Thursday, September 21, 2017
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It is very typical. Whenever you start a new business, one hundred percent of your time is spent on making your product better. Awesome Idea + Awesome Product = Awesome (and by “awesome” I mean “money making”) Startup, right?

Well, not really.

The typical thinking here is this. You will create this amazing product or service and the customers will immediately rush in to buy it. And, being a perfectionist of course, if you don’t see the sales, you tend to blame―what else―the product. The product has to be improved, improved, and improved again until that mysterious BIG DAY comes, when an influx of customers, users, funds and venture capitalists will make your company a superstar! And yet the days go by and then the years, and the situation seems to be staying the same. What could possibly be the problem? One possible problem has to do with the fact that no matter how much time you spend on improving your product, the mysterious BIG DAY may never come until you start using what we call

The “One-One-One” Technique.

 

The “One-One-One” Technique has to do with planning your project so that for every one unit of time spent on:
1) the development of your product, you spend one unit of time on
2) marketing and at least one unit of time on
3) sales.

So what in the world is so special about this idea?

Marketing can never be an afterthought. For many successful startups, it has to do with spending an obscene amount of time developing those “silly” things such as detailed product descriptions, instructional videos, that Q&A section to help users get around your product, a service, or a website. And how about infographics to make your process appear as simple as possible?  The reality is that often marketing takes just as much time, if not more, than creating the initial product, and those of us who have launched at least a couple of successful products in the past know its importance.

Sales, a third element of your startup, is just as important. Sales has to do with placing an actual human being in front of your product.  Here we are talking about live seminars, webinars, and what is commonly known as a “human being” to present your product to. How about that toll-free number that leads a potential customer or an investor to a live person? Or a live pitch person who will present your product in front of that important executive in your industry? Whether you are pitching your idea to new users, or to a venture capital firm, sales has to do with getting a pretty good handle on your sales pitch using the marketing materials you have created and the willingness reach out and to respond to your potential customers or investors at a moment’s notice.

Now the obvious question is this. How can you possibly focus on your marketing when you are still stuck in the product development stage? And how can you possibly start working on sales when you still haven’t finalized your marketing materials?

The answer is, as always, somewhat counterintuitive, and if you are familiar with launching a new product, you may already know the answer. Specifically, the best time to start developing your marketing materials (your education videos, your “how-to” help sections, your Q&As and your animation) is precisely during the time of developing your product. This will not only help you showcase all of your product’s most important features, but will save you a ton of time in the future.

Similarly, and as always, counterintuitively, the best time to start “selling” your product is before your product (your website, your store, etc.) is complete and the proverbial opening ribbon is yet to be cut. The feedback you will get from users (or customers) of your “beta” product will likely become the invaluable input you need to make your product better prior to its official launch date.

 

Authentically yours,

 

Max Azarov
“Authentic Startup,” Author

 

Copyright @2015 | YoloStartup.com

I have recently read an article about “the right way” to start a startup. It had a list that included having a great team, sufficient financing and a plan for “monetization.” I am pretty sure it was a true eye-opener for those who were ready to launch their startup by hiring an unruly team, no financing, and no plans to make any money (sarcasm).

Yes, you can find an amazing team of developers and you can also be a step ahead of your competition by thinking “monetization” first and, in fact, you can read every major book about a startup and funding and yet, NONE of it will ever matter until you have the key component of your startup: quality audience.

But before we discuss the significance of having a quality audience for your startup and offer a few clues to your audience’s whereabouts, let’s talk about a very sensitive startup clock that makes having the quality audience a priority #1 prior to having your startup go “live.” I am talking about the ROI Clock.

 

The ROI Clock.

What many of new entrepreneurs don’t realize is that the proverbial ROI clock starts ticking as soon as the very first dollar is invested into developing a logo, making your very first set of business cards, your website and that state of the art software to run your business. At this stage, many new businesses don’t make any money and yet the business expenses begin to pile up, one charge after another.

 

Googlenomics of Today: Bidding Your Small Business CPC Against Multi-billion Corporations

It is true that Google Adwords can quickly resolve your audience problems. And yet, it is also true that in today’s Googlenomics, based on its system of more and more competitive bidding you may end up “competitively bidding” against multi-billion corporations that have no concern of whether to spend a $1 or $100 per click, as long as it puts them on that coveted front page of Google.

As your costs per click begin to add up, you may begin to wonder if the startup game was worth it (as was the case with some of the app developers I met some time ago) and if there was anything else you could have done prior to having your startup go “live.”

 

A Social Marketing Structure Designed to Save On Costs Per Click.

As I have learned from my own experience, there are at least 3 things one should do (especially prior to having a business go “live”) to save his/her company or a startup tens of thousands of dollars by building a true and engaged audience at minimal cost prior to, or while building a new business. All have to do with maximizing social media as a part of overall marketing strategy.

Start Building and “Working” a Twitter Following In Your Niche (Higher quality, free contacts)
It is  just now, after years of complete denial, I only wish I could tell you that I have started Twitter years ago and now I have tens of thousands of followers. I haven’t. I did start setting up Twitter accounts for all, myself and my clients just a few months ago and at this point, all of the accounts combined can start bragging about finally getting thousands of highly engaged followers who are noticeably contributing to our overall website registration rates and email signups at NO (or very minimal) additional cost.

Start Niche Blogging
After spending a good amount of my “younger” years in a highly regulated pharmaceutical world I was, at least initially, against blogging as a form of marketing altogether. In fact, the idea of blogging as a part of a marketing strategy for a very long time appeared to me, to put it politely, not very serious. As recently as several years ago, the idea of blogging away at a local Starbucks always appeared to be an activity more suited for someone who doesn’t really have a “real” job, or “real” marketing strategy.  If I could drive thousands of visitors to my and my clients’ websites using a proven formula of Fine-tuned SEO combined with an ironed-out adwords campaign, why bother changing things, right? Wrong. Because ironed-out Twitter+Blogging campaign has a potential to drive even more visitors at NO (or very minimal) additional cost.

Start and “Work” your YouTube Channel
Ok, unless you have an extremely engaging content, or you already have a pretty big following, trying to build your YouTube Channel from scratch my appear like a daunting task, and yet, there are 2 things to consider.

  • Properly structured video content will lead users to your website and, eventually, to your product at absolutely NO cost.
  • Even, if your content is not engaging enough to  become viral, the cost-effectiveness of YouTube AdWords ads when it comes to driving traffic to your website in my experience significantly exceeds that of using plain, non-YouTube text ads.

 

Old Model vs. New Model.

Overall, to me this blog is personal. The formula for  building an engaged audience for my businesses and businesses that work with us has been irreversibly changed. While just several years ago, most of our efforts were focused on SEO and Google AdWords with minimal efforts put into blogging and Social Media, today our strategy had a 180 degree turnaround:

OldModelvsNewModel

 

What Was Your Experience?

Are you on Twitter? LinkedIn? Instagram? How did it help (or not help) your business and your marketing/sales strategy?

Look forward to hearing about your experience.

Authentically yours,

Max Azarov, “Authentic Spin”  Author