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Marketing As A Startup

Starting a business is one of the hardest things to do. I can’t speak from experience, but I’d venture to guess that it’s next to parenting in level of difficulty. Juggling the balance between work and life is one of the hardest parts. If you don’t have children, work becomes your baby – you want to spend all of your time growing this baby into a powerful, smart, ethical giant.

Gerard Burke stated in Startup Donut’s Article that… “Growth puts strain on cash, that’s why more businesses fail when growing than when shrinking, so having a rigorous cash flow forecast and monitoring it closely are key. You must also be able to fund your growth, of course.” This couldn’t be more true.

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Having worked with multiple startups, I can tell you that some come to Powers Digital Marketing expecting to get $4000 of work for $400. Effective marketing from a digital marketing standpoint is not going to be done for $400. That amount of money will pay your high school neighbor to create semi-coherent posts for your MySpace page.

Marketing can, in fact, be done on a $400 budget, but you’ll likely have to start out doing the marketing yourself. Start there and work your way up to a budget where you can hire a professional that can really snazz up your digital strategy. When you come in to meet with your hired marketer or marketing company, come prepared with some content about your business. Let us know what you’ve tried with success and what you’ve tried that was more of a flop. Do you know what your demographic is? How is your organic reach on Facebook? Do you get engagement on Twitter? Do you have a really visual product? If so, are you utilizing Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat? What would you want to know if you were about to represent someone’s product or service? I always tell our potential clients that we can never have too much information. Well – as long as it’s business related!

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What you should be getting when you come to the table with a marketing pro is a well rounded representation of your business. What I mean by that is in most cases, there isn’t one digital approach that’s going to make or break your business. The best approach is to attack marketing from all different directions. Have you had someone analyze your SEO? Are you using keywords? If not, why not?? If you are, are you using them properly? Are you blogging? Are you vlogging? What platforms are you currently posting to? Are you treating them equally or are you focusing heavily on the ones you’re seeing results from? Do you do email newsletters? If so, how large is your email list? How are you collecting email addresses? How often do you send newsletters?

All of these are questions your marketing pro should be asking you so be prepared to answer these questions.

FreeDigitalPhotos.net

FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As a startup, don’t let all of this information overwhelm you. There is absolutely no way, especially if you’re a one-man band, that you’re going to be able to handle all of this on your own. We know. This is what we do as a full time job. Unless you’re a startup that’s been funded well, you’re not going to have the money to bring someone in full time or on a contract basis to do your marketing for you. Not to worry. In time, you will – but in the meantime….

  • Remember that digital marketing is multi-faceted.
  • Your audience wants to see the personal side of your business too.
  • Post at least one time a day on each of your platforms to start.
  • Every month, look at your analytics to see where people are really seeing you.
  • After you analyze your reach, adjust your posting strategy.
  • If you find that one particular social platform is getting great results – you can look at hiring someone to handle just that channel alone.
  • If you can’t blog personally, maybe you work with vendors that can post on your behalf.
    • Don’t forget to provide them with attribution and a link to their website!
  • Start collecting email addresses! The art of a creative email is NOT lost.
  • Breathe. You’re likely a business of 1-10 people. You can only do so much, but every single day… Do something.

The moral of the story is you don’t have to have a monstrous budget to get your name out there.  Business is life – we do, we learn, we get overwhelmed and we make adjustments. If you feel like you’re drowning, reach for a life jacket instead of stopping. Do something different so you don’t drown – but just like Thomas The Train… I think you can! (I really KNOW you can!)

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