One of the biggest questions startup leaders ask themselves is how soon is too soon to begin marketing their new company. If you are selling a unique product or service, you may hesitate to put yourself and your company out there until you've raised money, perfected your product, or built up a small group of loyal early-stage customers. This inclination is understandable, but the reality is, a large part of your startup success has to do with brand awareness.It's never too soon to introduce your brand to the world. When I say brand, I'm not necessarily talking about your product or service, I'm talking about your company and you, the business leader. Something that will drive customers, potential investors, and even prospective employees to your new company, will be a sense of trust and a connection to the company and its leadership. And I know you're asking yourself, "how do I build trust and a connection before I've even started to sell a product or service?"
Establish Yourself As A Thought Leader/Innovator
Chances are, you have some good ideas and thoughts about the community space your company fits into. Share your thoughts! Publish a blog to your website or LinkedIn where you share valuable and educational information.
Join The Community
Whether you are just starting your business or growing a business that has been around for years, building relationships with people in the community is always a good idea. You've heard the phrase, "It's all about who you know". Connecting with other entrepreneurs, potential investors, future customers, even competitors can provide you with everything from insight and advice to future partnership and referral opportunities. Market yourself and your business to your community and begin building valuable relationships.
Launch A Website
We talk to a lot of entrepreneurs and startup leaders every week. Many of them are just beginning to build their business. One of the first things we look for, before any call or meeting, is a website. Even if you aren't ready to release your product or service, a well-executed website can speak volumes about the company you are building.
A one-page site that "teases" your product or service can provide an opportunity for people to connect with your business, join an email list to be "in-the-know", highlight your leadership team and their credentials, and even start to earn you some ranking goodwill with a little SEO implementation.
Engage Your Audience And Build Anticipation
Think about a really great movie. One that has you on the edge of your seat, excited to see what is going to happen next. This happens when you have a great story that engages an audience. It doesn't matter what business your are building, there is a story to be told. What made you decide to start this business? What trials and tribulations did you have to face? How are you going to change the world... or at least the space your product or service is in? Your story will have the audience excited to see what comes next.
To answer the question posed in the title of this blog post, it's never too soon to start marketing your business. The most successful startups and business leaders are often marketing their business before they have their first dollar of funding. There are plenty of low-cost, early marketing tactics you can implement. Building a strong budget will also help you to plan your initial marketing efforts. Consider relying on a trusted finance and accounting partner to help you pinpoint and prioritize your resources.
Looking for more? Take a look at the Ultimate Startup Cheat Sheet.
For more advice on how to position yourself and your company for a strong launch and long-term growth, connect with us today.