Published on March 8, 2014
Conversations with Startup CEOs about Judy Schramm, CEO ProResource, Inc. February 11, 2014
Don’t think about marketing until after you have your first customers
In an established business, marketing comes before sales ESTABLISHED BUSINESS
In a startup, there’s too much that’s uncertain… You don’t know enough to create a marketing plan until you have your first customers. The process of getting those customers will give you the information you need to create your marketing strategy. STARTUP
Who are your first customers? People you know People who know people you know
So tell everyone what you are doing! “Startup Marketing: How to Get Your First Customers Fast”
Don’t worry about someone stealing your idea… • Most people are not entrepreneurs • Entrepreneurs have their own ideas (which they think are better than yours) If they actually can do it better than you… Let them! You can come up with an even better idea.
Next Step to Getting Early Customers Run experiments on LinkedIn to discover: Who is most interested in what you are doing How best to describe your solution
Create a Testing Matrix Message #1 Target #1 Target #2 Target #3 Message #2 Message #3 Message #4 1000 introductions = 50 interested Message #5 Try different benefits Use different words You need 50-100 per cell Tag them so you know who was in each group (and you don’t contact anyone twice) Track results! Try different industries, job titles, keywords
How to Price for Your First Customers Early Pricing • First customers – FREE • Next customers pay something • Start charging full price as quickly as possible Better Strategy • Find 3 customers willing to fund development • Give 50-75% off • They get in first • They get to help define the product • You get proof, early references
Now it’s time to think about marketing… Identify Educate Build Credibility
People who have the problem Know they have the problem Know there’s a solution Your Target Market Willing to pay what you charge Willing to solve it your way
Inbound vs. Outbound Being findable • SEO • Blogging • Social media • AdWords Finding them • Email blasts • Direct mail • Conference • Public relations Closer to the center of the target? Inbound. At the outside? Outbound.
Content Marketing Strategy Focus education efforts on the biggest issue… • Do they recognize they have a problem? • Do they know it’s solvable? • What are the solutions they know about? • Do they understand your approach? • Do they appreciate why it is better?
What do they need to know? • What problem(s) do you solve? • How do you solve them? (how the process/product works) • What will they have to do to before they can use it? • What are common objections or misconceptions? • How does pricing work? • What kind of results can they expect? • How long will it take to get results? • What sets you apart from similar solutions? • Why is your solution worth what you charge? “Ideas for Educational Articles”
Build credibility • When you have customers – Quotes, case studies • Before you have reference-able customers – Statistics – show you understand the process – Third-party validation – Social media activity “5 Ways to Increase Credibility on Your Website”
Marketing has to be debugged, just like software. Try Analyze Do small, inexpensive tests until you get something that works Measure “The Role of Marketing During Beta Testing”
Getting Ready to Hire Marketing Before you hire, set the foundation: • LinkedIn experiments • Keyword analysis • Personas Message #1 Message #2 Message #3 Message #4 Message #5 Target #1 Target #2 Target #3 “Create Website Personas”
Your Marketing Team • Get advice, strategy from a senior person – Take advantage of free consultations – Buy an hour of brainstorming at a time • Execute with junior people • Hire for skill in the area you need most + expertise in your target market “12 Questions to Ask Any Marketing Professional”
Contact Judy Schramm ProResource, Inc. 703-824-8482 email@example.com http://blog.proresource.com/ www.linkedin.com/in/judyschramm @proresource We design LinkedIn lead generation programs for B2B tech firms.
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