and talent. This could be your big break…The only problem is you’re broke. In the past, starting a new business venture was expensive. You had to create or buy inventory, and find retail space.  Not to mention create a logo, marketing strategy, and payment/billing system.

Now you can take your great idea and turn it into a profitable digital business for very little money.  If you sell digital products like eBooks, PDF’s, music, games, apps, or video, you can bootstrap your way into a real business.

Step 1: Learn the Business

As a novice solopreneur, you should start by learning a little more about digital businesses.  Udemy offers both free and paid classes on hundreds of topics.  Here are some free classes to help you learn more about creating a digital business, and creating your digital product.

Step 2: Create Your Product

This is the hardest part.  You have to have a great idea for a digital product.  You can’t really skimp on the quality of your product.  It has to be something people need or want.

If it’s an eBook or PDF, it has to be well-written.  If it’s an app, music, game, or video, it has to be great.  But you don’t have to invest a lot of money to do this correctly.

Check out these free resources for creating digital products:

Step 3: Create Your Brand Image

You’ve got two choices as a bootstrapping digital business owner.  Do it yourself or outsource it.

Outsourcing:

You can certainly outsource your logo, app icon, eBook cover, etc.  The cost can range from hundreds, to thousands.  Thankfully, there is a cheap option for the artistically challenged.

Fiverr allows you to outsource the gig for only $5. Just be sure to check out the customer reviews to get the best freelancer available.

Here’s a few things you can get for $5:

DIY:

If you want to try designing your own logo, flyers, infographics, etc., you can use Canva.com. It’s a great platform for creating presentations, posters, Facebook covers, blog graphic, or cards. There are even design tutorials available to help you get started.

Step 4: Find a Digital Sales Outlet

One of the best things about the digital age is the options for selling digital products.  There are many ways to sell, including creating your own website.  But for bootstrappers, there’s a resource that allows you to set up shop with no money down.

The sales platform I recommend is Selz. It’s an e-commerce framework that allows you to sell your digital product, and get paid.  Selz charges a flat-rate 5% + 25 cents per transaction.  You can quickly create a professional online storefront, and build from there.

Step 5: Create a Marketing Strategy

Social media is a great free way to start marketing your amazing new product.  But it’s certainly not the only free resource you can use to create a marketing strategy.  Let these free tools be the foundation of your new bootstrapping marketing strategy.

Website

There are many ways to get a free website for your new business.  Although I recommend getting your own independent site eventually, you can save money now and choose one of the following resources.

Note: These are designed to be user-friendly, even for those who know nothing about building websites. Watch the tutorials and you’ll be fine.  Don’t forget to link back to your sales outlet!

Create an Email List

Want to build an email list for free? Mailchimp lets you send 12,000 emails a month to a list of up to 2,000 subscribers with their Forever Free plan.

Here’s a few ways to use this service:

  • newsletter
  • announce a new product or service
  • sales
  • coupons

Manage Social Media

As a busy bootstrapping entrepreneur, you can’t spend all day playing on social media.  Hootsuite allows you to manage five social profiles, schedule updates and see basic analytics. As time is money, this is an incredible time saver for those who want to increase their online presence.

Make Your Great Idea into a Reality

Bill Gates started Microsoft in his garage.  He didn’t have an elaborate plan, just an idea.  Maybe you’re not the next Bill Gates, but there is no reason not to start your digital business, just because you’re broke.

Take your good idea and make it into a reality today.

Images: ”Saving, male hand putting a coin into piggy bankShutterstock.com

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Liesha Petrovich

Liesha Petrovich

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