Entrepreneurs typically have a fantastic idea for a startup, but are unsure where to go from there, notes Marco Robinson. Bringing a business to life means marketing that business in a way that reaches the intended audience and helps the startup grow from a small company to a major player. Marketing your startup might not be the easiest thing in the world. To help you out, Robinson and other successful entrepreneurs share tips and advice that helped them succeed.
Having clear, established goals should be step one when it comes to marketing your startup. It’s not just about having clear goals, points out Marco Robinson. It’s about imagining that “you already know as soon as you set a goal that you will get it. You know you will have take certain actions in a certain way, but you know for sure the goal will be achieved. Then, the only thing you have to be very careful about, the only thing you have to concentrate on the most, the only thing you should really concern yourself with is figuring out what you really want because you know you will get it,” the best-selling author and entrepreneur notes.
Establishing clear goals for what you want from your startup and your life in general is a must if you want to succeed and market your company in the best way possible. Don’t even consider not reaching your goals. As Robinson points out, “most people think about not achieving their goals and therefore prepare themselves for a life of hardship and misery. That hardship and misery becomes their safety.”
Along with having clearly established goals that you are confident you will reach, you also need to have a clear idea of what your startup is or will be. People won’t be interested in your business venture if they don’t fully understand what it is.
Adam Toren, the co-author of Small Business, Big Vision, lists a number of ways you make your vision for your company clear in an article for Entrepreneur. One way is to clearly establish how your business is different from the rest.
He uses an example of a social media network that features image sharing. When you begin to promote the network to potential users, you have to stress what makes it different from the Instagrams and Pinterests of the world. Perhaps your network is monetized and a user receives a small payment for each share or like. Perhaps your network is limited to images of a certain type, such as pictures of recipes or DIY tips.
Toren also stresses the importance of using crystal-clear, strong language when describing your project. If the words you use to promote your startup convey that you don’t have a full grasp of what you’re talking about or what your company is all about, people won’t be likely to engage with it.
When your business is new, there can be the temptation to try to compel customers to help promote it for you. People are pretty smart and most can smell a marketing ploy a mile away. Instead, think of ways of developing a product or project that has built-in word-of-mouth marketing.
An example of natural consumer marketing was seen in the case of Skype, the Internet phone service. Niklas Zennström, the founder of the company, pointed out that marketing was built-in to the structure of the product. “You could only benefit from Skype if you told your friends and family. That became a really strong viral loop,” says Robinson. Sharing was part of the idea of Skype. If you try to force consumers to share a product or idea that’s not really meant to be passed around, things won’t work out so well.
Another way to market your new company or product is to look to others who have been successful in launching their own companies. Don’t just tag along with successful people. Marco Robinson stresses the importance of making the successful part of your inner circle. He notes that “to grow and to succeed, you need to always, always, always surround yourself with people who have gotten the success you crave. Failure to do so will end up in a repeat of dead ends, constant frustration, and eventually, resignation. It’s one of the main reasons people give up, then blame it on fate.”
When you have successful people around you, you’ll be able to mimic their wins. If a successful person flounders, you’ll have a clear view of what caused the loss and will know not to repeat it with your own company.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to drop your day job or leave your current situation to launch a successful startup. Forbes contributor Patrick Hull, who’s also launched almost 30 companies, notes that he wouldn’t have been able to start nearly as many companies as he did if he had to drop everything and start over for each one.
Hull points out that even if your entrepreneurial goals are just a side project for the moment, you still need to follow the advice for people who are dedicating themselves solely to developing a new company. Do your research, come up with a clear plan for the product or concept, and be ready to jump when the time is right.
Whether you decide to devote yourself solely to your startup, or set up it on the side, having clear goals and knowing you will reach them is critical. Marco Robinson notes that when it comes to launching and marketing a startup, you need to be fearless and to recognize that the fate of your company’s success is in your hands.