This post is written to help budding entrepreneurs and startups that don’t have marketing resources, consider this free advice.
Lately, many startups have been sending me emails requesting that I blog about their product or review it or provide feedback. While I scan every single one, most never get more than a few seconds. I love the entrepreneurial activity and really enjoy seeing this flurry of innovation in our industry. I’m going to provide a few tips to help these companies understand how marketing in the social sphere has changed.
What’s the best way to get word spread about your new product or service? Probably the worse way is to insist over and over to bloggers that they would ‘want to share this with their audience’, in fact, for many bloggers, the more you insist the less they are likely to publish anything!
Three techniques come to mind that I think are very successful:
1) I’d suggest the overarching strategy is to first listen to who’s really in your market. Are you sure your product is right for my blog? I’m pretty focused on corporate web strategists, and web marketers, so unless it’s within that realm (or closely related to it) it may not make sense. Also track your competition and where they appear, and who’s talking about them, that’s also your marketplace.
2) One savvy CEO of a startup took the time to find areas in the market where there’s a need, specifically something on my blog, and then created a unique demo catered to my needs. He never pushed, but explained how he’s been reading and how he can fix something that’s been ailing me. Immediately, he got my attention and I gave him feedback how his product can improve –which I’ll then adopt.
3) It still amazes me that even after books like Naked Conversations and Cluetrain have come out that people haven’t figured out how to join the conversation. Sure, a very overused term the ‘conversation’ still is about dialog between two or more individuals. Want to prove your worth as a vendor or consultant? Leave savvy comments on blogs (joining existing conversations) that add to what’s already been said, and start a blog (lead your own conversation).
So while I deeply appreciate the passion that goes into products and new startups (I really do, believe me) I hope these tips will arm you to improving your public relations, marketing, and being part of this wonderful social sphere. Good luck, I hope to see you in the conversation!