So You Wanna Create a Start-Up? Here’s What You Need to Know

Part of running a successful start-up is having a marketing checklist on hand. Individual marketing needs and efforts will depend on the individual start-up. Marketing takes time, research, effort, and above all, money. So before you decide to spend on marketing your product, you have to make sure your start-up provides a product or service people actually want and are willing to pay for.

The following list contains helpful tips on how to approach setting up your own marketing checklist:

  1. Scope Out the Competition

Social media and the internet have made it possible for you to gather a comprehensive look at your competitors. Take the time to research what’s already out there by checking out their websites, messaging, and following key employees on social media to see what conversations are happening around their product.

Once you’ve established your start-up’s presence online, continue to measure how you compare to your competitors. The world is constantly changing, and so are people and their impressions of you.

  1. Talk to People Face-to-Face. Seriously.

Conversely, customer research should be done face-to-face or as much as possible. Talking to people about the services your start-up offers is a great way to gauge whether or not people are willing to pay for a service to solve their problems. Reach out to close friends, former colleagues, or even the person behind you in line for coffee.

A short conversation can give you great insight as to how people feel about your service, and even save you money by helping you identify and counter push-back early on.

  1. What’s Everyone Talking About?

Are there blogs out there that cater to the specific audience you are trying to reach? If so, this is a great way to engage with current conversations and topics related to your business. This trove of free information can help inform your marketing strategy and let you know what gaps in service you can (hopefully) fill.

  1. Set-Up Your Brand

Next, it’s time to start setting up your brand. This includes: setting a name and domain, creating a logo, launching a landing page, figuring out pricing, etc.

Social media is also key, but it doesn’t mean you need to be present on every available platform out there. Start with one or two that make sense for your business and audience. As your start-up grows, so will your social media presence.

  1. Email is Here to Stay

With the number of email users expected to grow to 4.5 billion by 2025, it’s safe to say that email is here to stay. This is also a sign that you should incorporate email into your marketing checklist. Take the time to set up welcome, follow-up, promotional, and automated responses to cultivate customer trust and engagement.

Once you’ve established your start-up as a formidable service, incorporate a regular newsletter, follow up with early customers, and promote your email list on social media.

As the saying goes, “repeat customers are easier to cultivate than new ones.”

  1. Blog About It!

As a marketing professional and writer Theresa Iezzi says, a brand or business’s presence on social media has to be purposeful and be either “useful, entertaining or beautiful (or all of the above).”

Like any genuine interaction or conversation that happens in person, social media presence also needs to be flexible and, in some ways, individualized to the needs of your niche market. Find specific topics or challenges that are relevant to your audience and contribute your own take through a branded blog. You can also consider creating a vlog or podcast. The great thing about all of these channels is that they’re very low cost to set up. Libsyn has a helpful guide on how to get started, just visit

  1. Network, network, network

Networking is a huge part of the start-up process. During your pre-launch phase, networking can lead to potential funders and future collaborators.  You should at the very least find one or more mentors. Even if you don’t develop a real mentor relationship, meeting with other business people will allow you to leverage their experience in finding the right vendors, employees, and marketing channels or any other issue you face.

After launching your start-up and your reach of a wider online presence starts to grow, establishing strategic partnerships with influential bloggers, distributing a free e-book with email signups, or posting your product on directories can prove incredibly helpful.

  1. Promote, promote, promote

Concurrently, you may also want to consider paid promotional channels. Examples of this include advertising on popular podcasts, driving newsletter sign-ups, or implementing retargeting ads for website visitors.

You can also leverage your existing social media content in new ways. For example, you can expand a single post into a longer blog post as new information or practices start to emerge. This will help promote your view as a leading voice and leader in your target area and build trust in the eyes of your customers.

  1. Optimize

As you implement different marketing strategies and start to see results or lack thereof, it’s time to optimize. There are many accessible online tools to help you gauge and measure the results of your marketing efforts. These include analytics, polls, customer surveys, social media comments, etc.

The important thing is to take time to review what’s working, take out what’s not, and continue to chart forward.

  1. Repeat

Marketing is not a one-way street. Although many of these aforementioned tips should be considered during the pre-launch stage of your start-up, it’s important to continuously revisit your marketing checklist and goals at any stage.

Draft.Dev creates technical marketing content for software start-ups and they’ve come up with a comprehensive marketing checklist with a list of ideas and resources to prompt the creation of your own.

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