A few weeks ago I was at the Blooming Founders Next Level Growth Conference. The day was full of panel discussions, talks and the chance to meet founders at varying stages of their business journeys.
At SeedTribe we have recently launched our brand new hub. Like most startups, we are trying out new ideas, building processes and iterating as we go. So the day provided some really useful insights, from finding customers and PR, to pitching and networking. Here are my key takeaways from the day:
- Getting your product or service out there
Once you have your product or service, how do you actually get people to use or buy it? The million dollar question, with no one answer, here are a couple of ideas for early-stage companies.
One idea was to engage and build relationships with communities that already exist. Rather than trying to appeal to everyone, finding a smaller, very specific community may help in getting your product out there. A way to do this is to think of a smaller community within a larger group – for example rather than wild swimmers, your community may be female wild swimmers based in Brixton. If you successfully engage these communities, not only are they more likely to promote your brand, but they are more likely to remain loyal as your business grows.
Although much of the world is online these days, there are still many ways to engage with people offline. Lucy, co-founder of Nice which makes wine in cans, explained that they gave each member of their team cans to give to random people on a Friday night. By brightening someone’s day, it builds both positive associations and places the brand in their memory. So next time they want to buy canned wine, they are more likely to remember and choose that brand.
Journalists receive hundreds of press releases about the latest startup with the best new product – so how do you make yours stand out? Beyond the usual advice of personalising your emails or making sure you get the journalists name right, a suggestion was to ‘piggy-back’ of news trends. For example, if mental health at work is in the news, contact a journalist who has written about this to explain how your product or service is addressing this issue.
Outside of the traditional route, there are many ways that you can get your brand out there for free. For example, if you are organising or speaking at an event, put a banner or merchandise with your company logo on the stage. Not only will the audience notice it, but it will get picked up in photos and videos too.
Speaker Express’ workshop on public speaking was full of useful tips about delivering an engaging elevator pitch. In a short space of time, with a lot to cover, the key things to include are: the problem you are solving; your credibility; how do you do whatever you do; what are the results that you create; and a call to action. Aside from the practical advice, the workshop was a great reminder that practice is key and that not everyone will like your pitch or idea – no matter what it is.
Finally, the conference was a fantastic opportunity to meet founders and entrepreneurs passionate about creating or building a business. Beyond providing the chance to share ideas and develop contacts, knowing that there is a community of individuals in a similar space is an invaluable resource in itself.
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