“Business” is something that only adults usually talk about. You might have noticed your parents tend to watch HGTV, talk about the latest deals at the local supermarket, trade the details on their mortgage and spend a good bit of time talking about their job. All in all, it just seems boring.
You’re not wrong. Trading ideas about what kind of hardwood floors are the best kind to install is hardly riveting conversation, but it doesn’t mean you have to leave all of the adult talk to just adults.
This is true when it comes to work life. More and more teenagers are turning away from those typical jobs working as a lifeguard at a pool or waiting tables (not that there’s anything wrong with this) and turning to entrepreneurship.
Growing a business isn’t easy and can be just as stressful as starting college. You’re already dealing with the full-time responsibility of being a student, how can you fit any time to grow your business?
Plus, there’s the ol’ money problem. When you’re looking to grow and promote your business, you often have to spend money to make money. But as a working high schooler, chances are you don’t have thousands of dollars lying around to get your business off the ground and start promoting it.
So, how can you go about promoting your business without spending all of your hard-earned, limited cash?
Start Making Content
While owning your own domain will cost money, there are plenty of free website makers. WordPress is the most well-known and used. You just need an account to sign up. Once you’re there, start regularly posting content about what you’re offering. You could be selling something, offering your services or some kind of combination.
Starting out with a regular content plan that will keep people coming back to your website is a solid first step into promoting your business.
While most people might not be flocking to your website, you can start out by writing guest articles in your local newspaper or magazines. Publications love a solid story and by promoting yourself through a magazine or newspaper is a completely free way to go about doing business.
Of course, you’ll need to have established a business plan and a bit of repertoire before you can get your name in print, but it’s still free advertising.
Interact With Others
One way to get your name out there is by interacting with those that are already in your niche market. Comment on their blog posts, comment on their Instagram pages and look for collaboration opportunities.
As a warning, this is likely to be a numbers game meaning that you’re going to have to be persistent and do this a lot. Unless you’re really fortunate, you’re not going to strike big with the first person you contact. You never know, but you’d rather not put all of your eggs into one basket.
Don’t forget to interact with people in person too. There are many local events that are great to network with other vendors and buyers. Set up your booth to be as professional as you can be. You only get one first impression. Be prepared with your logo on the tablecloth, backdrop, business cards, ink pens, and you can even bigger giveaways like tote bags.
While all of these other suggestions hold certain merit, they pale in comparison to your biggest weapon: social media. Think of your favorite Instagrammer or YouTuber. They started out grinding, regularly posting content and reaching out to tons of people through social media.
They were consistent, hard-working and always looking for that thing that made them stand out from the rest. Your business is no different. You already know that so many of your peers can’t go 10 minutes without checking their feeds and that should be something you should tap into.
So start using your social media skills that you were born with to reach out to your audience. Remember, no one started out with a million followers. No one started out with 1,000 followers. It took a lot of time. Keep promoting your business, look for fellow collaborators and make little goals for yourself.
Don’t be afraid to celebrate those goals as well! You’re going to need to celebrate the milestones. As your mother or father might have said to you once or twice, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and neither will your business. Find your niche, stick to your plan and head out to the open portal that is the world wide web.