Tips For The Bootstrapping Startup

My first Digital Marketing Conference is in the books. After two full days, I can Tips for the Bootstrapping Startupdefinitely say that I felt like I stepped back into college days, trying to soak up as much information as I could. Amongst the brilliant speakers, one stood out to me.

Sylvester Chisom, an education technology entrepreneur, gave a presentation
titled “8 Digital Marketing Tips for the Bootstrapping Startup” and it really resonated with me. As he gave his presentation, I could imagine my clients and other locally owned shops here in Southern Illinois. Here are some aspects that I learned from his personal experiences.

Let Content Come From the Heart

Mr. Chisom started his presentation with a story. When he was a young man, he needed to make money to pay off his pager bill. Instead of bartering, he set up a car wash on his mother’s beauty shop parking lot and made more than enough money to pay the bill. From that moment on, he likes to show that every business journey starts with hard work and a dream.

Putting this into a Southern Illinois perspective, the passion for your business should radiate through your social media content. Some examples that can be carried out would be sponsor a charity event, have small town pride, and share your story. Your clients want to see your love for what you do and that it’s not just a “job”.

Know Your Brand Inside and Out

To reference a famous quote from Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” The same way of thinking goes along with building a business brand. A brand is more than just a name and a logo. It’s the message that people associate with your business. It’s important to stay consistent with your brand so that it’s well recognizable to your potential client base.

Networking is Key

Tips For The Bootstrapping StartupGreat minds think alike. When you own your own business, it’s crucial to network and build connections with fellow entrepreneurs like yourself or become a business owner that everyone wants to know. This can add a personal and genuine touch to your online presence. If you continue to grow a positive image online, your personal reputation and your business’s reputation will continue to thrive.

Become a Guru

Imagine when you first started your business. Can you remember who you looked up to in your field and used them as inspiration? When you’ve reached a point of success, be a positive influence and role model to other start ups. Referring back to the first aspect I mentioned, share your passion and your story with others. Some means of sharing would be to craft a speech and start to book speaking engagements, write to a local news station, or, in a more complex world, write a book! Pay it forward and continue to inspire others!

When you are a small startup business, it can be a challenge to get started and continue to thrive. However, when you build a reputable brand, you can grow to be one of the greats that will flourish and continue to inspire others.

“You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.” – Sylvester Chisom

Lynsey Hentrich | Twitter: LynseyH94 | Instagram: lynsey_hentrich94 |

About Tom Harness

Tom Harness is the owner of Harness Digital Marketing, a digital marketing firm that works with businesses and organizations on Social Media, SEO, and Email Marketing. He is an entrepreneur and business owner with 20 years of combined experience in Education, IT, and Business. Tom is a U.S. Army Veteran and a Southern Illinois University alum. He also enjoys craft beers, his beloved Chicago Cubs, and his family.


  1. Developing connections and partnership with other people is a great way of expanding services. Being skilled and knowledgeable is the key. Updating what is the trend in today’s business will help you grow as an entrepreneur.

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