New kids bring all the buzz. All of the other children are intrigued and want to find out what she’s about. Who is she? Where is she from? Does she have siblings? What school will she attend?
Startup Land is no different. If you come on the scene with a bang, all heads snap to attention like a bored class who’s suddenly eyeing the late student strolling in. What’s her product? What does it do? Who funded it? How many has she sold?
How do you keep them interested after they’ve made your acquaintance? Businesses everywhere work hard to maintain their audience while daring to grow. There’s no quick fix. However, there are a few strategies you can keep in mind to stay the dopest girl on your block:
Give them what they want, but make them crave it.
So your audience has been giving you feedback about a certain feature they want and you’ve decided to give it to them. Hold on one second! Don’t just plop it in their lap.
Once the product is ready for the masses, spend a few weeks (or months) dropping subtle hints. Build anticipation. Even your favorite movie gives you a couple of trailers to drool over before you finally get to see it. Consider creating a few limited edition versions at a spectacular early bird price or letting loyal customers get first dibs. People love being the first with a cool item. What do you think all of those long, camp out at midnight lines are about at the sneaker store?
Pop up where they least expect you.
Take your show on the road, girl. If what you have is awesome, people outside of your zip code should know about it. The cool thing about the Internet is that it levels the digital playing field. With a good game plan and marketing strategy, people can find you. Travel is worth it as long as it’s affordable and makes sense for your industry.
Will your audience be at that large regional conference? Can you afford a couple nights in a decent hotel? If so, get your butt there. Calculate how much product needs to be sold at the event to make your trip worthwhile. Let your digital audience know you’ll be in the building. Encourage them to visit you and bring a friend. Maybe the first twenty people who purchase something at your booth get a very special treat if they can get another woman at the trade event to swing by your booth. On site contests build buzz at the event and get more people to visit your table.
Can’t travel? This also works by partnering with a local media outlet or business for a one-time contest or doing a blitz event downtown with all of your employees.
Other quick pop ups to help you reach new audiences and build buzz:
- Guest Host A Popular Podcast, TV Show, Radio Program
- Film A Fun, Short Behind-The-Scenes Documentary
- Get A Local (or national if you’ve got the strings) Celebrity To Help Design A Limited Version Of Your Product
Keep your swag.
No matter your cool ideas, never stop doing what you do best. You can add different features and other products. Growth requires hits and misses. Never lose what made them love you in the first place.
It’s like buying a concert ticket to see Alicia Keys and she comes out singing rock and roll and playing the drums all night. Refund for one, please. Give people what they want and add on what they will like.
Keep it real.
Don’t sell something you hate. Why push something you don’t believe in? You’re going to spend long hours fighting to get your startup to scale. It’s exhausting. It’s tedious. It’s grueling and even painful if it’s all spent on something you hate.
No one wants to buy something from someone who is unenthusiastic when they’re selling it anyway. Staying passionate and excited about what your company produces not only gets you through the tough times, but it’ll keep your creative wheels spinning new ways to add revenue streams to an already flourishing business.
What are some things you do to stay fresh? Hit us up in the comments with your strategy and we’ll share some with other women entrepreneurs on our social outlets.
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Photo courtesy of geir tønnessen [FLICKR]