If you have a great idea, how should you take it to market? Here are 10 ways to help launch your business.
Hank Kingman helped launch nudie® fruit drinks with business partner Tim Pethick and is a veteran of start-ups and launch campaigns. He says that, for many businesses, giveaways are a great launch idea that will spark positive word-of-mouth. “If you give someone a product for which they have low expectations but it turns out to be sensational, they will be unexpectedly delighted. That turns into positive word-of-mouth, which drives the sales and marketing of the new brand,” he says.
When nudie was launched, Kingman gave away a lot of drinks. “But we had so much confidence in the product that we knew that once people tried it, they’d buy it,” he says.
Outdoor advertising can be another powerful tool. “Probably one of the most successful marketing ploys we ever had was to park one of our cute little nudie vans outside a friend’s flat in Woollahra in Sydney,” recalls Kingman. “I can’t count the number of times I had people comment on it. So, outdoor has always worked for nudie as a medium.”
10 ways to launch your business:
1. Create a “Coming Soon” webpage. You can also let customers sign up to be on your email list so that when launch day comes, you have an audience to start marketing to.
2. Start a blog related to your product, industry or service. Let people know that you are dedicated to solving their problems and have innovative solutions and insight. Start a conversation about the problem you are trying to solve.
3. Set up your social media profiles. Figure out where your customers are likely to look for you online and make sure you have a profile page. Get others to tell their colleagues and friends about you. Start posting things now! You don’t have to have a website for people to find you online.
4. Start teasing your audience with “sneak peeks” of your product design. Give away some of your “secret tips” so that they are salivating by the time you launch.
5. Send out e-newsletters. This is a great way to market to people who are already interested in your product or service. Give periodic updates that deliver value to readers, while also providing an update on your launch day.
6. Spend money on advertising. Depending on your budget, a solid advertising campaign can make all the difference. Select and organise your print, online, radio and outdoor advertising well in advance of your launch. Don’t forget about business cards! Print your website address on them and hand them out everywhere you go.
7. Identify networking opportunities. Meeting people in person is a great way to start talking about your idea and hand out some cards. Join groups such as Meetup and sign up for events, and attend trade conferences.
8. Put the URL for your launch page in your email signature, and make sure your social network profiles include relevant links and a picture of your product.
9. Distribute press releases. Using a professional to help you create buzz might be a great way to spread the word, if you can afford it. Medianet is a great online service for writing and distributing your own press releases.
10. Everyone loves free stuff! So, give something away that won’t break the bank such as samples of your products or free trials or create a contest where the winner gets a free lunch. People will be lining up for the chance to win freebies.
Kingman’s parting advice is to aim do things differently. “Make sure you find a different way to engage people,” he says. “The more voices you listen to, the more you will trend to the normal. You have to deviate from that.”