If you’re a co-founder of a startup, then you know how hard it is to acquire those first customers, especially if your startup is bootstrapped. Funded startups may have an advantage because they can afford spending money on advertising, but can you?
I find the startup model very impressive, don’t you?
Seth Godin wrote a wonderful piece back in 2005 entitled “Small Is The New Big”. You might find that big companies hold all the cards in their hands, but the economy today has changed. It’s only today that you find a company that was founded by 2 people in late 2010 that gets acquired just after 1.5 years for approximately 1 billion dollars. Yes I’m talking about Instagram!
However, not all startups see daylight. Some get funded, others get acquired, some others dig their way up to the top without funding, but many others fail to build their user base!
To help you get more customers for your startup, here are 5 effective marketing strategies that are proven to help your startup succeed in today’s competitive market!
1- Go To Industry Meetings and Conferences
There is one rule I learned in this business which I believe sets apart successful startups from the rest. Did you guess what that is?
This business is more about who you know that what you know!
You could have the best product in the world, but unless your prospects are aware of its existence, it won’t make a difference in your business.
Do you know how to let those prospects know about your product in the shortest timeframe without spending a fortune?
You can do that by getting in front of them on some of their favorite blogs, podcasts…etc.
Do you know where influencers, popular blog owners, podcasters…etc hang out?
In addition to a dozen of other places, they like to attend events, meetings, conferences…etc.
I was listening to John Lee Dumas couple of days ago when he said that the best advice he ever received was to go to conferences. He was able to meet some big names in the industry at that event and some agreed to be on his new podcast show. Now he interviewed more than 300 successful people in the entrepreneurship world.
John’s story wasn’t actually the only one I heard that relates to this strategy. I heard it many times that I realized it’s crucial to any startup success. Neil Patel, the founder of KISSmetrics said a similar thing in one of his posts; that he went to local events and presented himself and his company to other people who have existing audiences.
My advice to you is to go on every relevant networking event you can afford to go to. You won’t regret it.
One of the best ways to convert prospects into paying customers for your startup is through webinars.
Webinars are all about 3 things: getting people to register, keeping them exited so they don’t log off and then converting them!
Neil Patel wrote a post couple of days ago on how he used webinars to sell the KISSmetrics software. From every 1,000 registrants, he was able to generate between $30,000 to $100,000 worth of product sales. I’ve been in one of his recent webinars on how he grew the KISSmetrics blog to 350,000 monthly visitors, and he said that he had 4,000 registrants on that webinar, so you can only imagine how much money he made from a 1 hour webinar!
3- Email Is Still King
Couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post entitled “5 Tips To Get More Leads From Social Media”.
I showed why email is still the number one medium that most marketers use to convert cold leads into paying customers.
The email marketing process is also divided into 3 steps: generating quality leads, nurturing those leads and finally converting them at the right time with the right offer.
For that, you need a very appealing lead magnet, a really personable and informative follow up nurturing campaign and a great irresistible offer (free bonuses, limited time discounts…etc).
4- Be Proactive Rather Than Reactive On Social Media
This is one of the most important strategies that I see many businesses neglect at their early stage.
What I see startups do on social media is posting interesting content, thanking people who RT their stuff and occasionally promote their product.
Do you think that’s enough to get you customers via social media?
I think that is just a waste of your startup’s precious time!
A good software (robot) can do better, so why bother.
The right way to go is to spark interesting conversations with your followers on Twitter or your fans on Facebook. Quality conversations will win over quality every single time.
You can be proactive by constantly asking meaningful and interesting questions on social media. Also, try to look into the profiles of people who reply and RT your content for example. Find common grounds that will help you connect with them faster. Offer help and provide value and you’ll be able to build a solid customer base that will promote your startup for you years to come.
For more information about this subject, check out my post: 5 Effective Social Media Marketing Tips That Will Get More Customers/Clients!
5- Killer Content Wins
There is no substitute to killer content in today’s business environment!
Yes I said it!
Whether you’re a large corporation or a small company that is just starting out, content is mandatory!
Great content represents the beauty of the “Inbound” concept. To give you and example, I’m going to mention Neil Patel for the 3rd time in this post. That’s because I respect him so much and believe that he’s one of the few guys who get “Digital Marketing”.
If you head over to his blog on KISSmetrics, you’ll see that every post he publishes there is a resource. He could take each post and sell it as an ebook easily, yet he offers all of that information for free.
Why you ask!
Because today’s prospect is mostly driven by value, not by intimidation or shiny objects!
Content helps you get readers, those same readers who will help you spread the word about your startup. The more value you provide, the better audience you’re going to build and the more customers you’re going to get.
Another great example of a tech startup that used content to get a huge user base is Bufferapp. In a SearchEngineWatch.com interview, Leo Widrich (co-founder of Bufferapp) stated that they acquired their first 100,000 users by solely guest posting on other blogs.
That is a clear indicator that you need to start producing quality content right now. Content moves needles, the same needles that will help your startup grow.
Now that you know how to market your startup more effectively, what other effective strategies have you used before to get more customers for your startup?
Image Credit: Robert Scoble