Let’s face it, when you’re getting started with your company, one of your main concerns is going to be growing your company. It doesn’t matter how great you think your idea is, and how big a problem you’re trying to solve if you fail to gain any traction everything might still be all for nothing.
We understand that, when you’re getting started, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to afford a marketing agency or even hire your dedicated marketing team. In the early days, you probably have to take care of the marketing yourself.
In today’s world, there are countless of different strategies to grow your business and do marketing. There are also tons of mistakes you can make as we showed you in an earlier article, but it’s often only a few tactics that will help skyrocket your growth.
In this post, 6 startup founders will share their top marketing tricks. Hopefully, this will give you some ideas on how to go to market and get your company off the ground. Keep in mind though that what works well for one company might not work that well for yours so it’s always important tot test!
Let’s dive straight into their answers, here they are in random order:
#1 Ed Shelley
Who? Ed is rocking SaaS metrics at ChartMogul – A one-click subscription intelligence platform for Stripe, Braintree, Recurly and Chargify. He’s a former Product guy, former engineer, life-long tea geek.
His advice: I’m a marketing guy who’s not traditionally a marketing guy, and I’m lucky to have a different perspective on the marketing we do at ChartMogul.
In the content marketing space you’ve got this sea of people, all shouting a similar message to the world, and everyone’s trying to shout a little louder than the next guy, to get some recognition. You can either take a deep breath and dive in – join the “”noise”” and try to shout even louder, or you can choose a different approach.
There will *always* be space for quality content. Think about the content you produce as a resource that people can use to improve themselves.
1. Think about your content as a product. It has a user experience too.
2. Produce resources that empower people, and make them feel like they’ve made themselves a better ‘X’ (whatever X may be)
3. Answer questions that people are already asking, and pain that people are already feeling. Produce resources that help people solve those problems. (Pro-tip: Quora is a great place to find out what people are asking).
4. When looking for ideas, look for gaps rather than being drawn to what everyone else is already doing. What are people NOT doing in this space?
Our breakthrough success? We produced The Ultimate SaaS Metrics Cheat Sheet which still remains wildly popular in the SaaS space. It’s a resource, it helps people be better at measuring their SaaS metrics, and it has a great UX.
#2 Pierre Lechelle
Who? Pierre is helping Startups to grow through Marketing & Growth Hacking
His advice: It’s counter intuitive to say, but you shouldn’t focus too much on Marketing during your early days. You should focus on getting onboard early adopters that will help you to create the right product and spread the word around.
When you’re finally ready for showtime, you need to start Experimenting: gather insights about your target market (e.g. where do they hang out) and try plenty of different things to see what works.
Never assume anything because you’ll probably be wrong 90% of the time. You should always test your assumptions.
On the other hand, when you launch your product, you should already have an audience (and their emails). Launching a product out of the blue is a very difficult task.
Here are some of the techniques that worked in the past for me, you can have a more in-depth look into them at my own site:
• Hyper-targeted Facebook Ads
• Email Marketing
• Content Marketing
#3 Renée Warren
Who? Renée is the CEO and Co-Founder of Onboardly. I started a restaurant when I was 17-years old and quickly learned that entrepreneurship was in my blood from the very beginning.
Her advice: We are a startup for startups, so our goal is just that, to help startups get off the ground. But to get there, we enlisted the advice of people who had been there before us. Using marketplaces like Clarity.fm, 99designs, and oDesk we got expert advice (using Clarity.fm), created affordable prototypes (oDesk) and branding (using 99designs) and just focused on creating as much value as possible. Once we got traction (customers), we evolved our offering to suite the changes in the marketplace as well as the different needs of startups.
#4 Chad Halvorson
Who? Chad Halvorson is the Founder and CEO of When I Work. Chad has successfully built 3 multi-million dollar companies in Minnesota, all of which are still operating today. His current company, When I Work, is an employee scheduling app that more than 30,000 businesses and over half a million people rely on for employee scheduling, time clock, and communication. When I Work uses an innovative blend of collaborative communication technologies, including the web, mobile apps, text messaging, social media, and email, to make businesses more efficient, more accountable, and better prepared.
His advice: Invest in content marketing. It really is the best way to drive traffic, boost brand awareness, and connect with your potential customers. You don’t necessarily need to hire an agency or a consultant to get the ball rolling.You can take the wheel yourself until you’re in a better position to hire someone else on to help you scale.
If you’re not sure where to start, make a list of 100 questions you think people in your target audience are asking themselves. The questions you come up with shouldn’t all be about you, your company, or the solution you’re trying to sell—they should relate to all the problems your customers have.
At When I Work, that meant that instead of publishing hundreds of blog posts that relate solely to employee scheduling (our bread and butter), we chose to create useful content on a wide variety of topics with the goal of ultimately helping our readers become better business owners and leaders. Now our blog receives 250K+ pageviews every month.
#5 Ömer Akyürek
Who? Ömer is the Co-Founder and CEO of Bynd. The product helps users to bundle all favorite apps into one central hub. Both the iOS and Android beta versions have been released and received tremendous feedback so far. The team of Bynd is developing everything in-house to ensure the highest quality possible.
His advice: Bynd bundles all your favorite apps into one central hub. Our beta testers are mostly startup professionals, which use sites such as Instagram or Reddit for work and daily inspiration.
Our top marketing secret is: transparency! The team decides which feature to implement. Afterwards, we design some mockups/prototypes and when the design is finished, we post it on Reddit, DesignerNews and collect feedback. Public Trello boards or Slack channels are very important as well!
#6 Daniel Kempe
Who? Daniel is the Founder of Quuu.co, a website that provides human-curated content suggestions for social media to help its users grow a targeted following. Next to his startup, he is a husband to one and father to two.
His advice: Build strong routes to market early on, and where possible look to form ‘contra-deals’ with influential people and companies where you can each benefit from working together. By integrating our startup on an existing platform such as Buffer, we leveraged their existing user base of 2.7 million targeted users, giving us a direct route to market and providing their users with a much needed service to enhance the buffer offering. Once you’ve got a solid network of contra-deals and marketing partners you’ll never be short of ways to promote your business – not to mention this requires no marketing budget!
That’s it. Do you like what these experts have to say? How are you handling the marketing of your startup? What tricks worked for you in the past to help grow your visitors, your customer and your business? Share it in the comments and let’s help out other business owners!