Ensure you have 10 top tips at the ready to get your new business off the ground fast.
1. Know Your Market
Know exactly who you are targeting, which will help guide all of your marketing activities, but also help shape how your product/service works/looks for them says Paul Haarman. This is not only essential to getting right from day 1 but it requires ongoing attention 6 months or 6 years on because markets change and adapt over time.
2. Have a Great Product/Service
This can be easier said than done, spending sufficient time in R&D with early adopters in mind is an excellent way to get this right before launch. Getting feedback on what people do and don’t like about it allows you insight into how to change it up before you scale out – remember at this point your product is not yet defined, people are still learning what they want/need.
3. Get Out There & Build Your Brand
Never underestimate the power of offline marketing channels, flyers, posters and more can all be hugely effective if targeted correctly even for a small business explains Paul Haarman. Highlight on your target market, where do they hang out? That’s where you need to go with some great flyers or physical adverts that are seamlessly integrated into their world e.g. I’ve seen many companies really nail their branding by making sure each flyer matches the design style of local community/college newspapers etc…
4. Be Social be active within networks that is relevant to you & your market.
There are endless amounts of social networks these days, some really great ones and many more useless/pointless ones so think carefully about where your target market spends their time and are there as much as you can with consistent updates & engagement.
5. Measure & Optimize Every Step of the Way
Almost all new businesses fail to do this in the beginning, don’t make that mistake: everything you do is an experiment it’s only worth doing if you’re learning from it and then adjusting your approach accordingly (beyond that point). It doesn’t matter what type of business it is; every single activity should have a measurement attached to it e.g. how successful was my launch event with X number of people attending, what did they like/dislike about it, what is the best time to send my newsletter etc…
6. Promote, Promote & Promote Again (Paid & Free)
Unless you are fantastically lucky with your launch don’t expect people to find out about you on their own accord – make sure you promote your business wherever possible whether that’s through social media ads or competitions, paid search campaigns or even exciting events explains Paul Haarman. Don’t underestimate the power of free; blogging (on your site and other sites), forums/Q&A sites, listings (e.g. Google Business Listing), reputation management solutions e.g. Yotpo, etc… Can all have a big impact on your brand awareness so explore these channels too!
7. Keep Your Promises
This sounds so simple but it’s amazing how often the most basic of things get forgotten e.g. sending out a thank you to everyone who came to your launch, keeping any social media promises such as offering free entry to anyone who follows and engages with your posts etc…Showing appreciation for people’s support & trust in you is a key otherwise they’ll jump ship before you even set sail!
8. Don’t Under Estimate the Power of Word Of Mouth (WOM)
You can do everything right and still fail if no one mentions your product/service to their friends, family & colleagues; the power of word of mouth continues to be one of the most powerful forms of marketing on both B2C & B2B levels.
9. Use PR Early & Often
Getting the support of well-known publications, influencers and bloggers can make all the difference when you’re starting out; don’t be afraid to reach out early either, press releases aren’t just for when your product is launched or big news happens. Use them to share everything that’s great about your business! If you’re not sure where to start then check out HARO (Help A Reporter Out). Which is a service that connects journalists with experts in specific fields.
10. Video Is the New Black
Video has become an important part of online communication over the last few years so its unsurprising that it’s being used more & more by businesses to engage with customers – if you can make short videos with your team/clients/prospects about what you do and why it’s useful then don’t be afraid to promote them on social media or place them on YouTube etc…
Paul Haarman says there’s no magic formula, so if you’re just starting out don’t try and do everything at once; pick a few key channels to focus on, develop an actionable plan & go for it!