Kanpur - A city of many resources but politically neglected

Monday, September 28, 2015

Initial Marketing and Sales Strategy for start-ups

Start-up Gyan - Some Initial Sales and Marketing strategies for startups. 

Being one of fan of Steve Jobs, i will start with a quote(Source), quoted by him for people who simply love what they do in their job either you work in a start-up or a corporate world. Well being working in a start-up where you don't have a defined responsibilities unlike that in a corporate. And of those, if you are working in a hardware startup,  your responsibilities increase. Starting from finding a nail in busy SP road or a fabricator in Peenya or finding a PCB manufacturing guy in Vijaynagar or finding a corporate customer across nation(Sales) or marketing your firm across facebook or twitter or linkedin or instagram, you have to participate in everything. Well of all, Marketing and Sales are one of the key areas where more focus is required. Being in a start-up, i find it worthwhile to share  some of my experiences which might be useful for my fellow mates in the same field, although thoughts put here are quite common. 

Any start-up in its early stage of bootstrapping have a limited budget of marketing as most of it is consumed in product development that include salaries, office space and other related stuff. So i will focus my blog mainly on the bootstrapping stage where marketing is not given much of the budget unlike in corporates where modes like PPC work a lot.  Generally at  this point of time, digital marketing and some PR do the work. When we talk about digital marketing we talk about posting on various social media platforms like facebook, Google+, twitter, instagram, quora i.e. where we are socially active. So as per me, these social media platform would be the first goal for starting digital marketing. 

(1) Facebook - Post regarding your start-up and product you are making in the related pages, communities and groups. Ask you friend to promote your page. Use all your connection. "Yes" be blunt, you might be making your personal life to commit suicide but all is fare in start-up(On a funny note, generally people keep their private life separate from professional). Always  post relevant article and always don't market yourself or otherwise you will be banned from the group. Don't spam. Also always tag important parameters inside your post, it help you getting shown in result when someone search for it. 

(2) Google +  - With Google putting effort on Google+, its quote interesting platform. #Tagging is must here and believe me, it help a lot in google SEO. I am speaking this with my personal experience. Become part of the communities in the google+ is a good start.  

(3) LinkedIn -  For getting in touch with people who are more interested in technology, LinkedIn is a good platform. A good amount of technology oriented people and people who are specialized in their spectrum generally hangout here, so there is a good probability of your start-up getting viewed by corporate bosses. 

(4) Twitter - Twitter is just like making your native followers who are really interested in your work. Now Twitter has also started its marketing and some people some how provide followers and ask for money, but believe me, twitter is a place where you like to have your own followers. #Tagging work here too. 

(5) Quora -  Quora is a also a place where many people hang around but it is considered not a very productive place. Having your team blog here and sharing your experiences work. I hadn't done any marketing 

(6) Youtube -  Uploading some of the videos related to your product help a lot in attracting your customer towards you. You can explain a idea or product in a better way using a video as compared to a article. Platforms like Powtoon help you create free videos upto some limits. 

(7) Slideshare -  Slideshare, a sister platform of LinkedIn. It is also a major platform which indirectly help you do your start-up SEO in the same platform using #tags. More clicks and more audience and people who hangout on slideshare are not like the audience on FB, they are equivalent to those of LinkedIn. 

So this is about some of social media platform where i had some experience. There are  more platform which  are quote famous but i don't have any relevant experience of the same like PINTEREST and INSTAGRAM

Some other way's of doing free digital marketing 
(A) Forums related to your start-up and explaining about your product
(B) SPAMMING (oops, i hadn't done this , but if you have a mailing list of your prospective audience, you can try that). MailChimp help you do so easily. It help you create beautiful templates either by using their UI or if you talented enough  then uploading your own HTML. 
(C) Blogging -  Writing blog about your start-up and sharing them on the Social Media platform is a also a good way to do digital marketing. If some one from your team know SEO, Blogger can itself can provide you a good reach. Here is the blogger help on the same and one more blog to do SEO in your blog.   
(D) PR - Getting published in some of the start-up related sites like YourStory and others give your start-up lot of traction in the eyes of people working in startup eco-system and VC's and believe me, mouth-to-mouth marketing is the most effective marketing. Get in touch with bloggers who write about start-up domain and domain in which you are working and tell them your story. Every reporter want a story to write, if your startup seems interesting to them, they will write about you. 
(E) Participate in Hackathons and Related Events -  when you talk about your start-up in these events and hackathons, it leaves a long lasting impression. So take part in as many as possible events and talk about yourself. Do chest beating about your product and be confidence (For your reference over-confidence and confidence are two different things ). 

Well at last, it all marketing depend on what kind of product you are developing and how effective it is. Is is really changing life of some people around you and making it simple. More impressive your product is, more effective will be the marketing as it is all about your start-up. 

So this all about Marketing. I didn't discussed about sales, as it is really a complex thing. I would only like to say few words about sales at start-up stage where you are the one who is making the engine from scratch "talk to more and more people and that is the best thing you  can do". Marketing lead sales take some time to play it roles but don't wait for that, wiite more and more mails and talk to more and more peoples. 

I might have missed many points, but this is all i have to share at present. Have a good day. Happy start-uping .........