You recently launched a new startup, but have been faced with challenges from day one. Everything that seemed so easy on paper have turned into mountains of work that you are struggling to conquer. The biggest problem you currently face and that you can’t get your head around is Exposure.
It seemed so easy when you spoke about it in beginning….
You were going to build this awesome-tastic-bazooka of a product and launch the hell out of it and start seeing returns from day one…but then reality hit you square in the face with a knockout blow that could send Rocky to his knees. It’s been a month since the launch and you’ve only had about 30 conversions from a few hundred visitors to your new product.
Now you are sitting in front of your computer reading this article and wondering why this is happening to you? It’s a sure fire product. People need it in their lives. People won’t be able to live without it. So why is my startup failing?
First of all, you have to realize that if you are new to the table of entrepreneurship and startups you are less likely to be seen or noticed in the beginning stages. You shouldn’t start doubting yourself just because nothing is happening at the moment. You should know that it takes time to get started and patience is a big part of it.
Now you might say, “I saw this guy launch his startup and a month later he was on the cover of a magazine?”
Well, it is possible, he must have made a big stir right off the bat though or he must have been known for something he did in previous years. You should remember that all these guys that you see going big in their first months are either backed by big companies, previous successful entrepreneurs or have friends on the inside that have access to powerful influencers in the business/tech world.
Now for those of you that are just getting into the world of entrepreneurship by launching a startup or planning to do so, this article should give you some ideas on how to get your startup noticed.
So let’s get started…
What is an Influencer?
Definition: A person who or a thing which influences.
Influencers are generally people or companies that are followed by thousands of people that praise the ground they walk on and hang on every word that comes out of their mouths.
You should get my point. These are merely examples of people that could kickstart your startup. There are tons of people out there that can have an positive impact on your startup by them just getting acquainted with it and spreading the news.
So how do you go about garnering their attention? Well let’s see…
1. Go to conferences and introduce yourself.
Ok, obviously you aren’t going to find Richard Branson, Donald Trump, Barrack Obama or any other high socialite wandering around conferences, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t influential people there. Do some research in your niche and look for people that are influential and have a lot of followers. Who are the guys that make an impact in the community?
Pull those names out and see where their speaking engagements are or where they will be attending a conference next. Now before you run up to the guy and act like a 5 year old that discovered how to buckle his own seat-belt, prepare a small pitch. Don’t go into a conversation blind, especially if you are wanting to impress someone.
First impressions are key and most likely you want to make a lasting impression, so know your stuff and keep it short. A lot can be said in 30 seconds.
- Keep it short.
- Don’t act like a fan boy.
- Give him options, don’t force his hand.
- Eject subtly and thank him/her for their time.
2. A Press release works wonders
Spend some money on getting a decent press release written for your startup. If you know a good writer, make use of them to help you out. Press in any form is never a bad thing. So once you have your press release written and finalized, get some of them printed and drop them off at local newspaper and magazine agencies. Once you handed in quite a few press release to offline media, it’s time to move online.
Send out your press release to all the major online publications and media sites. There is a definite chance that one or more of the publications will pick it up if it demonstrates value.
- Make sure the information is newsworthy.
- Start with a brief description of the news, then distinguish who announced it, and not the other way around.
- Provide as much Contact information as possible: Individual to Contact, address, phone, fax, email, Web site address.
- Make sure you wait until you have something with enough substance to issue a release.
Great article: How to Write a Press Release that Gets Attention
3. Get to know Journalists
Now this could be a life changer. Especially if you are someone that is constantly on the move with new projects and ideas. Now you might be wondering how you are going to manage befriending a journalist. Firstly, you shouldn’t Google journalists and go down a list and see who appeals to you.That’s just stupid and weird.
You are going to have to do this the old fashioned way. It takes time. Start by engaging with this person or people through their blogs and on twitter. Help them out with suggestions, tasks or anything else for that matter. Don’t expect anything in return, your making a new friend remember.
Disclaimer: This could backfire badly if you do it for the wrong reasons…I’m not responsible for anything that happens.
- Don’t make friends for the wrong reasons.
- Don’t force your friendship.
- If the person asks you to stop being annoying…STOP
- You are building relationships, people have feelings. Remember that.
4. Cold call the influencer
I have mentioned before that cold calling works and believe me it does. If you have that one person on your list and you know you won’t be able to get to meet them anytime soon. Shoot them an email.
James Clear wrote a very helpful post for first time emailers: How to email important people (5 tips you need to know)
The insights in his post are all backed up by actual research where he emailed important people and even got a response from Guy Kawasaki. I’m not going to list the tips here, you can check them out in his article.
Tips: Read the article
5. Submit your startup to relevant sources
I’m aware that we spoke of writing a press release earlier, but this is a little bit different. Here you will go to different websites and submit your startup as a new business. Just head over to the sites listed below and submit your information. Remember to be thorough and honest.
The point of submitting your startup to these sources are getting your name out there and being listed on the web in a few different places already. It doesn’t guarantee being seen by a top influencer, but it points you in the correct way.
Everything I have mentioned above can be used to get your startup noticed in some way or another. Just remember that there are thousands of people out there that also want their startups noticed just like you do. Being different and standing out could sometimes make you feel uncomfortable, but you have to realize that if you aren’t uncomfortable, you are doing something wrong.