When you're bringing your startup to life, a single dollar can make or break your business. With a limited budget, bringing your product or service to life can take the lion's share of available funds, leaving very little when it comes time for marketing. And while marketing can be a full-time job itself, most startup owners can't commit much time to it.
Fortunately, low-cost promotion of your startup is made possible by leveraging any of the existing startup listing websites and their thriving communities of journalists, beta testers and fellow entrepreneurs. Check out these sites where you can promote your startup for free or very low-cost:
Product Hunt has over 90,000 subscribers and allows startup owners to post their new tech products, books and pretty much any other product they're selling. Your post will probably only reach a small margin of Product Hunt's audience but even 1% would still be 900 new customers. If you go viral, you never know where that could land you!
More than 25,000 people subscribe to BetaList. They offer both a free subscription and a paid subscription($129/year). The paid subscription allows you to get your startup featured on the main BetaList feed more quickly.
With a social media following and email database well into five figures, New-Startups.com offers founders and startups a way to promote their startup to a sizeable audience in a unique written interview format. They offer both free and paid submissions for additional exposure.
The r/entrepreneur community has over 100,000 subscribers and is one of the best places to share your new business idea or product, whether you're looking to get feedback on something you're developing or sell a product you've already created. You'll find a great mix of talented entrepreneurs and consumers eager to learn more about the business world in this free community.
Sign Up First is sort of like a crowdfunding site, except that you're collecting pre-orders rather than pledges. You get to set what kind of discount you want to offer and how far in advance you want to start collecting pre-orders.
Want to get high profile entrepreneurs curious about your startup? VentureBeat Profiles is a great place to connect with these highly-talented people. Simply build an accurate, detailed profile and you'll be added to this awesome network.
The StartUp Pitch is a directory where you can post a pitch—along the lines of what you'd send journalists to catch their interest—for your startup. Your business pitch will be readily available for 25,000 subscribers, who can also provide feedback on your pitch.
Looking to connect with a more professional network? Launch Sky lets you pitch your startup to 10,000 professional subscribers for a small fee of $19. Subscribers are given the opportunity to provide feedback on your pitch.
Unlike most of the other sites on this list, Beta Bound actually performs rigorous testing on all its beta testers before they are accepted. They still have over 90,000 subscribers, all of whom can provide excellent, detailed advice to help you fine-tune apps and other tech projects.
Created by one of the founders of The Next Web, Patrick de Laive, Index.co tracks thousands of tech companies from around the world, including startups. The site's aim is to bring detailed business information about the tech sector away from Wall Street and to the common people. Once you've registered your business your profile can easily be updated regularly. Thousands of people use Index.co on a regular basis, so it's a good option for potential exposure.
Getting your startup into the public eye isn't impossible and it doesn't even have to be expensive either. This is just a sampling of the affordable/free websites where you can promote your startup.