It seems that everyone and their mother has a startup these days. The Uber for kittens, a Reddit meets Tinder, and an app to say “Yo” (this one actually exists). Building a startup, like any new project, is an incredibly daunting task. There’s a bunch of moving pieces, and the right execution is everything. If you fail at executing well, you might prefer the feeling of a different more “heads up” approach.
Many people separate the “internet marketing” community and the “startup” community, but there are a LOT of lessons they can learn from each other. Let’s take a gander at what Startups can learn from Internet Marketers.
Carve A Niche – Go Small or Go Home.
You can try, and you might succeed, but trying to be everything to everyone is a recipe for a faceplant. There comes a point where you must accept that not everyone is going to need you or your product or service. When you try to appeal to everyone, you quickly learn two things: it takes up almost all your time, and is next to impossible.
Have a clear vision that appeals to a well-researched niche, and stick to it. To be successful, you don’t have to appeal to everyone; you just have to deliver to the people that matter most.
Pro Tip: Once you’ve conquered your first niche, it’s easy to jump into the next one using the results from your first. Be the big fish in a small pond, then move on to the next pond.
Apple conquered the education market before they went after the personal computer market.
Know Your Target Audience
This goes back to carving a niche in the marketplace. Hopefully you’ve done your research, and established there’s an interest in what you have to offer. Even better, your product, service, app, etc., is already out there being used. The more you know and understand about your target market, the more you can create better experiences, and better marketing material.
Simple Steps to Picking Your Audience
- Start with who you understand. It’s not a perfect methodology, but if you don’t have a huge marketing research department go with what you know.
- Talking to an audience you’re not familiar with is a lot like talking in another language: you may know the right words, but the “grammar” (how they go together) might not connect.
- Always talk about them, not about you. It’s always about them, if you want to sell your product that is.
- Magazines are a great source of research material. Once you’ve picked your target audience, find a magazine with a similar audience. Read their ads, observe how they present their content, emulate their methods. Their advertisers are spending thousands and thousands on copy and imagery, so use it as the basis of your advertising or communication.
For a startup, feedback is absolutely crucial in figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes, that feedback is tough to swallow, but it’s probably something you needed to hear. Always make it super easy for users to send you feedback, and encourage people to send you feedback whenever possible. You never know what ideas they’ll help you come up with.
Pack In The Value
Underpromise and overdeliver. A good saying, but maybe you should just promise well versus selling yourself short. In today’s wacky hectic world, there’s very little room for “good enough.” If you want your product, service, app or company to do amazingly well, you must work on being awesome.
Everyone wants awesome. They want to be around it, spend time with it and most importantly use awesome things.
Let Your Fans Do The Talking
If you create something awesome, people will talk about it and share it. Be able to effectively communicate your startup, and keep things simple. However, also let your fans be the face of it. Their stories can be incredibly powerful, and are a great way to sell you and what it is you have to offer.