You have a new product or service you think is sure to sell and take over the world. You know your product’s potential, have worked hard on it, have your family and friends supporting you, but you have budget constraints and you have no marketing knowledge. You are not so confident of marketing as you are with your product. That makes you a ‘startup’! (Or at least one of the definitions anyway! These days the word ‘Startup’ is bandied about for almost any kind of venture.)
Great aspirations with Humble beginnings
Are you shy to admit that you are limited by your financial resource? Believe me, you don’t have to be so down-hearted about it. Many present multi-billion dollar businesses started with a loan of just over a few thousand dollars. You might think that was true when there was not much competition. You are right, but those who started with $100 in the past did not have so many customers as you have now; in addition, they did not have these many resources you have now, such as Online marketing, social media and the overwhelming amount of information and number of professionals available.
There is a beginning for everything. Though the ultimate fate of your startup may not necessarily be in your hands, the great start of your business is in your hands, provided you have the right mind-set.
In fact, you are already on the right track by reading this article which shows you how to not be just any startup but a ‘smart’ startup. And you would be surprised to learn that there are still some businesses that can go on to the market line with just over a few thousand dollars.
Finding the right match
As a startup you have to find an ‘efficient’ professional online marketing promoter or consultant. Yes, efficient professionals don’t come cheap, but there are generous ones who offer their services at reasonable prices so that you, after selecting your suitable one, can launch your product or service comfortably within your budget.
However, there are some points here to ponder on while you are in search of the most suitable consultant for you. The first proof of a real professional marketing promoter is when they start asking YOU questions about your product or service. The information you give helps to understand your product or service and come up with the right kind of marketing and branding strategies.
Patience pays back
Heed to the experts’ suggestions and give as much information as you have, sincerely and openly, so that you get the right assessment in return. Another quality that shows you are with the right person is when the person asks you for some time to ‘figure out’ what steps are to be taken to make your product a success. The fewer trial and error approach, the better for you.
Be patient. Do not rush things. There is a procedure to be followed at every step. Marketing a product is a complicated ‘business’ in itself. There are several ways a business can be marketed but not every way is suitable to your business. That is the job of a professional, and you got to take their word for it.
You don’t have to go blindly in retaining a professional. There is a method in accomplishing this task, too. Go to their business website and social media channels. Analyze their service offering, read the testimonials their clients have given them. If you doubt them, go to their clients’ official websites to check them out. If not satisfied, drop them and approach another consultant.
There are also mentors who do writeups on their websites and contribute useful material to some social media channels. There are even some professionals, like Spellbrand, for instance, who entertain their clients or prospective clients with video demonstrations of their efficiency or even conduct free 1to1 video discussions, which actually give you plenty of first-hand information so that you can make up your mind at ease.
Christening your product & Creating a logo
Getting back to your product: you may have already found a name for your product or service, but make sure you are not trespassing upon somebody’s brand, i.e. make sure you are not using the name or part of the name somebody else has already used. Request your consultant to get it verified.
Getting a logo designed is another important task. Your logo must be simple & sensible, easy to use on any material and easily recognizable on any medium. Make sure it is an entirely new one, not an imitation of any popular brand, if you don’t want any trouble with the law.
Building your presence on the Internet
There should be no business in the world without a decent website and presence on social media channels.
Have an attractive official website which is easy to navigate and which can be updated with less effort and time (because just having a website is not enough; you’ve got to manage it and your customers must find it easy to use and get the information they need with a minimum number of clicks).
Launch personal and business social media channels. Join communities or groups that have something to do with your product or service, or something that has to with your hobbies. Keep an honest presence and participate in the most number of activities.
Do not try to impose your presence on your visitors and followers. Do not react vehemently to the ‘not so favorable’ comments by your viewers. Bear in mind that they really help you to know your lapses, which, in turn, helps you to be on the right track. Do not sell your product on your personal website and social media channels as they are there for you and your product to get in touch with others. Let them see, hear and understand you by your participation. Join the folks and try to be a part of a whole; not an outsider. In a social gathering, you achieve little or nothing by standing apart.
So, as you have launched your product, can you now lean back and enjoy some free time and dream of counting the in-flow?
This is just the start of a cross-country marathon race. There is a lot more to come. Keep your eyes peeled.