Priceless Business Advice

Guerrilla Marketing Inspiration For the Bootstrapping Business

Guerilla Marketing ideas for the Bootstrapping business
Written by Josh Rueff

It keeps every big marketing agency CEO awake at night.

The simple fact that they charge hundreds of thousands per ad, when you can get the same results…

…for a fraction of what they charge.

It’s a thinning blindfold, the deception that you need to spend a fortune to get quality marketing results.

Remember when the internet was only available to the rich?

What about IBM’s first laptop, the 5100? That stone-age relic rang up for $20,000.

But things change.

Right about the same time that the internet and laptops became affordable to bootstrappers, big idea marketing became just as accessible.

And yet somehow marketing agencies still reign over a market of ignorance.

Don’t get me wrong, many marketing agencies produce inspired quality that ends up well worth the money.

But armed with a little creativity and the good old-fashioned element of surprise, you can rival Ogilvy and Mather’s results — on a bootstrapping budget.

Let’s go ahead and kick off this guerrilla marketing revolution, with some inspirational flyers, business cards, posters, stickers, letters and more.

Guerrilla Marketing Flyers and Posters

In today’s digital-everything age, print advertising can seem like a dying practice.

But it’s far from it.

Let’s start with some guerrilla flyers.

guerilla marketing flyer

This is called a visual simile advertisement. You should be on this like a fat kid on a donut.


Because like it or not, every advertisement you come up with is an interruption.

People see interruptions as rude and annoying.

But an interruption that makes you laugh, smile, or even crack a hint of a grin is no longer an interruption — it’s a cute little beam of sunshine in your otherwise dismal day.

Here’s another:

guerilla marketing ad

And my favorite love-hate flyer:

guerilla marketing flyer car

I like this flyer because even though windshield wiper flyers are the whiny, litterbuggy parasites of the marketing industry, this one actually has a chance.

It’s clever, interactive (beyond tearing it from beneath the wiper and crumpling it up), and above all — it’s NOT BORING.

Here’s some more not boring:

guerilla marketing poster

Boring ads kill conversions — get a little creative and your flyers may actually bring in new customers.

And speaking of boring, here’s a print ad category that blisters with boredom — unless you do it right.

Beautifully Bold Business Cards

Everybody and their mother wants to differentiate by being green.

You can practically smell the irony.

But ironic or not,  it’s a good idea — millennials will soon inherit the spending power throne, and they’re almost religiously environment-conscious.

Here’s one way you can green your business image:

amazing business cards


If you don’t mind shelling out about a million times the average business card costs, you might like this one:

metal business card amazing

This is nothing short of genius in my humble opinion:

guerilla marketing business cards

The next business card takes advantage of a simple psychological trigger. I don’t condone flattery unless it’s sincere, but for whatever reason, this seems sincere to me. Maybe because it’s true.

apple business card

 Free Shtuff

Because who doesn’t like free?

Tanstafl is true 99.9999% of the time — but when you prove that theory wrong, people love you for it.

This free pen giveaway is another great green strategy:

Free pen ads

Visual similes aren’t always pretty… or are they? This plumber demographic t-shirt would be a great giveaway.

plumber guerilla marketing t shirt

If your target consumer enjoys quality beer (no twist-off cap), this free giveaway will blow them away:

Bottle Opener Fridge Magnet ad

If your target consumer is a chauvinist dingleberry with the IQ and humor of a sexist cucumber, this could be a great giveaway.

matchbook ads

 The Sticker Bomb

This is the guerrilla marketer’s go-to for a reason. It’s cheap, and when it’s done intelligently, it’s highly effective.

The gist of the sticker bomb is this.

Plant stickers everywhere your customers go. Where do they eat, work, play, sleep, relieve their bladder, etc.

By the time you’re done, your marketing territory should look like it got terrorized by a sticker bomb.  Because the more your customer sees your stickers, the more prime real estate of the mind you’ll take.

Lay’s did a pretty good job with this sticker bomb campaign.

guerilla marketing with stickers

This is a fresh approach to the usual fruit sticker that only gets noticed as an afterthought (Yum that apple was good. Wait…).

sticker bomb guerilla marketing

The verdict is still out on whether urinal ads work or not, but if any of them would work, it would be this one:

sticker marketing

The number one rule for sticker bombing is this.

It HAS to be creative, if not disarmingly clever. This is a solid example:

sticker marketing

Hand Written Letters

Snail mail hasn’t completely lost it’s charm. Even to the digital-everything millennial, the handwritten letter holds a special place of endearment.

Letters are also essential to the guerrilla marketer because guerrilla marketing relies on the element of surprise.

And what’s more shocking than a hand-written letter from the pizza shop down the street?

Businesses just don’t do personal well. And that means more for you.

Can you imagine getting this in the mail? Would you throw it out immediately like the rest of the direct mail ads you get?

letter ads

Or what about these?


This ad isn’t handwritten, but it’s personal and even heart-warming to the lover of hops:

guerrilla marketing direct mail


Smack a handwritten note on that gift and I guarantee you’ll win the hearts and minds of the people on the receiving end.

Now that you’re armed for guerrilla marketing success, get out there and start a bootstrapped revolution!

Your business will thank you for it.

Did I miss anything? If you have a guerrilla marketing idea we didn’t cover, share it in the comments!


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About the author

Josh Rueff

Josh Rueff is a digital marketer, copywriter, minimalist nomad, fisherman, literary nonsense poet, Marine Corps vet, lover of every form of chocolate, and keeper of very large dogs. He believes that specialization is for monkeys and insects. He's recently published a book called Rock Paper Root, and has two other pieces in the works: Minimalist Living in Ancient and Modern Culture, and a children's poetry collection in the writing genre of literary nonsense, Periwinkle Yetis and the Yvinosiop.