To connect with customers, be easily found online, and build credibility, it's important for your company to have a consistent digital brand across multiple platforms. But creating a brand like this can be expensive. If you have limited resources--especially if you're just starting out--the process can be particularly intimidating and challenging.

But Juntae DeLane, founder of the Digital Branding Institute, says you can start building your digital brand, regardless of the size of your budget. DBI helps individuals and organizations enhance their digital identity, visibility, and credibility, and Juntae shared some of his top tricks for entrepreneurs, small-business owners, freelancers, and others to do exactly that without breaking the bank.

1. Find a Partner to Co-Create With

Someone with an audience and similar interests may be willing to partner with you on some co-created content, such as a blog post, infographic, or video. By working with someone who already has a platform, Juntae says, you're able to get your brand and your expertise in front of an established audience and foster and create useful connections to like-minded individuals in your niche.

2. Pitch a Podcast

The resurgence of podcasts in recent years means there are sure to be multiple shows in your niche. Reach out to the hosts of those in your subject area, and explain how you can bring value to their audience with your knowledge and experience. If selected, you'll be able to reach many potential customers with your story, and also have a great clip to point to as an example of your expertise.

3. Curate From the Best

If you don't yet have the budget to create loads of original content, you can turn to the most credible sources in your industry and share their content. Doing so shows you're up to date on the industry, and provides value to your fans and followers, Juntae says. Set up Google Alerts for keywords you want to be known for to save time curating, and follow relevant accounts on social media to be quickly alerted to content in your niche. Be sure to tag the sources in your posts; if they choose to reshape your posts, you'll be exposed to an entirely new audience.

4. Join Conference Conversations

Even if you don't have the budget yet to attend your industry's conferences or haven't racked up the credentials yet to be featured onstage, you can still take part in the conversation online. Juntae suggests you follow along with event hashtags to engage with attendees, make lists of influencers and speakers in attendance for others to subscribe to, create content inspired by the event topics and speakers, and post during the conference in real time to be a part of the event from afar.

5. Get Visual

There are surely plenty of individuals and organizations in your industry that do research, and you can use this information to create highly shareable infographics and illustrated statistics with your brand on them. Tools like Canva allow you to quickly create infographics, even if you're not a designer by trade. These visuals can then be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and elsewhere to catch attention across the web and bring new users to your website or blog.

6. Repurpose, Repurpose, and Repurpose Again!

"When resources are limited, you have to make the most of what you have," Juntae says. Use each digital asset you create in as many ways as possible: Turn that blog into an infographic, and then tweet each stat as its own post. Transcribe a podcast interview to turn it into a blog post, and use individual quotes from the interview as social posts, too. And don't be afraid to post the same content and links multiple times, on different networks, on different days, and at different times, to give them the greatest chance at visibility.

How to Land Big Customers on a Small Budget
Published on: Sep 14, 2016