Having your own business can be challenging.
Now might seem like the hardest time to be competing in the market; buyers are in control, your customers know all about you before even contacting you, the competition is stronger than ever, and so on.
You can turn this process into a rewarding, fulfilling, and fruitful journey.
This article will cover the top strategies to help you promote your startup, some common mistakes to avoid along the way, and the leading platforms to launch your startup on!
After getting the hang of it all, you won’t be reluctant to show yourself in the game!
Here you go:
Top Strategies to Promote Your Startup
If you want to promote your Startup, your marketing needs to be creative. It needs to be innovative. It needs to rock.
Here are 5 strategies to help you in your marketing and promoting your startup.
1. Put Yourself Out There.
It always starts with you.
At first, you might have a small user base, and consequently, your site may struggle to gain traction but this shouldn’t discourage you; on the contrary, this is where you should pop in and put yourself out there.
Become your platform’s biggest user. Do it. Let me tell you, that’s what Adam D’Angelo, the founder of Quora, did.
In the early days, he started answering tons of questions personally, which led to healthier, stronger relationships, in-depth responses, and positive feedback from the users.
Apart from that, there are other things that you can do to be more involved.
Two words: Manuel. Marketing.
Get out on the streets, give away stickers and place them where people can see them publicly. It may seem ridiculously simple, but it will help you create a giant user base and increase brand awareness.
That’s what Alexis Ohanian did when he launched Reddit; he spent 500 dollars on stickers. It is said that he traveled around the country and randomly gave away stickers. That was his only investment in marketing, and look where it got him!
2. Be in Constant Motion.
”Everything changes but change.”Isreal Zangwill
In today’s world, change is obligatory for survival.
Let’s say you have a website. To keep up with Google’s constantly changing search algorithms, you need to make sure that your content is fresh, up to date, and original.
We know that people are constantly seeking new information online. That is why you should regularly make posts, and allow them to be informed regularly.
By publishing fresh content daily, you will get a returning audience and they will drive more traffic to your site, which is a huge deal, am I right?
To do this, you can start a blog and create insightful pieces.
Daily updates, how-to guides, your comments, and a frequently asked questions section will help your blog enable your audience to stay current.
3. Make the most of Social Media.
Social media is your personal genie that will make all your dreams come true if you know how to use it! It is everywhere; it is in our daily lives, making everything easier and faster for us.
Can you even remember the last time you called a customer service line?
People nowadays are much more likely to turn to Facebook or Twitter to solve their problems or find information.
When it comes to your business, there are no limits to how you can benefit from social media. You need a social media presence to be successful in social media marketing and to promote your startup.
Social platforms help you build connections with your customers, increase your brand’s awareness, and ultimately boost your sales and visibility among users.
So, you need to create a system for tracking customer comments, questions, and complaints on social media. Next, respond as quickly as possible to these concerns. Finally, listen to criticism and make your customers feel heard and understood.
Take the first step, create a profile and start engaging with your customers.
Let’s say you made one single post on Instagram, and several people liked, commented, and sent your post to some of their friends.
What happens next?
A conversation and instant reaction immediately occur regarding your post and your page.
Decide who you want to be: the one who has a solid and well-maintained social media presence that increases their conversion rates, or the one without an active social media campaign, destined to lose potential customers?
4. Encourage the Use of Your Product for a Social Cause.
Are you looking for something extra creative that will skyrocket your startup to success?
Make people feel involved!
What am I talking about? I am talking about an opportunity to enable early users to use your product for a greater purpose.
Honestly, this part is totally up to your imagination. For example, let’s say you have a website and you want sign-ups.
What if people found out that for the first 50 sign-ups, you and your team will plant 50 tree seeds?
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure you will hit that number 50 pretty fast. People love to be a part of something bigger than them, and honestly, this would be a perfect social marketing strategy for promoting your startup.
5. Focus on SEO.
Three magical words. Search. Engine. Optimization.
SEO is one of the most effective marketing strategies for startups. It can create miracles when it is done right.
No matter what your industry is, building a digital presence is crucial for your startup in today’s business world.
Thanks to SEO, you can build and maintain relationships with your potential customers with minimal effort. If you show up high on the search results, you will gain credibility, respect, and customer trust.
For any startup that relies on digital channels for conversions, SEO is a must. The more you focus on it, the faster and better you promote your startup.
Keeping up with the latest SEO trends might be confusing at the beginning because it requires constant upkeep, just like any other thing online.
However, it will help you make informed business decisions and lead you to a successful launch and growth stage in the long term.
Work that SEO. You won’t regret it.
Now, you know what you should do when you’re about to promote your startup.
The next WH question is, where?
Let’s find out.
Top Platforms to Launch Your Startup On
1. Product Hunt
Launched in 2013, Product Hunt is a community-based website where people submit links to new products such as mobile apps, websites, and hardware projects; it also comes as a platform where marketers can launch their products.
Generally, interesting products get submitted and upvoted on the website and the community starts having conversations about them.
According to Ryan Hoover, the mind behind Product Hunt, what makes the platform so great is that it has a curated feed of new and interesting products each day and he says that at first, everything started off as an email list that he used with his friends to share cool stuff they found.
Later on, that email list turned into a website and community that is now global and is sharing and launching new products every day. The site also offers books, podcasts, and even Kickstarter items that will expose the users to what’s new and upcoming out there in the consumer world.
Product Hunt has raised 7.1 million funding in 2015 and won the best startup award at TechCrunch’s annual Crunchie Awards and has 10 million users actively using and benefitting from its features.
In a crowded market, Product Hunt, if used correctly, can be very effective; it is one of the best ways to take the first step and meet with initial users, join their conversations and interact with them personally. It also comes free, which is very important when you’re a startup!
Latitud is one of the best platforms to consider launching a startup.
It’s a program for Latin American startups. It has about 150 entrepreneurs in its community and 17 founders to pitch almost 100 investors across the world and it has built several successful teams over time.
The goal is to enable founders to jumpstart their journeys in Latin America and give people access to the best mentors and top performers at tech companies all over the world regardless of where they are.
Gina Gotthild, the co-founder of Latitud, believes that having a community is extremely important when you’re an entrepreneur because starting a business is a lonely process. Your community not only will support you but will also enable you to keep track of that magical web of information. That is why they hold open events to share some of their ideas, strategies and they answer questions candidly.
They have a program that lasts for 6 weeks in which mentors come and teach sessions and do workshops for the users. People who want to join the platform must apply first and then go through a detailed interview process.
Yes, they are selective, but that’s good! It means that when you get in, you’ll be surrounded by qualified people.
You’ll appreciate its value, even more, when you be a part of it; it’s high time you reached out!
IndieHackers, founded by Courtland Allen, is a place where business founders can share their stories honestly and where promoters can read and learn from these stories. I’m sure you will agree that as an aspiring entrepreneur, it is a beautiful opportunity to be able to learn from the experiences shared.
It’s one of the largest online communities of startup founders. Courtland Allen believes that what makes IndieHackers different is that its users prioritize freedom above everything else. Their main aim on the website is financial independence and economic freedom, being able to work on their own schedule from whatever location that they choose.
The website provides a forum setting where ”indie hackers” can share knowledge, ideas and support each other and make discoveries.
It’s also an excellent platform to give and receive feedback and support one another. If you’re out there wanting to make money independently, you are qualified to become an indie hacker.
Now, over 20,000 indie hackers are a part of the community, with many working on new digital products and services and partnering up with others along the way. You can be a part of them for free simply by clicking on ”sign up” on the website, then creating a username and password.
It’s a very easy platform to contact and be a part of. If you’re interested, it will also be enough for you to submit a post and reach out.
Owwly is a helpful platform to develop and promote products.
Owwly’s goal is to help products grow and gain new users, it supports the idea that building a community around your product is crucial to achieving success.
To be able to do that, it gathers fellow creators to help them share knowledge and learn from each other.
After a simple one-click sign-up using social login, you can create your profile, all you need to do next is filling the simple form and save it.
When you’re a part of Owwly, you need to add an update occasionally so that the Owwly users remember that your project is still there. This will help you pop up on top of the News section on the homepage.
You can share your progress, keep track of it, and find exciting insights from startups worldwide on this platform.
It’s a great way to connect and keep up with the market.
5. Launching Next
Founded in 2013, Launching Next consists of tech startups worldwide. The platform has a big list of launched startups and startup ideas.
It allows the founders to plan, build and launch their products within one platform. After filling out a form that describes your business, the platform contacts you to start making arrangements on the matter. Submitting the form is offered free.
Launching Next provides startup owners with great content. The team pays great attention to their startup founders, they have interviews individually to learn more details about their experience of launching and the tips they can give to fellow entrepreneurs.
As long as you have a unique idea and a custom solution to the problems that already exist, with the help of Launching Next, your valuable startup idea is highly likely to lead you to success.
You can easily submit your startup to be among the 28,144 startups that are using Launching Next.
Angellist is a very popular social media platform for startup businesses. Some famous startups such as Tinder, Medium, Hinge, and Yelp used Angellist to grow.
It was founded in 2010 and since then their main focus has been on the tech startup community of entrepreneurs.
The platform’s goal is to make it easier for startups to find investors; it helps to find potential investors and seek talents.
It also took a step further and now is becoming a social network, meaning that you can start connecting with investors and professionals personally and ask for help to receive funding for your startup.
After creating your profile on Angellist, you and your profile will be visible to the general audience and search engines. Just keep in mind that your page and description of your startup need to be clear and distinct. Your design will be customized and unique. And you’ll be good to go!
7. The Startup Pitch
The Startup Pitch was founded in 2008, and since then it has been one of the greatest platforms to present startups.
They provide a service for startups to pitch themselves and their apps globally without the need for news blogs.
Just like in major publications, it comes in a pitch format where you can share what your startup is about and receive feedback from the platform’s community of 25.000 subscribers.
Their aim is to let you have the opportunity to interact with a community of entrepreneurs that will help you grow and ultimately, build an invisible web of communication, interaction, and correspondence.
After submitting the form on the website it is reviewed and gets published providing that it is unique and non-adult content.
It’s completely free.
8. Hacker News
Hacker News was founded in 2012 by Young Chang and has (and is not limited to) great service if you want to target the tech people. It is run by Y Combinator, Paul Graham’s startup incubator.
It currently has over 150.000 subscribers so it can be a great platform to promote your startup to a community of entrepreneurs.
Using the platform for self-promotion is prohibited.
However, users can submit and keep track of startup and tech-related news and stories as well as politics or socio-cultural ones as long as all of them that are published are educational and have valuable and fresh content.
The subscription to the website is completely free, so it’s high time you spread the word about your product.
Avoid These Mistakes When Promoting Your Startup
It takes a lot more than a cool product to make a startup successful. It takes courage, patience, and hard work.
Certain things kill a lot of startups, and knowing what they are and how to handle them will make it much more likely for you to succeed.
Here are 4 common mistakes that most startups make.
Take notes, folks.
1. Don’t Hire Too Early.
Haste makes waste.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is hiring employees too soon. Your team must consist of people who will stick with you, try, fail and learn with you. They will grow with you.
Would you want to go on a vacation with people you have just met?
Well, this is almost similar, except for the fact that it is NOT a vacation; it’s your startup that we’re talking about!
Try not to hire someone until you have interviewed ten or fifteen people for that particular position.
This outlook will help you be more sure and confident with your team.
2. Don’t Expect an Overnight Success.
There’s no such a thing as overnight success. Overnight success is at least 5 years of hard work in disguise!
Try to remember that this process is not a short run; it’s a marathon. Therefore, you need to set clear expectations, be persistent, and build your team around this perspective.
They -also you- need to understand that this is something that will take years to do. So do not fall for the idea that being a founder is the quick route to a Lamborghini; it never is, if that will be the only thing that drives you!
So, what does it take to be a great founder?
Stamina. Lots of it.
Baby steps that will keep you motivated.
Nothing worth having comes easy. Right?
3. Don’t be Unaware of Your Competitors.
You have to be aware of your competitors in order to be different and better.
You need to name your top competitors in the marketplace, watch them closely, do research and be aware of what’s going on around you.
This attitude will help you know how much to charge for your product, where to sell it, how to sell it and how to communicate with your audience.
Being aware of the brands that exemplify the type of behavior and success you want to achieve will help you drive and promote your startup to success.
4. Don’t Chase the Wrong Channels.
There are tons of channels through which you can communicate and do your marketing. However, there are two questions that you need to be asking yourself:
Who are my customers?
Where is the best place to get their attention?
The first thing you should do is to define your target audience. Are they millennials? Are they male or female? Are they kids?
After setting a clear picture in your head, you need to know where to show up for them.
You’re now good to go!
Remember, when you’re promoting your startup, set clear expectations, have a positive outlook on what you do, and people will feel the same way about your product as well.
Read, learn and apply these steps into your process, and thank me later!
(Just kidding, no thanks required.)
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you attract customers to your startup?
There are plenty of things you can do to attract customers to your startup. You can offer discounts and promotions, or gifts. You can recontact your old customers and show them what they’re missing. You can participate in community events, charity events, host seminars, webinars, arrange zoom meetings.
How can I promote my startup online?
Some online marketing strategies involve starting a blog, posting on social media, sending emails, joining a relevant online community, taking advantage of SEO,2, and going for press releases. It’s best to try and decide which one is the most suitable for you.