Launching your first startup can be one of the most exciting ventures you’ll experience, but it’s also one of the scariest. After all, considering you never quite know how you’re going to attract customers, getting your name out there can be a tough battle. However, with a solid knowledge base on branding and marketing, this can come much more intuitively than you might imagine. Here’s how:
Spend A Solid Amount Of Time On Branding
Even with trying to bootstrap a startup, spending the investment on branding is going to be a must. Not only is this going to be the foundation of your company’s image for years to come, but the first point of contact that others experience with your company. And as a brand is something that you should be able to look at and immediately have an idea of what you do, this is a crucial aspect to nail down from the jump.
To begin, take a look at what branding elements you have and get some feedback as to what other people would think your company does. From there, decide what needs to be improved through some sketches and mockups, giving yourself a solid idea to work from moving forward. The goal here is to find a balance where storytelling meets design; for example, color increases brand recognition by 80 percent, which is why companies like Domino’s have stuck with their rich but simple color scheme through the decades. I’ll note that finding branding elements as strong as that isn’t the easiest task, however, will be well worth the investment once you get it right.
Get Social With It
Another critical aspect of your startup’s presence will be how you tackle social media. No matter if you’re primarily a b2b or b2c business model, social can be a great medium to connect with numerous others in your industry. Plus, with how massive these audiences are, this is one strategy that could potentially make a significant difference if you can play your cards right.
A big part of social media is first knowing who to socialize with. For example, if my startup sells direct-to-consumer men’s grooming products targeted at millennials, then going after the 71 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds on Instagram (as noted by Pew Research) would be a great place to start. The goal here is to not only post on your account but engage with others- liking and commenting on their items as well. Remember, social is a time genuinely a time to socialize, so embrace it as an opportunity to do just that.
Don’t Forget About Content
As much as social media is important, content is right up there as well. According to the Content Marketing Institute, approximately 200 million people use Ad Blockers, which goes to show how hard it can be to reach your potential customers. However, that’s why producing consistent content is key.
To begin, take a look at the type of capacity you have to produce content, as well as where your skill set lies. For example, if I’m a stronger photographer than I am a writer, then producing short copy with more photos as the main component of my blog would be a smart look. Furthermore, nailing down a process and calendar of when/what to post will be a smart way to get into a habit of production. While I’ll note this all sounds like a lot of work, with enough practice, you’ll be acquiring inbound leads via content in no time.
Network. Network. Network.
Finally, if you’re going to be getting the word out on your startup, then networking is going to be a must. In fact, as noted by Hubspot, nearly 100 percent of people in a survey on networking agreed that face-to-face meetings are essential for long-term business relationships. Although it’s disappointing to hear, simply only going after cold-call emails or telemeetings isn’t always going to make the cut, which is why you need to get out there and start chatting with people.
Start researching around some of the local or regional networking events that you could attend, especially those specific to your field. Another smart move is to look into your network and see who your friends can introduce to you. The mission of networking is to produce professional relationships that will provide benefits for a lifetime, which while it’ll take time, is also worth the investment.
What are some ways you’ve been able to get your name out there about your startup? Comment with your answers below!