Assuming you have a great idea and have begun to build your minimally viable product, you still need to start to generate some buzz around your company to continue to gauge interest and build a loyal following.
This loyal following will serve as beta testers and advocates for what you are building. They are the perfect people to connect with, as they will be the people you will lean on to help spread the word about your great product.
Finally, building some buzz and securing a strong list of interested parties will help you show pre-launch traction, increasing your likelihood of landing seed or angel funding.
1.) Build Your Launch Page
The first thing to do is setup a landing page also known as a “launching soon” page. The key here is to craft a beautifully designed page that tells visitors what your product or services will do (a promo video is great for this), captures their email and promotes social sharing to Facebook and Twitter. Check out LaunchRock.com if you want to get up and running in no time.
A Couple Of Great Examples:
2.) Build Your List
Once you have a launch page up, you want to drive relevant traffic to your site in an effort to get people to opt-in to receive email updates regarding your product.
How To Build Your List:
- Start a blog and write “viral” content
- Get active on Twitter
- Push exclusivity
- Participate on relevant forums
- Get your family and friends to sign up
- Establish a compelling offer
- Run a contest
- Set up a Facebook ads campaign
- Increase your activity on Quora
- Play around with Linkedin Answers
- Participate on relevant Facebook pages
3.) Communicate With Your List
As you continue to add people to your email list you want to keep them engaged and excited about your offering. The last thing you want is to send these folks an email when you launch just to find out they don’t remember who the heck you are (this happens more often than not).
To combat this concern, create a list of milestones or dates to serve as a list of triggers. These triggers will prompt you to send a brief email updating your list of people on the development of your product, asking them a question or sending them a great blog post that relates to the problem you are trying to solve.
4.) Engage With Relevant Bloggers
The goal here is to build a list of bloggers you can turn to when you are ready to launch beta and for your public launch. To set yourself apart, you need to build a relationship with each of these bloggers.
First, create a list of relevant bloggers by searching Google for top blogs related to your industry. For example, if I ran a personal finance company, I would type “top personal finance blogs” into Google and click “Search.”
Next, narrow your findings to 10-15 blogs that you feel are already doing a great job, have a large following, engage with their audience and are focused on your specific target customers.
How To Build A Relationship
- Follow each blogger on Twitter and add them to a private Twitter list
- Make a point to re-tweet with a comment two interesting tweets from this list daily
- Find a blog post you love on each blog and comment on it
- Find a blog post you love on each blog and email the writer to tell him or her
- Suggest a blog post for each blog that you think might make a great addition
- Engage each blogger on non-business topics that you know they are interested in
This is a guest post by William Griggs, a startup marketing guru who helps startups craft and implement their go-to-market and user acquisition strategies. You can find more about him at TheStartupSlingshot.com, or follow him on Twitter @tssupdates.