No Marketing Budget? 5 Ways To Promote Your Shopify Store For Free

The best way to get started with your dropshipping store is by running ads. With Facebook ads, you get to test different ad sets and different products until you’ve found winning combinations. Then when you’ve found an ad that makes  you money, you scale up and poof…you’ve got a profitable store. 

The ideal ad budget for a fresh Shopify dropshipping store is $1000. But what if you don’t have an ad budget but still want to make this work? 

You certainly can, it just takes more manual work and takes longer to see big numbers in your bank account. After all, it’s manual work vs. simply buying customers through ads. 

Below I’ll discuss 5 examples of promoting a new Shopify store without a budget. 

Twitter

I know plenty of people who have built up their entire business using mainly Twitter to build their audience. From personal brands to e-commerce businesses, it’s being done. 

It takes time but good Twitter accounts can go fast. 

You’ll find plenty of people who follow topics around your niche as well as influencers and brands

You can share quotes, images, YouTube links, articles, guides and other useful content. 

It’s also a good idea to follow your competition and other people in your niche. Not only can you get an idea of the content that works well, you can also analyse and steal their best hashtags. 

Hashtags are a way to engage new people and gain new followers. 
On top of simply sharing content, you can also engage users by following them. There are many accounts related to your niche. 
 
If you really wanna make Twitter work for you then interact with the people on it. You might be wondering: how can I interact with people when I don’t have any followers yet? The answer is simple; just interact with people who talk about topics that indicate they’re potential buyers.

For instance; someone who Tweets this: 

“What’s the best blue widget out there?”. 

Is obviously a potential customer of yours. A simple, friendly @ tweet (reply) can land you new clients easily. An example @ reply would be:

“Good luck on your hunt. Have you considered [model x]? [link to product]”
(either that or link to a buying guide if you wanna write one)

This person will most definitely remember your friendly Tweet and will probably buy from you and/or recommend to others. 

To find these tweets, go to Twitter search and type a phrase in between double quotes. E.g. “new blue widget” or “wanna try these blue widgets”. Try many of these and you’ll find an ocean of potential customers asking questions you can answer. 

It’s usually pretty easy to find potential customers and interact with them. Why not reply to this tweet and offer her a discount code in your store?


Another way to grow your Twitter following is to comment on influencer’s content. If they tweet, you reply. It’s a great way to quickly build a fresh account up. 

I have some alerts set up myself, and whenever an Influencer tweets, I reply first and get a handful of fresh, targeted followers. 

Instagram

 

I’ve gotten sales through organic Instagram on brand new stores before, it’s really not that difficult. 

Instagram is the visual social network and great for products. You can research some successful accounts related to your products and get a feel for the kind of stuff they post. 

The idea of your Instagram account is to have people follow your brand. You want people to open they IG on their phones because they want to look at the style your brand is sharing.

I personally prefer to keep my Instagram accounts consistent, meaning the same style across posts, but some people prefer to just post whatever they want.

A great way to quickly build Instagram followers is through exchange groups. These are groups on Telegram (app) where people like and comment on each other’s post. This engagement will then get real organic traffic in the long run.

Just download the Telegram app and search for IG or Instagram, you’ll find all the groups there.


There’s much more. You can message new followers with a promo code, do contests on your Instagram regularly (tag a friend who would like a free t-shirt or something), talk to influencers for cross-promotion etc. 

Forums

Another great way to get your first few customers in are forums. Actually, they’re a great acquisition tool all the time, even as a long-term marketing strategy.

Being an active member of some targeted forums is a great way to get your first few clients in. Relevant forums aren’t just forums about the products you’re selling. There are plenty of niche and general forums where people ask questions related to your products.

Do no spam these forums. Just become active and have a link to your site in your signature. Simply doing this will bring you targeted traffic that converts easily. It sounds so simple but it can be very, very effective.

What will it do? In the short term, it brings some curious people to your site. In the long run, it establishes you as an expert or at least person who can be trusted. Then getting people to buy from you is almost automatic. It can also help your Google rankings in the long run. 

Tip: I’ve heard people have varying degrees of success with a platform named Quora, where you can do a similar thing as on forums. Go give it a try and see if it’s for you.

Affiliate

This is sort of a no-budget way of doing Influencer marketing. The idea is simple: create an affiliate program (use an app like Refersion for this) and contact infleuncers to promote your store. 

You don’t need to pay the influencers anything up front, and they get a commission for each sale they refer. 

It will take a little longer than when you pay Influencers up front, but it’s also less risky this way. Big influencers will most likely decline this offer, so look for smaller fish and you’ll get plenty of free traffic and sales. 

Think outside the box: who else can promote your products, outside of Instagram? Who has an audience? Think newsletters, mailing lists, Twitter influencers, Tumblr influencers etc. 

Blogging

When people say blogging is dead, they mean starting a blog from scratch with the purpose of making money through ads on your blog. And they’re right, that’s probably not the best business model in 2019.

However, it’s still a great channel for traffic. Shopify has a fantastic blog that gets hundreds of thousands of views and shares. So blogging itself is not dead, it’s actually a great way to engage with existing and potential customers.

If you’re going down this route, focus on content. Make sure you share great content and answer questions that your potential customers might have.

You can write guides, product reviews, answer typical questions, do little how-tos and more. The goal is to inform people about your products, and hopefully make some sales along the way.

There’s many different ways to get traffic to your blog. I suggest starting by contacting influencers and asking them to share your articles. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to get shares and backlinks to your content, and ultimately get customers in your store.

Email marketing company Yesware has a fantastic example of this tactic:

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