It’s well known that startups operate on limited resources. Their marketing budgets are much the same. They’re tight. Therefore, they must devise creative and low cost solutions to reach their target audience and generate revenue. In this blog post, we will dive into the world of contra agreements and contra deals. 

What is a contra deal?

Contra deals are a tried and tested marketing method that businesses have been using for years. Similar to bartering, contra deals, also known as contra partnerships, occur when two parties exchange goods or services, usually without handing over a payment. 

Contra deal marketing is therefore an ideal means of promotion for cash strapped businesses and a great way for startups to support each other. As a freelancer, striking a contra agreement is a great way to boost your brand

If you're a startup founder interested in pursuing contra deals with other startups, here’s a few ideas to get you started:


1. Guest blog posts

Many startups run a blog on their websites, with some being more popular than others. Find a startup with a popular blog whose audience is similar to yours. Establish a relationship with the startup and suggest writing a guest post on their blog. If the content of your guest post will be of interest to their audience they may agree to it. 

When the post goes live you can promote it on your startups website and social channels so that the startup you’re partnering with gets their fair share of promotion. This is a great opportunity to drive traffic to your site to improve SEO.  


2. Guest webinars

A similar idea to guest blog posts and a great way to increase your audience. Offer to host a webinar on another startup’s website or on their social channels. You’ll be sharing your expertise with an audience you want to target and you can promote the webinar on your own startup’s digital platforms to ensure that your partner startup also gets good promotion.


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3. Discounts  

Reach out to startups who offer goods or services that your target audience are interested in. Strike a deal whereby they offer your customers a discount if you promote the offer on your website and social channels. 


4. Competitions

Do you run competitions on your social channels? 

Use competitions as an opportunity to partner with another startup to increase your audience. If you and your partner startup share the competition on your respective social channels and ask followers to like your pages and share the post to win, you’ll both reap the benefits. 


5. Events

If you know a startup running an event, for example a sports event, they’ll likely have goodie bags of some sort. Whether it’s your product or a flyer promoting your services, find a way to get it into a goodie bag. It’ll help the startup bulk up their bags and you’ll get to promote your brand. It’s a win win.

Co-hosting events is also a great way to bring communities together, share audiences and generate brand awareness. 


What is a contra deal?

If you clicked into this article looking for an answer to this question, I hope we've helped. 

Scarcity breeds creativity. While operating on shoestring budgets can have it’s limitations, it also forces individuals to think outside the box. 

Contra deal marketing executed well between two startups can help both parties increase their target audience and generate revenue. 

If you’re looking for a marketing method to promote your startup without rattling your finances, a contra partnership with a suitable startup might just be the solution for you.