Getting the word out about your startup?

My difficulty is getting initial ‘word-out’ with a startup.

I’ve been in business for many years.
I know a lot of stuff.
Others have paid me to help them.

I shouldn’t need to post for advice, but…
I don’t believe ‘social’ is anything like as effective as many suggest.
My view is that if you’re already famous it’s easy to get many-many followers.
And hard if you’re unknown.
Is it odd that I often see ‘social media experts’ with relatively low follower-counts and activity?

SEO? That can be a help, but not universally.

I’m no fan of ‘get on my list’ ploys offering freebie/incentives. Nor the intrusive pop-ups etcetera which often deliver them.

And I’m not sure that ‘keep providing good content through a blog’ is effective either.

Many of the ‘get followers/likes/friends/traffic’ are low-quality dross or outright scams.

My advice to clients has often been… ‘Good luck with getting yourself known. It likely won’t be fast, cheap and easy.’

I used to spend money on ads, but with increasing ad-blockers and declining attention spans that’s now far less effective than it used to be.

I realize that all of the above work to some degree. And should be done. I’m not looking for quick-fix silver bullet.

And it’s becoming harder to get good peer-advice… many forums are now populated by get-rich-quickers and no-hopers in search of a fast buck.

So I’m keen to hear what works for others?

  • Create high quality content. That’s the trick. Be persistent and build an audience.

    It works. Just not overnight. It may take two years before you get any traction. Which is why people give up and try get-quick schemes and other sleazy tricks instead.

    The only people who write about how social media fixes everything are people who want to sell social media solutions or who want to make a career out of their social media expertise.

    But you know all this already. You just need to figure out if you’re willing to do the work. Sticking with something for a long time before seeing any kind of payoff is demoralizing. But that’s exactly why so few people do it and why you get the reap the benefits if once you get there.

    • I echo the above sentiment. Things take time. Bullshit like “lean startup” makes you feel that if you cannot get “results” in a few weeks you’re doing things wrong. Once in a while a startup strikes pixie dust and gets traction overnight and everyone believes that thats the only way.

      I started a blog for my startup and was pretty disappointed I didn’t get coverage for over a year. Now two years later its one of the top blogs on my niche and surprisingly even though I’ve slacked a bit in posting articles I’m getting more traffic than ever because of the past work I did.

      The key is you must be passionate about the topic you’re posting in and not just hire people to generate garbage for you.

  • You MUST have a distribution strategy before you build your startup. This is more important than the product.

    You probably worked with a lot of companies that had the core channels worked out, and your job was incremental improvements.

    Social Media and content marketing are neither the only ways to grow or nor the most effective.

    If you haven’t figured this out before launching, be prepared to throw away much of what you have built.

  • Word of mouth is the most effective advertising strategy. How to get people to talk about your product? That’s the question that I ask myself before deciding whether I should build a product or not. If you build something “cool” enough that’s different than what exist and people love it, they will do the marketing for you. Figuring out how to grow from there comes next.

  • I would argue that the method depends on who your customer is

    If your co is b2b then you should invest the time in content and develop your personal brand as a thought leader in the space. It will take at least a year of hustle to make yourself known. Write the post share it on social use appropriate hashtags and tag relevant ppl cos in the article to get visibilty. Make it easy for your employees friends and clients to retweet your co posts automatically with an ifttt recipe.

    It sounds like you already have traction. Do interviews with existing clients use them to sell you. Ask them to connect you with other clients. WOM. Trusted reco.

    Getting on local news can also help esp if it gets syndicated around the country. (US).

    I had a friend I kind of know email me (& prob everyone in his dir) with a short blurb on who his product was for and the prob it solves and the copy to share it & introduce him to any ppl i thought could benefit. Use your network to drum up the wom and trusted reco sources.

    I share your sentiment about flooding the net with clickbait content and popups. But they sadly work to get attention. Swallow your integrity do some good in the world and make some money!

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