Hello Found & Flourish readers! I’m Laura Lane, solo founder of myiconstory.com.

I set up the business in January 2017, leaving my job as Creative Lead in a Media Communications agency to give this starting a business thing a shot! And boy, has it been tough! 

My Icon Story is the first and only personalised product using icons as a form of visual storytelling. From travel experiences to life achievements, family memories or relationship moments, customers can use our 1400+ icons to create an icon story print for any occasion and for anyone.  We also offer a free icon request service so you can request anything from your wedding venue or favourite shoe, with optional personalised text under each icon. There’s an icon story in all of us.

Anyway, enough about me! Getting your business out there, recognised and generating customers can be hard, especially when money is often limited. So I wanted to share with you some easy, cheap and creative hacks that you can do to advertise your own startup or business.

1. Brand your laptop with a custom sticker

It’s so obvious it wasn’t obvious until I thought of it. My Icon Story is an online business and I am constantly on my laptop. I work remotely so tend to hang out in various coffee shops and public spaces. With all the time I spend on my laptop in public spaces, it is one of my most visual assets.

As a start-up, you have to be clever with how you spend your money and advertising can be expensive and inefficient. 

So I thought about creating a laptop skin featuring My Icon Story on the lid would be a really smart and cost-effective way to promote my business. Now wherever I go to work, my laptop is advertising my business to the world (or whoever happens to be in the same place as me that day).

I designed my branded sticker myself and uploaded it to stickerapp.co.uk who printed and sent it to me.

If graphic design isn’t your strong point and you’d like some help in designing a standout laptop sticker for your own business, then get in touch with me and I can help create one for you.

2. Wear it

The nature of my business means I run a number of pop-ups, especially in the lead-up to Christmas. If you exhibit your brand or business at trade shows or markets, then the ‘oh so simple, why didn’t I get one sooner’ branded t-shirt is a no-brainer. 

I also didn’t have money to buy a fancy sign to display on my stand so a T-shirt with my brand on it was a really budget friendly and simple way to tell people who we were. I now wear it whenever I run a pop-up or market. If you’re really bold you could get a few and wear them for anything!

I chose the tee, uploaded my logo and ordered. Mine is from https://www.spreadshirt.co.uk

3. Canvas bag campaigning 

If you’re like me then you carry lots of things around on your day to day travel. Whether to and from home, on the tube or train, going from meeting to meeting and just generally out and about movement. We all have a choice when it comes to what bag we use, but think about this as an idea…

A canvas bag with your brand name, logo, Instagram handle or website! Genius. They’re cheap to get made on sites like bagsoflove.co.uk and it means wherever you are, people are seeing your brand and business. Now, of course, this doesn’t mean instant sales but it does act as a way to get people’s attention, whether it’s passers-by, whilst you’re waiting in a queue, that girl or guy sitting opposite you on the train … the list goes on! 

They don’t know it’s your brand or business. They’re just seeing someone endorsing a brand or loving it enough to own a bag with the name on it. Cheap, easy, nothing lost!

4. Instant followers on Instagram 

If you’re thinking of creating an Instagram account for your business – stop and consider this little hack instead to get you going. If you already use Instagram for personal use then you might already have a decent following. And even if you don’t  have a large number of followers, it will be more than if you were to start a new account from scratch.

If you’re not precious a great little trick is to change the name of your Instagram handle to your new business name. 

Then simply delete all your photos so you can start adding business related ones. You can then create a new ‘personal Instagram’ account but your business one will already have a head start with followers!

What creative ways do you use to get your business noticed on a budget? Share your fun hacks by tweeting me @lauralanelondon. 

If you’re still in need for some Christmas gifts or after something with a little more meaning, head over to myiconstory.com and use the exclusive Found & Flourish Discount for 15% off – FLOURISH15 (valid until 30th dec 2018).

Help grow the My Icon Story community:

Instagram @mycionstory  |  Twitter @myiconstory  | facebook.com/myiconstory

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