Startup entrepreneurs are frequently looking for new ways to increase their audience reach – and often, with little to no budget allocated.
Luckily, if you’ve got the time to expend, you’ve got a chance! Just remember: every moment spent indirectly outreaching to potential customers will impact the time you can spend more directly interacting with your customer base through sales, service, and product development. If you’re willing to make the plunge – here’s a few simple ways you can get started today!
According to research from Hubspot, 92% of companies that blog multiple times a day have gotten a customer from the work – and even 57% that just blog in general have, too. That’s a solid figure for any company – especially one just getting its feet wet!
A few simple (but effective) methods for coming up with popular blogs posts includes:
- Researching what your competitors are writing about, and re-examining their work in your own (paraphrased) articles
- Scouring the news to find top headlines that you can use to easily talk about your product
- Publishing brief, positive testimonials and reviews of your product, with some of your own added commentary
There are a number of free services out there (such as Mailchimp) that let you send automatic emails to your subscribers. The process is as simple as setting up a sign-up page on your websites or social media accounts, drafting a series of emails in advance, and scheduling them out for weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly email outreach.
If you want to get even more clever, or if you’re rolling out a new product or business, you can search the web for relevant bloggers and reporters that might take an interest in the work you’re doing. While a professional, AP format press release or press advisory (there’s a difference!) might better suit your purposes, if you’re looking to get quick press fast, it can be as simple as compiling a list of potential contacts and sending out short, courteous emails. Remember – the goal here is to make friends and supporters, so consistent, friendly contact is a requirement for success!
You can even go one step further and make yourself an official expert – the website Help A Reporter Out offers you the chance to both list your services as a technical expert in your field, as well as look for reporters seeking your services.
Deciding on the content of your emails is actually the easiest part of the process. Anything press-worthy, or worth communicating to your subscribers, can be boiled down to a simple formula of immediacy and relevance:
“My company just did/attended/was awarded/applied for/unveiled x. Here’s more information, and contact us if you want to purchase/learn more.”
Obviously, the potential actions of your company can be extrapolated in a variety of ways – you just have to be willing to get creative with how you talk about yourself, and be willing to share more and more of what’s going on with your business at an increasing frequency.
And that’s pretty much the whole rationale behind…
Social Media Outreach
Social media outreach is essentially a streamlined, simpler method of generating positive press – and really, just plain positive feelings – about your work. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumbler, Pinterest, and ever more sites by the day, all provide a great opportunity for generating new sales leads and audiences.
If you find yourself intimidated by the process or have concerns that it might eat up too much of your time, experiment first with easy deadlines and schedules for yourself. Using free post scheduling programs, such as HootSuite, means you can write and schedule all of your promotions in advance – which saves a ton of time, especially for beginners.
Again, the simplest methods work the best. For instance, research has shown that simply including the word “retweet” in twitter postings increases the chance of your followers sharing your information by 400%. Those are big numbers for a simple technique – and that’s only the tip of the iceberg!
Some Final Words
Look up any product or service out there, and you’re bound to find a handful of good – and a variety of terrible, bad-English spam pages – describing the merits of the product. If taking a quick glance at some of the latter doesn’t inspire you to get out there and start crafting some marketing content for your business…
Well – I doubt it won’t. Take a look around, and I think you’ll discover that your own ability to market yourself is a lot stronger than you believe it to be.
So – get your head in the right place, and get to work!