If you had to make a list of all the things that stress out entrepreneurs, marketing would undoubtedly be right at the top. This is especially true of new entrepreneurs who may be in the process of getting their first startup off the ground. You’ve never run a business before and now you have to market on behalf of one, too? “Easier said than done” doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Unfortunately, the overwhelming nature of what you’re trying to do often causes organizations to make the same mistakes when it comes to marketing, over and over again. But the good news is that you do not have to let this happen to you. If you really want to guarantee that your startup is getting off on the right foot with regards to how its interacting with your target audience, there are just a few key things you’ll need to keep in mind – and a few significant problems you’ll want to avoid.
You’re Not Refreshing Your Collateral Often Enough
One of the most significant mistakes that your startup can’t afford to make involves allowing your collateral to grow old and tired. Yes, marketing is a time consuming affair – but when you also consider that it’s one of the major outward-facing initiatives of your entire organization, it’s clear that it’s worth your attention.
If people become too familiar with your marketing collateral, you won’t feel “fresh” and “new” any longer – you’ll start to feel like any old company. As those are among your most valuable assets as a young company, this is a situation you absolutely want to avoid.
Modern day tools like Visme (which I founded) make it easier than ever to craft stunning collateral, even if you’re not a designer by trade. There’s no reason why you can’t use a pie chart maker to crank out new visual materials as fast as you can. Even something seemingly small like your business card needs to be redesigned and re-thought every few often as your organization continues to grow and evolve. With the right business card maker by your side, you can do this in no-time at all – and the results will more than speak for themselves.
You’re Not Exploring New Opportunities As They Arise
Another one of the major mistakes that far too many startups make involves letting perfectly viable opportunities pass them by. Case in point: video collateral.
Sure, you didn’t invest heavily in video during the early days of your company because you didn’t have the manpower, or the financial resources (or, most likely, both). But every day, your business is getting a little bit bigger and a little more powerful. What’s to stop you from finally making that push into the world of video now?
But if you fall into the habit of focusing on the same few types of collateral because “that’s the way you’ve always done things,” you’ll allow your business to stagnate – harming the way people perceive you at the same time. You should always be looking to services like Uscreen for new opportunities to make, publish, share and sell your videos on the Internet. Not only will you be able to create terrific new collateral out of the deal, but you’ll also have opened up an entirely new potential revenue stream for your business.
You’re Focusing on Services, Not Value
Finally, one of the biggest marketing problems that a lot of startups run into is that they’re not broadcasting the right message in the first place.
They spend far too much time focusing on what their products and services do instead of what they can do for their customers.
The next time you think it’s a good idea to create what is essentially a pretty, colorful technical specifications sheet for your latest product, you’re definitely going to want to think again.
Instead, really take the time to consider the pain points of your audience. What problems do they have? What challenges are they trying to solve? How does your product or service make their lives better?
Then, re-frame 100% of your copy around the answers to those questions and leave the reams of technical jargon at the door. Not only will your message be more compelling, but it will also be more effective – the kind that people can’t help but pay attention to.
All of these techniques may seem like small changes to what you’re already doing and, from a certain perspective, they are. But when you also consider how critical marketing is to the early days of any company, it’s easy to see why every one of them is worth your time and effort.