Startups are exciting! They are often looked at as the next big thing, and people can’t wait to see what they have to offer customers. However, you have to market yourself right, because if you don’t, you could be left in the dust with countless other startups that never quite took off. Here are some tips on how to successfully market your startup. 

Share your purpose

All businesses have a clear purpose. Share what makes you special with your potential customers. Develop a brand story for your business and take consumers on a journey from the inception of your concept to the fruition of the product. This will make you more personable with people and more memorable.

Know your target audience

Part of the process of marketing any business venture is to understand your target audience. As you may already know, not everyone will be interested in your product, but in order to reach the ones that are, you need to know how to reach them,. Adjust your tone and cater your marketing efforts to suit their tastes.

Study your competitors

If you are starting a new business, you may already know someone you have to compete with for market space. If they are successful, subscribe to their email lists to stay informed on the type of marketing tactics they use. You can also visit their website to understand how they are marketing their product to their customer base. See how you can make these techniques better and unique to your business. Finally, read their reviews and focus on both the negative and positive aspects of their business from a customer perspective and see how they handle negative feedback. After all, word of mouth and reviews are essential to marketing.

A close up shot of a business meeting with a woman shaking hands with a suited man. In the background are two suited men getting up from the conference table.

Network, network, network

Network with people in your industry and build relationships with leaders in your industry. Use tools like LinkedIn to connect online or job fairs to connect in person. This is a great way to spread word about your startup and potentially meet other businesses you can partner with.

When connecting via LinkedIn, always leave a personal note as to why you wish to connect and what you admire about their business.  Follow these people on social media and see what they are doing to market themselves personally and professionally. There’s a lot you can learn from networking with others.

Do more than sell

Knowing how to successfully sell your product is the first step. Customers want engagement, so make an effort to establish personalized communication with them. You can do this through multiple methods, liken adapting a more personal tone or utilizing email marketing.

Establish credibility as a startup

When you are a new business, it may seem intimidating to establish credibility. We emphasize the importance of networking with industry leaders, as doing this already gives you the tools you need to ask for referrals. Credibility means everything to customers, so begin by targeting influencers and asking them to review your product.

A second way to gain credibility is to gain attention from the press. Having an article written about your business will help customers see your business as something worth paying attention to. Contact local magazines and popular industry blog sites to see if they would want to feature your business. Getting press attention is a great way to get free marketing. 

A phone screen page with 6 social media apps.

Get on social media

Cultivating a social media presence for your new business can do wonders for your marketing strategy. Not only is it a free source of marketing, it has a global reach. Attention on social media can be just as important as attention from blogs and websites because it’s teeming with popular influencers. Depending on your core demographic, it may be worth investing a significant amount of time in your social impression. You have a lot of control over your business’ image and can easily engage with curious customers. Through social, you can also hold giveaways, create ads and personalize your business journey. Here are 6 essential social media tips for small businesses that can help you get started. 

Social media is also a great way to include your audience on the ins and outs of your business and how it runs day to day. You can provide updates with Instagram stories and even post polls to gain audience engagement. Get people excited about every step of developing your start up and make them feel like part of your journey.

Set up a blog

Creating your own content can help to educate your customers about your product, your business and your passions. Building a blog not only significantly boosts your SEO, driving more traffic to your website and increasing your ranking, it allows  you brand yourself another way. Create a blog that will not only inform, but entertain readers and make them want to share the knowledge they have gained with others. Posting two to three times a week is best when you are starting your blog. An excellent way to gain more traction to your business is to reach out to influencers and ask if they would host guest posts once a week. This way you can leverage their larger audience to your benefit.

Get listed

A smart way to spread the word about your business quickly is to, get yourself listed on online directories. Submitting your company to site like HackerNews, TechCrunch, Mashable, and KillerStartup can help you reach your target market.

Be active on forums and groups

Another great place to get involved with potential customers are forums. Here you can promote your business and help answer questions about your industry. establish yourself as a tough leader in whatever industry your startup is part of to entice others to learn more about you. This is another free way to get the word out about your business. 

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Define what success means for you

Through all of these marketing efforts you want to be working towards an ultimate goal. So take time to establish what that will be for your business and make sure all team members are on board. Success for you might mean getting a significant number of leads, or it means getting as much publicity as possible. Perhaps it’s a certain amount of revenue in one month. Whatever the goal is, make sure everyone is consistently working towards it. 

Starting a new business is filled with mixed emotions. It can feel intimidating, scary and exciting. If you believe in the product you are selling and can effectively communicate that to your target customer, you will increase your chances that your startup will take off. Keep in mind that everything we’ve discussed just skims the surface of how to effectively market a business, and you’ll continue to learn more as you go.

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