11 budget-friendly ways creative business owners can expand resources & reach

Editor’s Note: We’re excited to welcome our new friends, marketing automation and email platform service, Klaviyo to the blog to share about budget-friendly ways to expand your resources and reach. Klaviyo is a marketing platform that helps you build meaningful customer relationships at scale by listening to and understanding cues from your customers, allowing you to turn that information into valuable marketing messages. They work with over 20,000 brands around the world. And, if you’re joining us at our annual business and makers conference, Craftcation next spring, you can get to know Klaviyo better as they’ll be joining us too! Their workshops, Own Your Marketing and Designing Newsletters That Convert along with their intimate group think tanks, Newsletter Reviews and Newsletter Subject Lines that Drive Revenue will help you create stellar newsletters that work as hard for your business as you do! Now, here’s Klaviyo! -Nicole S.

11 budget-friendly ways creative business owners can expand resources & reach Dear Handmade Life

More often than not an entrepreneur is doing more than they can handle. They are marketing, developing new products, trying to keep the books balanced and dealing with customer service issues all at the same time. The thought of bringing on help or growing the business is a very welcomed thought to entrepreneurs, but this is a pipedream for many due to budget or time constraints. 

If you are reading this nodding your head you are not alone as this is a common theme among entrepreneurs. Rather than have these reasons be hurdles that you cannot clear, we came up with 11 ways in which you can be scrappy and stretch your resources to help your business grow.  

If you are looking for more Help Around the Office or Networking 

Tap into college students. Take it from someone who worked in the college marketing space for over five years, if you find the right student they will do wonders for your business. Most businesses think of college students and immediately think of brand ambassadors, but they can bring much more value to your brand than just grassroots marketing. Students are looking to expand their portfolios and can be great resources for design, photography, videography or even accounting work. 

In order to find a great student, simply write a job or internship description and post it on local college job boards. You can also proactively reach out to relevant student organizations at local colleges to help promote your job or internship posting. If you put in the time to properly vet a student, you will be surprised at how impactful a hungry college student can be for your business (and they are typically free if they get credits or very low paying) 

Look for up and coming professionals looking to build their portfolio for one-off projects. Similar to college students, a recent college graduate or a professional looking to build their portfolio is a great way to get free or cheap design, photography or videography work. Unlike a college intern, these professionals are good to work with for a short term project. Post the opportunity on a job board, like Indeed and start collecting qualified and hungry individuals looking for a portfolio builder. 

Leverage LinkedIn. What’s the purpose of your 300 LinkedIn connections if you don’t ask them for help? Have a specific need or want? Post about it on LinkedIn and watch the power of LinkedIn work. People within your network generally want to help you.

Join a local chamber of commerce. Not only will joining a chamber of commerce expose your brand to more eyes locally, it will introduce you to a group of like-minded individuals that you can potentially work with to share resources to help each other grow. Joining a local chamber of commerce only takes a few minutes and opens you up to new and potentially lasting connections that can help fuel your business for years to come. 

Drive Sales

Create your own affiliate network. Traditional affiliate networks like RetailMeNot cost thousands of dollars to join and have your offer listed, so why not create your own? Partner with micro influencers in the digital space and fellow like-minded non-competing entities to offer a discount code to these networks. To make it worth their while to promote your brand, give them a kick-back of the sales that come in through the code that you give to them. 

Increase Exposure 

Work with micro influencers. Traditional social media influencers are expensive and out of most small brands budgets. However, if you come across a smaller content creator on Instagram that aligns with your brand, shoot them a direct message and see if they would be willing to snap a few pictures for you with your product and tag you in exchange for the product. Not only will you be getting high quality content to showcase, but you will also be growing your exposure when the micro-influencer shares the content with their followers.    

Host a co-branded giveaway with a non-competing, like minded brand. Try partnering with a brand that has a similar target demographic as yours to do a social media giveaway where the “gateway to entry” is that they consent to giving you an email address or follow your social media channels. This will in turn help you build your following and grow your presence. 

Set up your business on search engines, like Google My Business. This will help to validate your business and help increase “inbound” awareness of your brand. Take it one step further and ask current customers and enlist customers for reviews which will help provide social proof to validate your brand. 


Leverage stock photography to strengthen the quality of your content. Not the most artistic? Or don’t have time to go out and take really great lifestyle photography? Well check out sites like unsplash or pixabay, which will allow you to polish up your digital presence (email, social, website) and make your communication look professional. This will help to validate your brand in the eyes of your customers and prospects. 

Guest blog on an industry website to expand your reach. Are you an expert on a particular subject or have a unique story to share? Offer up your expertise to a fellow brand and or a blog in the space and us it as an opportunity to expose your brand and or product to a new set of customers. 


Set up email automations. Taking the time to set-up a welcome series or an abandoned cart flow allows you to deliver personalized experiences to your customers. This takes a lot of the manual work out of connecting with customers and helps you reach and engage more customers at scale, legitimizing your brand in the eyes of your consumer. 

Integrate Klaviyo with your eCommerce platform for free and send emails to up to 250 contacts at no cost. Sign-up for your free Klaviyo account and learn more here

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