Many people, baby boomers included, would love to start their own business in life. When you can work from home and have an online start up, it’s even more attractive because it doesn’t require as much overhead in terms of employees and renting a space to operate from.
There are many ways to go about starting your own business on the Internet. The cost will range from absolutely nothing to as much as you want to spend, depending on the person who is teaching you how to get started. There are some coaching programs who will cost well over $10,000, but you can also launch a business without spending a single penny upfront.
While most people start their business with a minimum of about $10 per month, there is definitely a way to get going without having to fork over any money at all. This is important, especially for those of us over 55, because many are on a very strict budget and already worried about finances.
Is Your Budget Non-Existent for Starting a Business Online?
From the moment you decide to start your own business online, you may be shocked at how many different elements of the business seem to come at a cost. Most of the time, you’re getting your information from fellow marketers who teach this business to others.
That means it’s in their best interest to earn a commission off of the recommendations they make to you. For example, they may teach you how to start your own blog, but they can earn a commission by recommending a domain registrar, hosting company, SEO tools, plug-ins, themes, and more.
Very rarely will you see someone who teaches in the snitch show others how to get started without spending a cent. Those who do truly have your best interest at heart. That’s not to say you will never spend money in this business.
That would be foolish to think that you will never be reinvesting any of your earnings. But at least when it comes to getting started, for those on a very tight budget, money shouldn’t be an obstacle.
Everyone is truly on a level playing field when it comes to having the opportunity to be an online entrepreneur. Yes, some people will be able to afford more courses, better tools, and even outsourcing of tasks.
But if you have the drive and determination to do this, you won’t have to feel inadequate when competing against people who have deep pockets. And as you begin earning, you’ll be able to invest in the tools, courses, products and services you’ve had your eye on.
Preventing the Risks and Limitations of Zero Cost Marketing
Before learning how to get started in an online business without spending any money, you need to understand that there are many risks and limitations to going this route. You can certainly avoid them, but you need to be aware of them so that you can prevent a disaster from occurring.
Using free sites and tools to conduct your marketing and any niche is a common cost saving measure that marketers on a budget will employ. For example, they may use YouTube or a social media site like Facebook to recommend products to others.
So let’s just say that you use the strategy and as the weeks and months go by, you accumulate a thriving account on YouTube with 300 product reviews. On Facebook, you have shared the same amount of posts.
Everything seems to be going well, and money has begun to come in. But one morning, you wake up and your entire YouTube and/or Facebook account has been deleted. It wasn’t a hacker who did it, but the company itself.
This has happened many times to unsuspecting marketers whose accounts get closed for no good reason. Very rarely will the company tell you the exact reason why your account is being closed, or even give you the ability to fight back.
Instead, all you will receive is a cookie-cutter notice that says you violated a random rule on the site, even if you didn’t. Can you imagine how you would feel if all of your hard work disappeared in a single day?
This has devastated many marketers in the past, and you don’t want this to happen to you just because you were trying to save money. Does this mean you should avoid all free tools and sites?
Of course not! These are very valuable and beneficial sites and tools to use to further your career, whether you are operating on a zero cost budget or not. But to reduce the risk to yourself, you always need to have backups.
Every post that you create for a social media site, including Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc. needs to have a copy residing where you can re-posted in the future when and if you need to.
You never want to delete the videos you create for YouTube after they are uploaded, because you may need to upload them elsewhere or to another account so that all your hard work doesn’t go to waste.
Another thing you want to make sure that you do is carefully study the rules of each site or product before you use them. You don’t want to end up losing your hard work because you accidentally did something they don’t allow. Even if you apologize and promise not to do it again, it usually won’t matter because everyone has to play by the same rules.
Free Tools to Help You Exude Professionalism
One reason marketers who are on a zero cost budget often feel like they can’t compete is that they don’t have the money for professional graphics or top ghostwriters, for example – not to mention other tools that help them be competitive.
You can still project a professional brand just by using some free tools at your disposal. They’re often every bit as good as the paid ones, but you may not have a few features or you might have to look up some tips on design or other working tactics.
There are times when you’d love to have more content for your video presentations, podcasts, or social posts. Public domain content is a good substitute for those on a budget of zero.
While private label rights are cheaper than a ghostwriter, they still cost something, even if it’s just $1 per page. But if you can find public domain content, there’s no cost – and you can find lots of topics, such as health content published by government agencies, for example.
Pixabay.com and Morguefile.com are both commercial-free stock image sites. The name on the latter sounds awful, but both sites just give you the ability to download stock pictures you may need for your niche – such as a treadmill, laptop, survival gear and more.
Canva is a site where you’re able to make free graphics on the basic plan that costs you nothing. You can create professional eBook covers, slide presentations, social media images, newsletters, infographics and more.
The best part about it is that they have a ton of templates you can use. So even if you don’t have an eye for graphic design, you’ll have all the help you need to project a professional brand, and you can even upload your stock images to work into the graphics, too!
Smartmockups is a tool that has both free and paid options. On this site, you can create brand images for your info products, tangible items like t-shirts or eBooks. They offer a myriad of design styles, but they’re not templates that have the fonts, colors and layouts premade like Canva to the same degree.
Using the free option, you can make a limited number of mockups for your brand and products. You won’t have as many features, but it will provide the starting point you need to be competitive.
CamStudio is an open-source video recording and editing program that will allow you to make professional videos – whether it’s you on camera or a slide presentation or over-the-shoulder screen capture, and it costs nothing to download and use.
Anchor.FM is a place where you can create and share a podcast for your brand and niche free – and they’ll even host your episodes and spread your podcast to other platforms for you.
If you need a free keyword tool, try using https://keywordtool.io to help you find the right words and phrases that will help you craft content meant to attract and cater to your online niche audience.
To make sure you’re able to start building a list of subscribers and that you’re able to email them professionally like your competitors, you can use the free version of MailChimp email autoresponders.
No-Cost Social Sites Where You Can Build Your Brand
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world – second only to Google. So it makes sense that you’d want to use this free social network to build a brand and generate traffic and sales.
On YouTube, you can make videos where you’ve answered questions that your subscribers have submitted to you. You can also create free courses to showcase your expertise, or even review products that you recommend they buy.
Facebook is a large social media platform that lets you use different media formats like text, images and video, not to mention live stream. You can have a profile, a page for your brand and a group where members can participate.
With your group, you can choose moderators to help you manage it. This can be a public group, private or closed. You can allow group members to submit content within the group, too – and this is a place where you can engage with your audience at no cost.
Instagram is an image-based social networking site that also includes some video elements, if you want to use those. Your pictures, paired with hashtags and post text have the potential to capture a lot of attention from your niche audience with no cost to use it.
Pinterest is also an image-based site where people can bookmark Pins that are of interest to them on a Pinterest board of their choosing. This gets shared with other Pinterest users, so there is a hefty viral nature on this free social media site.
If you’re not sure how to make eye-catching Pins for Pinterest, go on Canva (the free tool previously mentioned) and search for the word Pinterest and you’ll get a ton of readymade Pinterest templates that you can edit for your brand, niche and message.
Tik Tok is now one of the fastest-growing social media apps for marketers in many different niches. From fitness and nutrition to health, gardening, survival, making money, anti-aging and more.
You can make simple Tik Tok videos that help generate traffic to your online offers, whether it’s for an info product you’ve created or something you want to promote as an affiliate marketer.
Platforms Where You Can Earn Money with Zero Up-Front Costs
Speaking of info product creation, if you want to start earning without spending money upfront, you can create an info product and sell it on a platform that charges no upfront fees.
Of course, they have to make money from somewhere, so the small fee is deducted from each sale. You won’t have any out of pocket costs initially until a sale is made. And because it comes out automatically, you don’t have to worry about fees accruing and catching you off-guard.
Start by creating a viable info product for your niche. Ideally, you’ll have more than one component so that you can make a funnel out of it with a front end product, and one or more one time offer upgrades.
This can be in the form of an eBook (a PDF that people download and read), a video module series, or a membership to name a few options. Once you have your product ready, create your sales page using a free site like WordPress.org or Wix.
Once you have it all ready, you’ll go to a site where you can place it for sale and take payments for it. You might sell direct through PayPal, but you can also sell at places like ClickBank, Warrior Plus, and JVZoo.
Using these types of sites, where they take a fee after a sale is made, you can recruit affiliates to promote your product for you, and their commission will come out of the cost the customer pays for the product – so again, you have no upfront fees to pay for.