Building momentum from a resting position is always the process that requires the largest energy expenditure. The same concept is true for business. When starting a new company, figuring out how to build your client base with limited resources is the biggest challenge and could include the riskiest decisions your business will have to make.

The volatility of a new business ups the ante of every move that is made in the sapling stages of business ownership.

The internet has become something of a blessing and a curse for new businesses. This most powerful tool puts every possible resource at the tips of our fingers, but has also saturated nearly every market with millions of people working in competition for a slice of the same pie.

Utilizing it properly could be tricky without some know-how.

However, tried and true methods should not be ignored nor forgotten. Sometimes, hands-on customer service can be the best marketing tool available. A personalized customer experience is an irreplaceable asset for any new business.

Every step you make could pull you up to the next rung of the ladder or it could weigh you down. So how do you get the most exposure and reach out to the largest audience without spending a fortune?

You have your start and feel confident in your product. Here’s how to capitalize on your initial gains without breaking the bank.

Engage with new and existing customers on social media.

It should come as no surprise that utilizing social media platforms to grow your client base is a great first step. As of 2015, nearly two-thirds of American adults have a presence on social media.1 This number is likely to have grown in the past two years.

It goes without saying that this is an important avenue to go down when it comes to reaching new customers. Many of these services, Facebook chief amongst them, offer affordable advertising accounts that allow you to aim for your key demographic.

Though, you need not purchase any advertising plan for social media to be an invaluable resource. Having an account that allows you to reach out to customers and, in turn, have them reach out to you is a vital element to forging lasting relationships with customers.

People can link your profile to their friends when they’re satisfied with your services, or you can provide hands-on care and personal assistance to customers with queries or concerns. This is almost an integral part of doing business these days.

Create a hashtag campaign.

This works in conjunction with social media, though, it could be achieved without a social media presence. If you encourage customers to do your marketing for you through hashtag campaigns, this will increase awareness and utilize your customers’ social circle to your benefit.

It allows the customers to invent their own way to share your product with friends and family. Think of it as crowdsourcing a low-to-no-cost advertising campaign through your existing customers. This will also engage buyers with your product through endorsement, enticing them back to do business with you again.

Offering prizes in the form of discounts, free products, or any variation you choose in exchange for the most creative entry will help encourage customers to take part in your hashtag.

Hashtags have essentially become the what’s what in the social media world. With Twitter ranking trending hashtags and Facebook integrating the concept into their platform after initially abstaining, they can be an incredibly powerful way for your campaign to gain traction and achieve visibility amongst potential customers.

Start a referral campaign.

Referral campaigns could also be done at no cost to you. However, investing a small amount in the form of physical referral cards, mailers, or the like can go a long way to maximizing what you get out of such a campaign.

This is another way to double benefits using your existing customers. You invite customers back while reaching new customers, oftentimes exponentially growing your base. An effective strategy with a referral campaign is offering rewards to both the customer who is being referred, and your customer who spread the word.

Subscribe new and existing customers to an email system.

Email marketing came hand-in-hand with the advent of the internet.

With each transaction, encourage customers to subscribe to your mailing list, which keeps you in contact with those who have chosen to do business with you. Entice them back with offers for signing up, or do an email blast with a limited time offer.

Another method would be to offer incentives when customers pass your email on to their friends. Again, utilizing the customer’s social web is a key to building your base.

Once you have subscribers, be careful not to inundate them with junk mail. If you only email with offers and high value messages, you will encourage subscribers to stay on board your mailing list and get them to consistently open your emails.

Sponsor events and get your name out there.

Any business owner can attest to the constant barrage of offers you will get from event planners and advertising agencies once you list your phone number and email address. While it’s important to be discerning, some events can be a high value market to get your name in the streets.

Pay attention to each pitch, ask specific questions about the events or programs. Everyone is looking to have you to sponsor a part of their project, usually on a sliding scale based on your level of involvement.

If you have a physical, brick and mortar business, pay attention to the local goings on. Popular happenings in town draw scores of potential customers and it could be valuable to get your name on a banner.

Big events need a lot of sponsors, so your name might get lost in the sea of advertisements, but they also draw big crowds. Weigh the cost and gauge the crowd. If the event might appeal to your ideal customer base, spend some money and get name recognition through sponsorship.

It’s also helpful to volunteer such events or to make an appearance, offering you the opportunity to do some one-on-one, targeted marketing.

Enlist critics to feature your product or service.

Everyone’s a critic. The internet has given customers the opportunity to soapbox their way to an audience with their take on your product. Web sites like Yelp and Google reviews can be a great asset, but those reviews rely on customers volunteering their opinions after doing business with you.

Professional critics, however, are usually open to businesses coming to them with sample products and free gifts. Find a critic that you think might speak to your ideal customer. Look at their work and gauge whether or not they will be fair and informative, and whether their audience would be a good one to reach.

People have huge followings on Youtube, so don’t forget to wade the seas of at-home critics to find someone to review your product. You have to be careful and find those that will be open to your product and, most importantly, those that will be professional.

Make your website mobile-friendly.

An increasing number of people browse the web almost exclusively on their phone or tablet. If you have a homepage for your business away from social media, it’s important to have a mobile-friendly site. Users might attempt to view your page on their phone and a poorly formatted site could lose potential new customers.

Most site builders will automatically make a mobile version of your website, but it’s very important to make sure.

Get creative.

Think of innovative and interactive ways to market your product. Be brave and do something you’ve never seen done before. Utilize public information to find addresses and phone numbers, and give your pitch a little flair.

Everyone loves getting mail, especially unexpectedly. Sending mail is a dying art and, these days, a welcome treat when everything we receive is junk mail and form letters. Take time to hand write a letter, making sure to write out the address so the envelope is sure to be opened. Enclose a surprise with your letter, like a dollar bill or anything that will separate your letter from every piece of big business form mailer.

Grab their attention, but be informative and personable.

Slapping your logo on a useful household item could be a surefire way to keep the name of your business on hand. However, keep in mind the standard promotional items that are immediately thrown in the garbage and find something that is most likely to be utilized. Not just the cheapest trinket available, but something specific to your business and desirable to the addressee.