Getting out the word about your business is essential to gaining awareness among your target audience. It is also critical that your story is known, and embraced, internally. To support success, every employee, sub-contractor, supplier, and customer must know exactly what your business stands for and what you do for them — that one essential thing.
Zoom in. Narrow your focus. You won’t be all things to all people. As you build your brand, focus on being one thing to your audience. That one thing is your USP or Unique Selling Proposition. Clarify what your brand provides that no one else’s brand delivers. This USP is what distinguishes your business in the minds of customers and potential customers. It is what first comes to mind when they think of you. Your unique selling proposition (sometimes called a unique value proposition) makes your product or service stand out from all others.
Perception Is Everything. Your customers don’t care what you want to be, they only care about what are and what you can do for them. Your startup needs to be just one thing to one customer, be that one thing in the best possible way, constantly and consistently. This builds trust, dependability, and long term customers.
Always Authentic. Don’t fake it. Create your startup story and spin it every which way that resonates with your USP. Give clients and potential customers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into your business. What makes you tick. Reinforce the USP and continue the story.
Tell Your Story. Every startup has a story. Consider every medium available to convey your message: social media, blogging, press releases, video, podcasts, print, radio, television, and more. Your story is pivotal to your brand strategy. Customers want to know who you are, what your values are, and how you’re different. Show ’em and tell ‘em.
Inside Out. Know your vision for your startup, and express your vision throughout every effort. It is critically important internally and externally. When it comes to your business message, you want everyone to sing from the same hymnal. Determine exactly where you create real value for your customers, then explain it in a way that your customers easily understand. The promises that you make about your brand need to be authentic, accurate, and alive. Differentiate yourself in a way that is meaningful and compelling.
Outside In. Stand out from competitors. Study your competition to find out what is going on in the marketplace and how your competitors are defining themselves. What is the USP for each alternative? How do they deliver their message? Do the same, but be different. When the marketplace looks to your brand among the sea of options, what will bring them to your startup? Make sure you spread that story!
Create Quality Content. However you decide to share your startup message, ensure quality in every form of content — text, images, downloadable pdfs, video, and more. Your message and the chosen medium are tools to help you deliver your story to your target audience.
Be Prolific. Create more content. Deliver information and insights regularly — at least as much as, if not more than, your competition. Keep your audience engaged. Establish thought leadership and presence to keep top of mind.
Teamwork. Build a team to help you meet demand. Guest content is a great way to feed your content needs—multiple contributors can reveal different facets of the USP delivered. This is also an effective way to address audience segments. Spread the word about your startup in a way that resonates with your target persona(s).
Promote, Promote, Promote. Repurpose your content. Use all the methods at your fingertips to promote everything you do online. Send out press releases. Cross-promote with complementary channels and businesses. Hold webinars, tele-seminars and hangouts to help you share the word.
Articulating your brand message internally and to your target audience requires thoughtful consideration. Know where to place your focus, and understand that you need to be one thing to one person, and you can’t be everything to everyone. Be that one thing in every channel available.