SEEE saw my tweet an invited me to submit this blog you're reading now:I need to begin
this with a confession: if I'm honest, I hoped someone like SEEE would invite me to
showcase myself in front of all you lovely people reading this without my
having to pay anyone a single penny. And all it took was for me to tweet about a university
bootcamp I was involved in, at which I helped some 40 students explore how they could
promote their new enterprises for whatever small change they had in their pockets at the
It can be very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that we have to spend lots of money on
shiny brochures, advertising, expensive websites, ... but we don't always in order to get
noticed and get people talking about (and to) us: during the space race, NASA spent $15m
developing a pen that would write in zero gravity; the Russians packed a pencil sharpener -
yet both had the same outcome: their astronauts would be able to write in space.
But equally, we can become paralysed with indecision about what we might do with little or
no money given the choices 'out there', especially when we hear about all the things that
social media can (apparently) do and offer... My approach with enterprises in such
situations is to give them a budget to help focus the mind: £3.60 (the cost of a book of
stamps). Ideas that people subsequently come up with are wild, wacky, fun, clever, but all
will get them noticed: from offering free lollipops or facepainting, public stunts to generate
media coverage, starting a guerrilla sticker campaign, getting invited to speak at others'
events (or write a guest blog for them) the list goes on, but all the ideas involve that
crucial element of FUN, and if executed well will get people talking about them and
generate warm sales leads for the future.
So - get people talking about your enterprise (and some would argue that until you can,
it's not a proper business), have fun doing it, and don't spend more than you would
otherwise buying a book of stamps!
Adrian is a freelance trainer and adviser to social enterprises; after working for several
years supporting the sector exclusively in the East of England, he now has a national profile
but is always happy to have a chat...