Most entrepreneurs are great at coming up with new, innovative products or services. However, without a plan to build buzz around those products or services, innovation may go to waste. Ensure your startup receives the attention it deserves with these 10 buzz-worthy tactics.
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
1. Being a Thought Leader
Invest your time into understanding your industry inside and out. Once you know your stuff, develop an opinion and start shouting about it. Positioning yourself as a thought leader is a great way to build credibility, attract the media and ultimately earn the trust and respect of potential customers!
2. Creating a Waiting List
Many of the most successful early startups and service providers have used a waiting list to build incredible anticipation. It plays on many psychological triggers, such as scarcity, that make us want access as soon as possible!
3. Using LaunchRock
Use LaunchRock, a product built specifically for entrepreneurs to create buzz around their startup. It's worked for many companies, so take advantage of this free tool.
4. Generating Free Press
To generate early and free buzz, create a press release and distribute it to press venues. Even existing companies can leverage press to showcase new products and services. To improve your chances of publication, it helps to research which publications would be interested in your pitch. It can be advantageous to contact reporters directly and connect your story to relevant media trends.
5. Networking With Influencers
Networking, especially with influential industry insiders, is key in building that early buzz. Connecting with and informing relevant influencers early on in your startup's development is important. Their qualified feedback might help improve your startup's offerings, and those relationships will cultivate your startup's success.
6. Keeping People Guessing
The best way to generate buzz is to give people a little bit, but keep them wondering and asking questions for more. If you can easily nail your value proposition and purposely leave people asking for more, they'll start talking about it to others. A good video usually suffices for preempting the launch of your startup.
7. Using Social Media
It might sound obvious, but so many companies don't use social media. This is one way to wisely build buzz around your startup. From Twitter to LinkedIn to Facebook and more, investing in social media can take time. But it’s free and can quickly create the kind of momentum you’re looking for in the early stages.
8. Being Exclusive
Exclusivity serves two purposes. First, it helps you focus on building a product your early customers will love, and second, it helps build a unique community for your company. Consider building an approach that limits early access to your product or service. Make those you let in feel incredibly special and those you don't let in know that you are limiting access because you care.
9. Connecting With a Niche Audience
Focus on making a personal and engaging connection with a niche audience. Once you truly understand their needs and motivations, you can tailor your branding efforts in their direction. Doing this makes a strong impact, creates loyalty and advocates for your startup early on.
10. Being Transparent
In the early days, we created a lot of videos and used blogs to share our story and allow others to be a part of it. We were transparent about the fact that we didn’t have anything to sell yet, but we asked people to get engaged, check us out and provide feedback. The response was extremely positive.