Friday, December 28, 2012

Get Early Attention For Your Startup

Let’s pretend for a minute that startup teams are easy to assemble, products build themselves, and product-market fit is a cinch. Smooth sailing from here on, right? It would be if enough people cared about your company and how you’re going to change the world. As it turns out nobody cares. It’s up to you to get their attention and tell your story and get them to stick with you. But what do you do when you’re just getting started? Here are a few ways to get things rolling:

1. Be yourself. I hear a lot of pitches from companies who are still at the concept stage. I try to stay awake; mostly I succeed. Invariably in the early days the most interesting part of the story is that of the founders themselves. There’s always a unique reason they are doing what they are doing and it’s usually pretty inspiring. Readers and press eat this stuff up so make sure to get good at telling your story because, face it, you are the brand until the company outgrows you!

2. Be friendly. I see a lot of founders trying to cram news down the throats of any blogger or reporter that they run into. Most of the time the news is a product launch with zero traction. Always make sure to have market validation (users, awards, investors) tied to any news. Try to walk in the writer’s shoes: what will make them successful and drive 1,000,000 pageviews? If you don’t have anything to say about yourself make sure to turn writers onto interesting companies and stories that you come across. When it’s your turn they are more likely to care.

3. Be viral.