Getting a business from idea to ever expanding company can be a challenging endeavor. There are a number of reasons that thousands of startups fail each year, mostly due to misunderstanding growth tactics or incorporating the wrong ones.
There are an endless number of articles that can help your business steer clear of a single pitfall, but not all that many on which steps you’ll need to take in order to succeed. If you’ve ever wondered how other startups have stood out amongst the rest and found success, then you’re in luck. These are today’s best practices, tactics, and branding methods to turn your idea for a business into a steady stream of income.
Your brand is everything. It’s how people will identify and relate to our business, as well as set you apart from your competitors. Your brand must emanate trustworthiness, consistency, and value if you wish to succeed.
Take Airbnb for example, a company that bases their entire premise around the idea of sleeping in a stranger’s home. So, how did this startup turn an untrustworthy idea into one that millions of travelers now prefer? They branded themselves with the theme of adventure, culture, and immersion.
Catering to practical travelers interested in visiting new places, they offered the only way to truly experience an area by living how a local would live. These travel experiences are consistent in their level of accommodation, valuable to both frugal and immersive travelers, and trusted as the only standard for couch surfing in an otherwise 4-star hotel dominated industry.
When building your brand, ask yourself the following:
- Who is your audience?
- How do you offer them value?
- What personality does your company have?
- What’s your story?
- How does this relate to your audience?
Remember, successful branding is consistent across every platform. Pick something and stick with no matter what when starting out. Value will come from the product or service you offer, and trustworthiness will come through social media as well as positive experiences.
Social Media: Being Human
Speaking of your online presence, utilizing the right social media marketing tactics is essential if you want this startup to succeed. It’s no secret that you need to engage your audience, but that isn’t as simple as posting regularly.
For starters, you want to avoid the mistake of being too “business-y”. People can’t relate to product posts and promotional content, but they can relate to your business entity if it engages them in a very human way. Companies do this all the time by simply talking to their customers through Facebook or Twitter.
Take Microsoft for example. When a customer tweets about using their software they engage them with a thank you and by asking which device they are using or what they liked most about the software. Fast food chain Wendy’s is constantly having conversations with their customers that are often filled with fun and lighthearted humor.
Promotions are important, but building a following requires your business to be as relatable as possible. Turn your Facebook or Twitter into a place where new followers come to find content outside of your usual products. Whether that’s support, humor, or talking about trends in your industry, it makes your company a relatable entity.
Social Media: Promotional
Alright, promotions are still important. Making your business too human can hurt your brand and therefore your startup goals. This is still a business, after all.
Thankfully, social media platforms make it simple to promote yourself without having to throw it in anyone’s face. A perfect example is a “like/follow us on Facebook” button. If you take a few seconds to look, I bet you can find one on this page. That’s how successful they are, they’re everywhere.
Now, for those of you who enjoy offering promotional products (pens, coffee mugs, etc.) there are a great set of guidelines for using social media logos by Quality Logo Products that can help you make the most of your goals. This article is going to focus on the online aspect.
If you really want your startup to go from idea to money maker, hold a giveaway. It should come as no surprise that people love anything free, or the fact that people love a chance to win something free. By encouraging viewers to like, comment, share, or sign up for a newsletter for the chance to win a cool prize you are effectively growing your potential customer base and building a social media following.
Qwertee, a startup t-shirt company, ran a giveaway every week until their fan base soared past 100,000 users. All they offered were a handful of shirts and gummy bears. You can use the same platform they did, Wishpond, to set up an effortless giveaway and achieve the same results.