First thing, it is going take a lot out of you and your team just to break through the noise. It will take unimaginable endurance to stay in the service game. And it’s not just noise from direct competitors, it’s the noise from every corner of the world, every expert who has an opinion, every wannabe’s in the business world.
Second thing, we’ve put this together because some tech companies and service businesses still don’t want to or don’t get the point of marketing for their funded startup.
The reality for any tech company in the service space is that not selling, marketing and converting to paying customers, then this material will wake you up.
Marketing Your Funded Service Startup Business
Whether you are SaaS, Freelancer, Professional Services, Venture Capitalist, Not-For-Profit, Lawyer, Accountant, Construction Services, FinTech, PropTech, etc this definitely will be very very helpful.
The basic tips to keep in mind Founders are:
- Get the service, message, target right and this takes doing your homework prior to jumping in.
- Know the tactics, approaches, that are likely to work, could work for your service business or similar business and which aren’t going to work. Usually this takes learning about your targets buying journey. For example, if a b2b buyer usually likes to try products independently before engaging sales then you likely want to make that possible.
- If you don’t have the right tools and support, go out there and figure out what you must have to help deliver consistently. Who do you need that can get and utilize those tools? For example, if you don’t have CRM, ERP, RFP, PM, Calendar, Collaboration, or marketing automation tools then you can’t compete.
- Before you start working with partners, team members, customers make sure you have developed the best version of you and your leadership style, people skills. Great leadership, culture, management, people, etc can really be a competitive advantage.
- Be accountable and empathetic. Keep others accountable for their responsibilities. Use proper goal setting guides like SMART and make sure you can empathize with their responsibilities & environment.
- Don’t be afraid to pivot or start over again.
For early-stage and growing service business funded startups, feedback is more important than customers or sales because the earlier you know about the flaws of your business or value proposition the better. The faster you can resolve customer objections, and improve the product to match market demand, the more likely you are to win over the long run.
Your Why, What, When, Where, Who How
There’s a lot of commodity services and products out there. There’s a lot of me too platforms. And all seem to sound and look the same. The way you could get others to support you might be by explaining why you do what you do. Explain how you do it, Why do you get up to do that instead of the other thing.
For example, Since we’ve started Founders Under 40™ Group (our 1000+ unconventional community) we have notice that people have stuck to us not because we’ve figure out every aspect of our value proposition but because we stand for something much larger than one individual and continue to maintain value xp.
The community platform and the group stands for:
universal values, all growing and benefiting from wealth, giving access and support to those that are neglected by the system, looking out for each other, it stands for responsible rebelling when rebelling is what is needed, it stands for eliminating wage slavery, . . .Most importantly, it stands for being there when Founders face their personal and business crisis.
I and the BJ Mannyst + Founders Under 40™ Group team and virtual team members are greatly appreciative of the loyalty and support.
The Service or Service Business Markets Itself
In today’s world if your solution or product is not clearly defined and selling itself then you need to work on it or start over.
A great startup marketing strategy is to embed your marketing into the service. Which means some how through your brand name, simple explanations, your packaging, your network effect, your partnership …your product just gets adopted easily without you spending to educate / advertise prospects.
Building Viral-ability Into Your Service
A startup’s ability to go viral depends on two variables: time, and the viral coefficient which means the number of new users each user generates or the multiple cause by this effect. Sort of like a flywheel effect.
The first step is to create a service worthy of unforced recommendation. The kind people just talk and advocate for without prompt.
A good service and service delivery is provided to an individual and that fuels the need to tell friends, family, coworkers, strangers, etc. that’s the goal.You will grow much faster if you can deliver a service that helps creates that flywheel effect.
A Little or A Lot of Split Test
Before doing some random test of what works and what doesn’t, it’s a lot better to get in the mind / shoe of your target. That way, whatever you test will be relevant to them. And not something they would hardly notice.If word choices in messaging improves conversion then test away but if the jargon doesn’t deter them then leave it. So understand your targets mindset, pressures, values, views, etc..
Find Ways / Tools To Understand Why They Are Not Converting
Everyone needs to take time to understand the true reason prospects are not turning into paying customers. A good way is a tool/chat tool that allows any customer to open up about their situations.
- Talk in real time with everyone even from haters
- Use incentives if required
- Invite people to test your services, use beta testers.
- Get feedback in exchange for lunch / gift card
- Whatever forum they are on discussing, get in and just carry a civil conversation about their views
- With a enough open ended questions you can get a better idea
Use & Advertise On Social Media Platforms
Everyone has probably heard the importance of using social media for business however not everyone is great at getting ROI.
The truth is even if social media is not perfect ROI, it definitely helps you get your message in front of the right target by using filters or tags or groups. So there’s no excuse on that point. Use them to get to your ideal target or influence.
Facebook, LinkedIn Ads are, in my opinion, the quickest way to test your marketing strategy in terms of who really is your target, who is likely to be the user, who really needs this and is willing to pay for it.
People don’t necessary give feedback to companies so it’s important to create a beneficial incentive method to getting it. It should be easy, it should be part of buying process. It’s a lot cheaper to discover issues, views in a feedback exchange than to spend time and money barking at the wrong tree for months.
It can be as simple as having a comment and feedback area, a poster on the wall, a sticker on the door, a business card with feedback options, a discount for feedback, or all of the above.
You can possibly use email.
Follow up with customers by sending a friendly email asking for feedback. You can follow up with a client after any interaction. Most people are often willing to give you more feedback in a private environment versus leaving an online review. Honest feedback from current customers has huge value in helping you evaluate your business and any areas that need improvement.
Talk to them over the phone.
[When you speak directly with a customer you get far more in-depth information and insight into what’s really going on. With a conversation there are emotional cues, tone of voice, volume, and speed of response which all help create context and a better understanding into the customer’s experience. Most people are also far more willing to talk than type.]
Some example questions to ask them
- What challenge or problem does our business solve for you?
- How do you measure these challenges? (expenses, revenue, time, leads, clicks, etc.)
- How long did you use our product or service before seeing results?
- What prompted you to find a solution?
- How could we make this solution more effective for you?
- How has our product/service made an impact on you/your business/your lifestyle?
- What is your favorite thing about our product/service?
- What would you tell your friends or colleagues about us?
- Has any part of our business exceeded your expectations?
- How would you rate your experience? (out of 5 or 10)
- For improvement: Which features do you love?
- Which features aren’t useful to you?
- Which features do you wish we had?
- What would you change about our product/service?
- Are our products/services priced appropriately?
Something About Your Marketing Is Different
Somehow you have to find ways to break from the crowd of me toos and tell the world you are the very best at what you do.
One way to do that is differentiating your marketing. Most people are expose to thousands of ads, messages, offers, etc that if they think your message / energy is no different from the others then they just put you in the “similar” pile that they can ignore.
Similar are comforting however have little impact. The way to do this is to think and get creative as to how do you zig when everyone is zagging 24/7.
Satisfy & Please the First 5 – 100 Customers
So you want to have millions of users maybe you should start by making 5 – 100 clients happy.
The motivation for business is growth however if you are scaling and not retaining you are just wasting money and resources.
So this section is about attracting the early adopters and keeping them happy. Then you can use them for case studies, testimonials, support, fan, advocacy then chase the rest of the market.
Try Advertising Where Early Adopters Are
Sure there’s that desire to start attracting the most lucrative prospects however you will not learn what you need to learn if you are chasing the whale.
Sometimes you hunt tunas and sardines before anything. The world is filled of people who are just willing to get into things even before others know what it is sort of like cryptocurrency.
The key point is figure out where your early adopters will be or are and go and engage them.
I personal hate re-marketing because it sometimes seem creepy but in some cases it is helpful. However it is a powerful marketing tactic. Re-marketing is basically when someone visit your site, a Internet cookie is linked to computer or browsing session. So when they visit another website a association is formed which then displays an advertisement that’s relevant to the first website.
You can get really tactical with this. Definitely learn more about Google Re-marketing.
Use Content Discovery Platforms
Everyone loves content. Everyone loves sharing content. Everyone loves discovery great content. So why not leverage Content Discovery Platform like Flipboard, Medium, Reddit?
There are a number of content discovery platforms that promote your content, give you your own section, located in the same place as credible news. alongside articles on major news sites such as the Wall Street Journal and Tech Crunch
Plus it’s a great way to drive backlinks, and reach more people.
Use LinkedIn Advertising to Get In-Front of Businesses
If you are b2b service business, leveraging LinkedIn marketing services. Many people have achieved great results by running targeted ads to professionals by their job title, industry, groups.
Like everything about advertisement most people try to ignore it or set up blinders.
Use Video Pre-Roll Advertising / a.k.a Embedded Advertisement
I don’t know too much about this however do see it on YouTube. Pre-roll advertisement is when an ad shows up prior to watching a video.
Remember to keep in mind people’s attention span. So try to get the message out about your service within the first five seconds of the video knowing that chances that people will skip ads. But you get to expose lots of people to your message with less money.
I haven’t use their services however do recommend you look into it.
Landing Page Advertisements
F.Y.I:. For videos don’t be afraid to be little outrageous, weird, or ambiguous to pull the right people to watch.
Once you’ve created your video, you can post to:
Use Video. Use Audio. Use Webinars
People are not just searching for text content so incorporating video can help.YouTube, and other video hosting sites have powerful search capability that with the right keyword people can usually find what they want.
First, know your audience before producing content.
Second, know what already works on that audience.
Third, if you want a great return try to invest the necessary time & resource to do it right the first time.
Fourth, start with what would be amazing for your users, partners, team members?
At the end of the day, this is what matters to business not impressions or clicks:
- sign ups
- customer lifetime value
Use Affiliate / Referral Marketing
I will not talk too much about affiliate marketing or referral marketing however do believe with the right incentive can be a win-win-win deal.
It’s a lot better to build your service, brand, reputation, processes, attractiveness, team, etc before doing this.
No one wants to be doing business with organization who don’t have their s^%#&% together.
In the mean time keep your eyes out for platforms that can help.
Get Yourself Some F#%@^ Earned Media
You need to create or encourage ways to basically get free credible promotions. Which in context is called earned media. The reason earned media is so effective is because people trust their family, co-workers, peers, friend’s recommendations more than just an advertisement.
One way to do this is create a meetup, or event that has food, great invaluable speakers/content, demo of the result of your solution, and just create a positive experience that people need to share their experience with your brand.
Be So Remarkable My Friend And You Will Win
Figure out not to be too boring, unoriginal. Your service business needs to figure what is one thing that you could do for others, our employees, our clients constantly, that just makes the press eat it up.
If you want to earn huge word of mouth and have the press, your customers, and whoever else talking about your funded service business startup, you must give them something remarkable to interact with.
Don’t give them something that has been talked about to death. For example, I can say, “I Plan To Build A Company That Sells Quality Rat Milk Around The World” . That gets attention and if that was true it would be more interesting.
Be a Great Resources
Everything about living and surviving life has been written thousands of years ago. There’s very little knowledge that needs reinvention. Food is still food. Water is still water. Health is still health. Sex is still sex. Communication is still…and so on. So don’t try to reinvent the wheel of somethings. Just provide a fresh perspective, a twist, repackage it, modify it, incorporate new technology, etc
Clearly what I’m referring to is content and the knowledge.or stories.
Love, Support, & Engage Your Influences
If you want your team and your service business to be successful sometimes all it takes is just showing up at the right place, meeting the right people. So go and prepare and show up greatly.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & SEM
Every purchasing journey begins with a search engine and you need to get your site and content in the right phrase.When people search and then discover your offering and then buy from you instead of the competition is an awesome feeling. You want to think of this as helping people solve a problem or meet a need.
Another thing to consider is Search Engine Marketing (SEM). It’s about keywords and bidding on keywords to hopefully get in-front of target. If done well it can be effective to get started marketing your services.
Paid ads can either be Pay Per Click (PPC) or Cost Per Thousand (CPM).
You bid on keywords and your results is displayed. You’re only charged when people click on the ad. Also, it’s the easiest to track during the campaign.
You’re billed a flat rate for 1,000 impressions.This makes it easy to apply a budget and you’re guaranteed a number of “displays”.It can ad up if no clicks. So read up on this and chose which works best for your service business.
Google AdWords is one example of SEM.
Get Good Marketing Hands & Minds & Legs
Don’t think you’re saving money by hiring based on cheapness. We live in an age where you need to try to get the right philosophy and knowing when cheap is not best strategy.
The best mindset to have is to have focus on what’s best for the users. Also keep in mind that anyone guaranteeing anything, whether service or product, should be approached with caution. Because even buying shares in Snap (snap chat) doesn’t guarantee ROI.
This content was written for experts and beginners however as a marketing service provider I tried not to create unrealistic expectation. We work hard everyday for tactics and results but nothing says I or the BJ Mannyst team have the golden touch.
Build Audiences For Your Owned Sites /Blogs
Leverage other platforms, blogs, social media networks, events however always try to bring the focus to your purpose-what you have to offer. Build up your following on everything so you don’t have to rely on others. Everyone now-a-days needs their own distribution network.
Commit to give people the fish. Give them what they need to keep coming back to you. Set out to create 50 – 100 great pieces of content so that you can draw your own audience, boost traffic, signups, feedback, etc.
Email Marketing, I Put That S%^# On Everything
Today’s email marketing needs to be simpler, to the point, relevant, personalized, human, dynamic, and did I mention relevant. Use triggers, use canned responses, use templates, use Psychology to get the right message, use thesaurus to get the right words, and be scalable.
Sometimes the best strategy is to email and engage those likely to be interested.
Tool For Email Campaign Management:
Strategic Positioning, Brand and Web Presence That Rocket
This does take sometime in the beginning and a little less later on but it is critical for success. Correct positioning is as critical as sending a Space X shuttle to dock to International SPace Station ISS. Get aiming, firing, and destination right and you will be a genius.
If you are a funded service business looking for strategic or general marketing assistance, reach out to myself, and I can take the time to look at your service business.Branding, Positioning, Market Analysis, Industry Overview, Target Perception, Analysis, and Implementation.
What is Brand Development & Brand Collateral?
You need this. And it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Your name, logo, tagline, website address, images, appearance, personality,,,, need to stand out from the crowd and really ‘mean something’.
If you get these things right it can save you time, money, headache down the road because the wrong name and branding can be a service business death sentence.
Get Web Mobile, VR/AR, Voice Presence
In the age of mobile, VR/AR, Voice, AI, ML and other platform, it is important that your service business have a great presence where you need to be. You don’t have to be everywhere. The truth is people in some shape or form use these things to assess your business.
My dear service business founders, get your online and offline presence right. It’s that attention to detail.
Look Into Affordable / Quality Digital PR and Partnering
Every company needs PR. How you get PR is up to you so I’d advice to seek the advice of other founders who have used PR to spread the word about their business. Because credible sources that talk about you or your service business usually can influence others to take your business more seriously / more professional.
My advice is also to start making connection with media experts who can assist and guide you on your PR journey.
Just Do That Hellish Guerrilla Marketing
You don’t have to follow other startups path to success. You can guerrilla market yourself to a $1Billion company.
If done in the right way it can really help amplify and spike awareness and interactions.
Think very well, know the down side, go through as many checks with internal personnel and external people.Because you want to get it right.
Tap Into Crowdsourcing Campaigns
Leveraging the crowd. One thing I have realized especially in the tech and dev space is that more companies are using the open source / freemium model…basically use a crowd to build the basic function but then charge for the support. or the advance features.
If you can build a loyal community around your cause, service, product you can save a lot on marketing. The community feel they are a part of something bigger than one person and they could contribute.
Learn from Apple, Firefox, WordPress, Bitcoin, Blockchain, Carirites, NGO.s
So tapping into the power of the crowd for content, support, viral, funding, business development, market research, opinion gathering, customer service support and more.
Get Speaking and Briefing
Once you have some grounding in your team, service, investors, friends, family, etc now maybe time to get yourself out there and spread the word.
Speak at events, start your own event, do community events, associate with charities, volunteer, give back, ….it’s an ongoing effort for your brand to remain top of mind and relevant.
Find and work with thought leaders, influencers, in the market. This is basically your chance to spread the gospel of why you, why your company, why now, and so on.
WOW! I HOPE YOU GUYS ENJOYED THIS. Please comment, share it, contact me, and just let me know what’s up. Thanks You (@thebestmannyo)
If you are a funded service business looking for strategic or general marketing assistance, reach out to myself, and I can take the time to look at your service business.
What makes me and our team different is just that we are both conventional and unconventional in our approach and discipline. Check out and contact BJ Mannyst..And don’t forget, founders & vc, to join our growing unconventional founders community Founders Under 40™ Group via GreatestFounders.com.
For Further Specific For Your Funded Service Business
For more tips and information on how to market and grow your growing service business startup, check out BJ Mannyst
Original content source: mblog.bjmannyst.com