One of the biggest things that I see in early stage startups is a lack of marketing focus. Normally the people setting up companies have all their focus on creating a product, or developing software, that can change the world but they often forget about how they’ve going to make sure people know about it.
In the best early stage technology ventures that I’ve seen in the last 15 months of being around startups the marketing side of the business is held in just as high esteem as the technology side. Yes, it can just be considered as ‘jazz hands’ but without it there’s no business – no matter how good the product.
So to those of you techies that might need a little helping hand in getting your start up noticed here’s a couple of rookie tips that can help you get early stage traction for peanuts – okay, not literally for peanuts but less than the cost of two drinks in central London.
Before you start writing any code get a landing page up that captures details and launch it. Ping it to some people on social media that have an interest in this area.
At Mallzee.com we had launched before we even had a development team. We had hundreds of people signed up before we had one line of code.
It seems sily but make sure you’re blogging about you sector and if you can line up guest blog appearances on other peoples sites even better. Theres people that will be writing about your sector, no matter how niche it is. Find them and make sure you’re appearing on their blog months before you launch.
Speak at Events
Okay this one is harder than you think but getting speaking gigs in your sector can be a great way to raise you profile. Plug into the ecosystem and get your name out there.
The most valuable connections are normally made when you aren’t in the room. By becoming known you never know who might be helping promote your business when you’re not around.
Getting featured in TechCrunch or TNW is pretty cool but are their readers your future users? Are their readers going to be people who stick about? Make sure you’re targeting the right press and start by being helpful to them. It’ll help build the all-important relationship and over time will no doubt lead to them covering you.
At Mallzee we focus on three areas of press – consumer (users), technology (future hires) and business (fundraising). Our message for each is totally different but we know we need all three and spend lot’s of time ensuring that we get the coverage we need in each.
So where did these simple rules get us?
It got Mallzee.com to several thousand users before we launched, a six figure seed round, a fantastic team and all for a marketing budget of £8.
Best of luck!
Cally Russell is the CEO and Founder of www.mallzee.com A bespoke shopping experience that allows users to create their own online personal mall which only shows them clothes that suit their style. Shop over 200 brands including Urban Outfitters, New Look, French Connection and more.
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