In the early stages of your business, or during the initial launch of a new product or service, you may not have an unlimited budget to promote your new venture online. But, this doesn’t mean that you have to skimp on your digital marketing efforts. You can bootstrap your digital marketing.

Even if your business is brand new, you’re probably familiar with the concept of Bootstrapping, or using cash flow and profits to fund the next phase of your business. The concept is battle-tested, and it works.

But, do the rules apply to online businesses? How can you best re-invest profits to grow your business by marketing online?

In the early stages of your business, or during the initial launch of a new product or service, you may not have an unlimited budget to promote your new venture online. But, this doesn’t mean that you have to skimp on your digital marketing efforts.


Even if your business is brand new, you’re probably familiar with the concept of Bootstrapping, or using cash flow and profits to fund the next phase of your business. The concept is battle-tested, and it works.

But, do the rules apply to online businesses? How can you best re-invest profits to grow your business by marketing online?

Bootstrap your Digital Marketing

  1. Start with Social Capital

Using social media to promote your business on a budget is nothing new. In fact, it’s not even very effective when you try the totally cost-free route. If you have an amazing product or service that goes viral, great. But for most businesses, that’s not happening right away.

You start a Facebook page, an Instagram, a Pintrest account and are faced with the social media equivalent of a writer’s blank page fears: there’s no one there. You can promote to friends, like other pages, and go through the litany of low/no cost promotion options. You should do those. But, it’s going to be a long climb if you rely solely on these methods.

The good news is that Facebook ads are great for small or new businesses on a budget.

Promoting your posts and “buying” likes is amazingly cost-effective. If the thought of advertising, and losing your shirt, on Google’s pay per click program, Facebook ads are for you.

First, for a few hundred bucks, you can grow your audience to several thousand people. If you are focusing on ads rather than followers, the cost is largely the same. So, it’s possible to spend under a grand and get the word out to thousands of potential customers.

If your site, landing pages, product pages, and copywriting are on-point, you’ll generate sales and leads. Now you can use these profits to expand your ad campaigns.

Digital Marketing for Beginners

  1. Do Work In-House… for Now

You’ve decided to take to Facebook to run ads.

Facebook 2

Who’s doing your ad writing?

Who’s doing the copy for your landing pages, product pages, and website?

These should be done by copywriting professionals. Great copy equals leads and sales; poorly written ads and web pages cost you leads, sales, and losses in ad revenue.

But, early on, you may not have the budget to hire top copywriters. You may not even have the capital to hire mid-level writers.

You’ll have to either:

  • Write ads yourself – this is a free option, but comes with an enormous challenge: writing great ads is not easy.

However, writing passable ads isn’t impossible. There are dozens of books on how to write good Facebook ads. Pick one up, study it, practice writing ads (on paper), then try a few out online. Testing is the only way to know if ads work, so take mini-budgets and test two versions of the same ad. Pick the winner and run with it. Once it generates a few sales, take the profits and hire someone better than you.

digital marketing

  • Hire a copywriting intern – there are a lot of talented copywriters still learning their way, or studying marketing in college. One of the easiest ways to land big copywriting gigs is to have a killer portfolio.

Newbies need to build their work, so will be willing to work just to build it up their portfolios. Find a few good writers, have them produce ads and your web copy that generates some capital, then use the profits to hire pros. This method is great because you can continue to utilize up-and-comers to produce content while you funnel profits into getting high-end work done on your sales funnel.

Google Local is a great way for start-ups and small businesses to grab a foot hold in their industry. It allows marketers to target local customers and consumers to search for local businesses and products. Here we list our 5 keys to dominating Google Local.

5 Steps to Dominating Google Local

  1. Consistency in NAP

Consistency in branding is important. It’s even more important when it comes to your listing on Google MyBusiness (Google Local) and across the internet on local sites. If you want to crack the top 3 in map listings, your business’ info must be on point.

Make sure that your business’ name, address, and phone number is the same on all sites. This can get tricky if you are using local numbers for different offices, but if you can manage to use an 800 number as your go-to, then add the locals as secondary points of contact, that’s a safe bet.

While it may seem trivial, make sure your address is the same on all sites that list your business. Sometimes this can be daunting because dozens of new sites pop up every day, and many of them simply scrape your info and post it. They make mistakes.

  • If your office is on 100 Third street, and one of them lists it as 100 3rd street, you will run into problems.

Your business name should be consistent as well. Keep it simple! If you’re Joe’s Plumbing, don’t get cute with Joe’s Plumbing Brooklyn, Joe’s Plumbing Staten Island, Joe’s Plumbing and Hot Tubs. Pick one, and stick to it.

Google Local Guidelines

From Google’s guidelines regarding business names:

Any additional information, when relevant, can be included in other sections of your business information (e.g., “Address“, “Categories“). Adding unnecessary information to your name (e.g., “Google Inc. – Mountain View Corporate Headquarters” instead of “Google”) by including marketing taglines, store codes, special characters, hours or closed/open status, phone numbers, website URLs, service/product information, location/address or directions, or containment information (e.g. “Chase ATM in Duane Reade”) is not permitted.


  1. Choose the Best Categories

Don’t “category stuff.” Google views this in the same way they view keyword stuffing, ie, they’ll hit you for it. Pick out the minimal number of categories that fit your business.

Content Drives Google Local

  1. Add Content

Add as much relevant, helpful info as possible on your Google+ local page. IT’s possible to add video, photos, and long-form text. It’s no secret that Google thrives on content, and rewards content marketing. If you have videos of your product or service, add them. Link to your YouTube page.

  • Have pictures of your product? Social media-driven photos of your customers? Add them.
  • Go into detail (benefit-driven detail) about your products, services, staff, awards you’ve won, and what you can do for the customer.


  1. Cultivate Customer Reviews

This is good practice in general, as user reviews are crucial to the health of your business. Having customers review you on your Google listing is important to both your business’ reputation, and your local ranking. Well-reviewed businesses have a leg up on the competition.

  1. Build High Quality Links

Links to your business site help with SEO. The stronger your main site is, the stronger your local listing will be. Links from quality sites helps build domain authority, which in turn boosts your local ranking.

Do you hate cold calling but need leads?

You’re not alone. IT’s rare to meet anyone that enjoys being cold-called. Yet, countless businesses continue to rely on it for lead generation. At best, you are starting off on the road to a very difficult sale. At worst, you’re pissing off a potential customer and branding your business as “one of those telemarketers.”


There are ways to increase leads and get cash flow rising without cold calling:

  1. Public Speaking

This is old school and underrated. When you speak in front of an audience, even if it’s only a handful of people, you are instantly positioned as an expert.

Most businesses and organizations are only happy to have you offer a free, educational talk with their members or employees. If you deliver a ton of actionable, informative content, and pass around a sign-up sheet, hand out promotional material, or better yet, ask for their business after the speech, you’ll find yourself with a steady influx of leads.


If you fear public speaking, either get over it (as a business owner you’re in a leadership position), or find someone in your company that thrives on the attention of performing for an audience.

Sell The Audience

You don’t want it to turn into one of those sleazy “free” speeches that do nothing but sell the audience the entire time. Speak, educate, and help your audience and they’ll be jumping to give you their business.

Also, this is a great way to spread the word about your brand. People love to tell their friends about the great info they learned during a presentation at the local library. They’re not so keen on telling them about the fascinating conversation they had with a cold-caller at dinner time.

  1. Internet Leads

If you’re new to marketing online, use paid ads to generate traffic to your site. IF you’re on a budget, use Facebooks ads, which are much more cost effective than Google.


Utilize SEO for the long-term battle. It won’t help much at first because it takes time for your site to be found by the search engines, but it is critical for long term lead-generation. In the meantime, take any budget you have and pour it into a good ad campaign that leads to a well-written landing page, not your homepage. The idea here is to take someone from Facebook or Google to your page and get their information so that you can sell to them. Or, to take them from ad to sales page. Sending traffic to your homepage is a good way to waste money.

cold calling

The Comeback of Direct Mail

  1. Direct Mail

Direct mail is a bit like cold calling someone’s mailbox, but there’s a huge difference – direct mail pieces are not seen as invasive.

Junk mail is junk mail, great direct mail (DM) campaigns will at least get read.

This is best saved for when you have the budget to send test mailings and have a professional copywriter at your disposal. DM is competitive, and only the best pieces are effective. Wait until you have the budget, then unleash a DM campaign.

You can get creative by sending out “chunky” mailings (oversized packages, or mailings in bubble-mailers that have objects inside that would be relevant to your customer, i.e., if you are a marketing firm, sending a business a few one-sheets, a booklet breaking down where they’re going wrong online, and a pack of toy cavemen with the headline, Is Your Marketing Stuck in the Stone Age?)

Direct Mail Still Delivers


  1. Writing for Magazines, Newspapers, and Online

Let’s bookend public speaking with another guaranteed credibility builder and lead generator, writing.

Even today, the newspaper is still seen as a credible source of news and information. Online, anyone can publish anything as long as they have a computer. In print, articles go through editors before being published.

While readership for newspapers is down, almost ever paper now has an online companion, which is great because you get double exposure for one article.

Same with magazines. You don’t have to write for Forbes or Vogue to get noticed. Local magazines and newspapers can bring in a ton of leads.

The downside is that the shelf-life is short, but you need to be consistent in your writing efforts. Every publisher, online or off, is in dire need of content. Provide great content and they’ll publish your work. Inform first, promote second.

If you are up for the challenge, write advertorials.

Get Creative Rather Than Cold Calling

Get creative and turn customer testimonials, especially customers that have a compelling story, into human interest pieces. These are guaranteed to get your phone (and inbox) ringing because human interest stories involving a business show that:

  • Your business helps people just like them
  • You’re an expert
  • You are a business made up of people, not a faceless corporation that will take their money and send them into customer-service hell hen there’s a problem
  • You’re trustworthy – after all, their favorite newspaper/magazine/website published a story about you, so you have their endorsement

YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine. only Google beats YouTube on the number of searches that occur on the platform each day. Many brands focus on optimizing their YouTube rankings, and the businesses that are respecting this search engine, are seeing double digit rewards. Retaliate1st has a team of video content marketers, that can help you dominate YouTube. Here are our 4 key recommendations on improving your rankings.


4 Ways to Improve Your YouTube Rankings

  1. Upload a Lot of Great Content

This seems obvious, but the number one step to getting your videos ranked on YouTube is to post great videos. We’re not talking about going “viral.” That occurs more from luck than planning, as it’s impossible to predict what will grab the public’s attention enough to cause a video to go viral.

Instead, you should focus on putting out informative, entertaining videos that will be useful to your customers. They can be funny. They can be straight-info. They can be a combination. Just don’t make them boring, or worse, uninformative.

  1. Beef-Up Your Profile

Make sure that your YouTube profile is not an afterthought. Load it with info about your company, and most importantly, how you can help your potential customers (viewers).

You should use this area to link to your other social media platforms, your website, blogs, and anywhere else your company has a presence.


Load your videos, and break them down into playlists. IF you are familiar with SEO or website building, you’ll recognize the concept of creating “silos” of content. Playlists are an easy way to silo (categorize) your videos. This helps your viewers find relevant videos, and helps your page rank because it is easier for YouTube to index your content.

  1. Choose Your Keywords Carefully

It’s amazing to watch a business agonize over which keywords and key phrases to use on their website, only to see them treat the keywords of their YouTube videos as meaningless.

YouTube Keyword Optimization & Targeting

If you’ve taken the time to create a video, take the extra step and:

  • Do keyword research – treat this as you would a main page or blog on your website. Analyze your competition, check for the overall draw of the keywords, etc.
  • Perform a search – check out the competition. See how the titles and descriptions of the most-watched related videos are worded


  1. Craft Killer Titles

Your video’s title is the make-or-break moment. Even if you manage to get it ranked, a boring title will keep users from clicking through.

Treat video titles the same as you would pages on your site, the subject of one of your email marketing campaigns, or the headline of a direct mail piece. Every word you write is marketing, Your video titles, if written properly, can help propel you past your competition.


Try to include keywords/phrases while engaging the audience and enticing them to click. Despite current trends for adverb-drenched hyperbole, the old standby headline architypes: questions, how-to, and bold statements still rule.

If you’ve tried Facebook ads before, but got very little results, you’re not alone. The early versions of Facebooks pay per click platform was stiff, counter-intuitive, and downright maddening. But, the improvements that’ve made has turned the once-frustrating marketing platform into a gold mine for business owners.

  1. Learn to Use Both Ads and Boosted Posts

If you are a small to medium sized business owner, don’t overlook the power of boosted posts. While pay per click ads are still more popular, the changes to the “boost” platform has made it a powerful way to reach potential customers.

  • Boosted posts allow you to promote content on your site, other social media accounts, or on your Facebook page
  • Boosted posts reach a large, very specific audience, instantly
  • Boosting posts is a great way to promote sales and events quickly, without wasting money

    Facebook 2

  1. Define Your Audience

Google’s PPC platform is enormous, much larger than Facebook’s. However, Facebook blows away Google when it comes to the ability to create hyper-targeted ads.

If Google is throwing a huge net into the sea, pulling in any fish that swim by, Facebook ads are like putting your lines in specific sections of the water, with a specific bait, catching just the right fish to satisfy your hunger.

With Facebook you can target:

  • Gender, age, education, income level, location, family status, language, ethnicity, home ownership status, and much more
  • Interests, hobbies, recreational activities, where your customers shop, which brand of credit cards they hold, as well as where they shop, which gyms they go to, and their political leanings
  • Connections: those that have already liked your page and their friends, those who like pages or businesses similar to yours, those who attend events related to your business, and more


Facebook Lookalike Audiences

Facebook also allows you to develop, and market to, “lookalike audiences.” You take your current customer information from your database, then upload it to Facebook, which will help filter it further (using a third-party data broker), delivering you a new subset of audience based on those who’ve purchased from you previously. This method is a bit advanced, and is best viewed as a way to extend your best audience, giving your ads extra mileage. But, save this for after you’ve become a fantastic Facebook ad creator and can craft killer boosted posts.

Power 98.3 Las Vegas’ own Bootleg Kev interviewed Big Krit today and got the low down on his next project and most importantly his tour dates and album release date. Hyped for that.

Trigga & Jeezy debut the first single from “Chapter V” live in the MIA

Trigga releases audio from his “Chapter V” album dropping August 28. Ladies are going to love this, all around the world. Nice joint.

Great new video from Red Cafe featuring Cory Gunz. They premiered this on WSHH today and its getting some serious feedback. You know I’m a big fan of Cafe and loved the Pete Rock stuff he did in 2010. Hope this one takes him over the top cause he is one talented, hard working guy.

Everybody’s favorite new R&B crooner, Ray Lavender is dropping a 3 song EP for his smash hit “We Love” on iTunes on August 28. As an added bonus for his fans, he is dropping an R&B MixTape on August 14th that TRUST ME has some serious heat on it. I’m hyped for this one. Check out the preview for the MixTape:


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