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Starting a business isn’t an easy task and even with abundant capital, nobody is guaranteed success. Many startups have gone through millions of dollars, only to eventually lose it all. With that being said, it’s critical to find cost-effective ways to stand out from the competitors; fortunately, technology is here to help with new tools that would have seemed far-fetched or too cheap years ago. To start, here are a few ideas.

Photoshoots (

An entrepreneur holding a camera and pointing it at the screen

With the Snappr app, anyone can afford a custom photoshoot, starting at $149/hour. All you have to do is find a local photographer whose style you like, provide an address, and a professional will arrive to shoot some great photos and email you back the edited/retouched images. Lifestyle photos are a creative way to express your unique brand style to consumers via social media, while product photos are perfect for your website/e-commerce platform of choice.

Billboards (

A billboard in the middle of a busy street

Now that you have some cool photos, you can promote your brand like a Fortune 500 company with Blip — a billboard company that covers many major markets across America — for only $5/day. Now that you are looking BIG, you can share your new digital billboard campaign with the industry and fans of your brand who are sure to be impressed. Less is more and since you can change the artwork once you get started, simply include your website URL and track your analytics through their dashboard to see how many visitors come to your website to craft the perfect message for your startup.

Influencer Support (

A smartphone with social media likes above it

While there is no shortage of agencies to help you connect with influencers who can help spread the word and create excitement/content for your brand, Trend is among the least expensive and best options, starting at just $100/influencer; though that price is a good starting point, you’ll need to be prepared to spend at least $1,000. However, if you’ve been spinning your wheels and sending out countless DMs, and would prefer to have the right influencers requesting to be in YOUR campaign, this is the best way to get started!

Social Media (

An entrepreneur scrolling through social media

They say “content is king”, and social media is your free distribution tool to maximize all of the cool content that you’ve curated with the goal of engaging/intriguing your prospective clients on your platform(s) of choice. Be sure to download the free Social Media Playbook by Ona Creative, which is a 78 page must-read to strategize the best posting times and content for each platform.

What tools or ideas have you used to increase brand engagement? Let us know in the comments!

This article originally published on GREY Journal.