The world of startups: High stress, high energy, undefined markets, disruption and limited funds. These words may resonate in many different industries, but no more than in the startup ecosystem.
If you are thinking of getting into the startup game, you’re going to have to plan on spreading the word and letting everyone know about your (seemingly) awesome idea. As the sole individual behind the startup, or as the team member responsible for marketing it, there are a few things you may want to be aware of as you start to make your presence known.
Based on my previous experience in a startup, I’ve laid out eight important tips you should keep in mind when marketing your startup.
- Be close to the action. The best parts of a startup are the people and the energy. Take that energy in as much and as often as you can – it will give you the creative “mojo” you need to keep going.
- Know your limits. Startups are infamous for being cash-strapped with little-to-no resources. Make sure you manage everyone’s expectations and know what projects will make the most impact on the company. If you try to do too many things, you’ll sink in a pool of mediocre work.
- Passion required. Passion is essential for the industry you’re in, the product you’re building (and/or marketing) and the people you’re working with. It’s true in all positions, but in a startup, odds are you’re starting with very low monetary incentives and likely don’t have much job security. As the person responsible for spreading the word about the company, you need to stay motivated and maintain passion for the idea and company you’re standing behind.
- Stay true to your roots. If you’re lucky, you’ll eventually find yourself in the midst of a second round of funding, a more engaged audience, hiring new team members and dealing with increased market pressures. It’s exciting, but also easy to lose sight of where you came from. Make sure you stay true to the company’s roots – from its culture to its core messaging.
- Take time for yourself. When you’re working at a place that doesn’t feel like work, it’s hard to realize you need to step away from it every once in awhile. You’re doing a disservice to everyone if you don’t take some time to unwind and detach for a little while.
- Make time for inspiration. It’s easy to get bogged down by tight deadlines and tons of meetings, so make sure you always give yourself some time to step back and be inspired. It may happen during meetings or at a coffee shop. Just make sure you are always open to the ideas that pop up – and make sure you write them down.
- Push the boundaries. Always check that you are pushing the boundaries of all of your marketing efforts. Keep the big picture in mind, but be sure to take some risks and experiment. You may find disappointment, but you’re also going to find a lot of reward and success.
- Know what you’re walking into. Long hours, no dedicated workspace, a ton of pressure coming from all aspects of the business – it’s the wonderful life of a startup. Be prepared for the challenges, but also know the rewards will be priceless. You are working for a company that you’re truly passionate about – take advantage of that and enjoy every minute of it!
Do you have more tips to share on marketing a startup?