Marketing is the simplest idea with the most difficult execution in any area of business. At its core, marketing is simply identifying and speaking to a receptive audience. But in practice, getting the attention of would be customers has ballooned this simple idea into a $600 billion dollar industry.
The difficulty for startups attempting to navigate this world lies in how complex modern day marketing has become. With Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Adwords, Social Media, Public Relations, and Traditional Media constantly evolving, it can be near impossible for the solo entrepreneur to get the most out of their time and money. We’re going to take a look at some tips for your startup that can help you avoid costly mistakes in the beginning and down the line.
Basic, No Extra Cost, Marketing
There are plenty of things an entrepreneur can do when starting out to help build a positive brand identity and the best part is, they are free of charge. One could argue these have more value than any amount of advertising spend you can come up with, but they do have their drawbacks; their benefit to growth is often slow. But if you implement these early on in your business they will be a lot easier to continue when you reach a larger scale.
Deliver on your promises
The most forgotten about aspect of marketing is consistently delivering on whatever promises you are making. If you want people to talk about you in a positive light, ensure you are delivering, always.
Treat your customers fairly
The customer is not always right, but they are human (true at the time of publishing). What’s more important than just bending over backwards to every customer demand is treating customers fairly. This means actually taking the time to listen to customer complaints and solve them in a way that is fair to the customer. Fair to the customer, not necessarily your business.
Treat your Employees even better
If an employee is happy, they will do a better job. If you run a startup or an enterprise, your job is making sure you get the right employees and treating them well. Too many entrepreneurs hire in a state of panic and fear. They need someone because they waited too long and they are afraid they are going to waste money on an employee that takes advantage of them.
Stop being afraid and start the hiring process before you need someone. And if a customer is being unreasonable to an employee, have your employees back!
Starting Your SEO
Because you are reading this on a website, let’s assume you understand that the internet is an incredibly valuable resource. So it makes sense that your business can be found by people who are using the internet. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the key to making this work.
SEO is a long term play. You likely won’t see the results from it right away, but the earlier you adopt best practices the more likely you will see your efforts compound over time. Below are a couple of great resources for understanding SEO, but the basics are this. Search engines like google. Bing, and Yahoo! use algorithms to search the entirety of the internet, parse the information to understand what the individual websites and webpages are about, and indexing it.
The best thing you can do for your SEO is provide would be internet denizens who travel to your site a great experience. This is done through content, including images, written words, and usability of your website. The more useful your site is to someone who comes to it, the better you will be perceived to be by these search engine algorithms. The better you are perceived the more priority you will get on the search engine.
That’s truly it. There are technical pieces to help the search engines understand what they are seeing, but relevance to visitors is your first priority.
Building Your Social Media Presence
Social media is a juggernaut. But you need to understand where your audience resides and how the channels work to truly gain any use from them. Most people assume they need to be on every channel immediately but it’s incredibly time consuming to handle social media accounts on multiple channels properly.
You will likely end up on at least on social media channel, but when you are just starting out, stick to one that you are most comfortable with where people who will be buying your product likely hang out.
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