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Startups: What’s Your Story?

| November 17, 2012 | 1 Comment

Being an entrepreneur means living in a blender where facts, figures, optimism, realism, faith and self doubt all co-exist and blend together. As an entrepreneur you have a lot of competition, and sometimes it might feel like being in The Hunger Games. Google for Entrepreneurs notes that there are 400 million building some 69 million early stage startups across 54 countries. Billions are being injected into high-growth startups every quarter. Optional investments are being made with ease, at the seed and A rounds, knowing many will fail. Investors rarely loose their shirts. Entrepreneurs don’t have the luxury of being able to spread their bets. One of the many challenges most startups face is getting noticed. Rising above the crowd, using any marketing methods at their disposal, in order to drive those key growth metrics necessary to keep the wolf from the door.

How do you get noticed as a tech entrepreneur? There are many ways. I am not suggesting an all encompassing solution. Each startup is individual. I am putting one solution forward: content marketing. Research by Econsultancy, and online services provider Outbrain, found that 75% of “digital marketers believe businesses are turning into publishers. Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of them think that content marketing is set to play an even more important role over the next 12 months and 88% are convinced that it is more effective than advertising as far as sales go.”

But let’s face it, content marketing doesn’t sound very exciting. In reality, however, this kind of solution for startups has the potential to make a real difference. Why, you may ask? Because whilst you already are an entrepreneur, there are many millions more who can only imagine doing what you are doing. In the words of TechCrunch Founder, Michael Arrington, you are a pirate, you are the man in the arena. Own it. Embrace it. Shout it from the rooftops.

Point is, you have a story, and it needs to be told. As a startup your story is ongoing, therefore your content, social media and PR strategy needs to evolve with your company. In this election season I believe we can all learn something from the campaign machines. It all comes down to a message strategy and how it is deployed. One method has been down to churning out engaging content through social networks. People share things they read, watch online, and think others will like as-well. We all share. How many times did your last blog post get shared? If you even had the time to write one.

Which is what it really comes down to. Time. Most startup executives don’t have the time to write content which gets published and shared to any great extent. WordPress is a very versatile platform, but it doesn’t make us all writers. In the same my imagining the benefits of the gym doesn’t give me a stomach which can be used to grate cheese off. Although it might, if I were to actually go. However, thanks to the internet, everyone, every business, every brand, is becoming a publisher. Content is King. Understanding and acting on this is important for companies of every size, especially startups. If you have a limited marketing budget then you are going to want to use it wisely. Well written content should be how you tell the world about yourself.

Telling your story comes down to understanding your audience, and crafting a message which fits your vision. This should be followed up by a message plan, which means publishing content which supports your aims and strategy. Entrusting your message to a professional writer who gets startups should ensure that this is done to the same high standards you do everything else. That’s the writer you want in the arena with you. If you want to rise above the noise of the crowd, then you have to shout a bit louder. That is what content marketing does for a startups. That’s why you need a message strategy.

Dominic Tarn is a CopyWriter for startups, a Columnist for Betarocket, covering tech news in the north east of England, and currently researching and writing a book on entrepreneurs: The New Goldrush.

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Category: Personal Branding, Startup Advice