To begin with, let me congratulate you—you’ve done three things worth applause:
- You have stepped out of the bog of a job market. Instead of pleasing your recruiter, you’re now about to please your customers and your employees. You have one recruiter and maybe a couple of bosses—one can’t say that for customers.
- Mindset is everything. Making this work will take only half as much willpower as it took to start it. To make this big so it goes down in history, it will require everything—all of it. You’re about to do that.
- If you’re looking for a marketing starter kit, I am assuming you have already developed your idea.
Let us approach the elephant in this room full of ideas, step by step:
Simplify the offering
Every idea, product, service, or thought bridges a gap. It could be any sort of gap- implied gap, a metaphorical gap, a gap in language and so much more. The idea you bring to the table is unique because you made it. But as you approach the table, I will need you to explain why that specific table requires your idea. Like every table, this one has limited space and we may place your brain baby there, but very soon somebody else will replace it.
Whatever you are offering must be posed as a solution to a problem. Any market, you may be operating in, needs you to find a gap and bridge it. It must be coherent and simple—try explaining it to a 6-year old. This will give you a larger view of how you can pursue your potential market.
Tell a story. Look up the top brands in the world based on their valuation—you’ll get something highly similar.
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple. Numerous movies were made on how an idea became what we know to be the most valued brand in the world. Amazon is the story of how Bezos started an online book store from his garage and that landed him in space. A student considered Stanford for graduation and another student was assigned to show him the campus, and that is how Google was conceived. Samsung started as a grocery store that produced noodles and exported them to China.
The point I am making here is not that your story needs to be just as exciting, but you need to start telling it right away. The world is full of possibilities and your story has just started. Your story is bigger than you and it will come together one day and it might be the greatest story ever told. Start telling it, no matter how many, who, where is listening.
Visualize your Brand
A boardroom meeting calls for your best suit; it creates visual appeal and helps you be more assertive. Your brand is that, but much more. You need to know, brands are more functional than human beings. They talk to a mass audience. Your brands are built by what your audience perceives them to be. Your product, your story is not stationary which makes your brand “not stationary.” They keep developing as and when they reach more audiences and have more impactful conversations.
Visualizing your brand implies envisioning everything it may stand for; the values, the promises, the aesthetics, everything. Once you start visualizing it, you will know whether your marketing is aligning with your brand.
Preliminary Checklist to Get Started
Here is a preliminary checklist that you need to tick off as you embark on this incredible journey.
Your product is the outcome of all your thoughts, ideas, and efforts towards its execution. Therefore, you must present it to the world in the most exciting way possible. When you launch your product, do ensure that it speaks for the people you made it for. Revenue should not even be on your mind when you start to market it.
The primary objective when you begin this journey is to make your market aware of your existence. Before starting the business, you study the industry. You need to study the target markets before actually moving towards customer acquisition. Product presentation includes safe packing, a relevant logo, and attractive packaging.
Platform and Outreach
Every business has a target market, every market has a platform. A retailer would use his geographical location as a platform. Now, with digital transformation, all businesses have had to move towards social media platforms. These have scope for an unlimited outreach for any business, whatsoever. The catch here is that there are too many social media platforms. You might maintain a presence on each of these, but your promotions must hit the one where your audiences are.
TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Clubhouse—there are so many of these social media platforms. You might stumble as you climb the ladder of growth. However, you should remember that you can maintain your presence on every social media platform. However, engaging on the right one with your audiences will help you build the brand you envisioned.
For instance, a few days ago, I saw that Accenture was advertising on Spotify. And I wondered that the company operates in a B2B (Business-to-Business) market, so why would they post an ad there? After watching it, I understood that it was not for the potential clients, but for potential employees. Knowing the right place and the right time is an acquired skill, it comes with practice. Don’t stop, stay consistent.
Every effort made to push the product into the customers’ minds counts as marketing communication. Since communication is two-way, never forget to listen to what your customers are telling you. There’s no marketing without feedback. You might have envisioned this sturdy, powerful, positive brand, but if your customers have opposite things to say about it. Then, it becomes exactly that. Feedback is the key to any sort of communication. This is because, after that, you get better at saying what you have needed to say.
“You’re only as good an entrepreneur as you are a marketer.”
My parting wisdom for my dear twenty-something fresh-out-of-the-oven entrepreneur is you need to make mistakes, but never the same mistake twice. You’re only as good an entrepreneur as you are a marketer—so market well. I expect you to have as many adventures as you can, so be consistent and be limitless. Be consistently limitless.
Have any more marketing tips for new entrepreneurs? Let us know down in the comments.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.