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  • Writer's pictureMonica

Four misconceptions about startup marketing

Starting your own business is scary enough already - the investment, the time, the risk - before you even have to think about all the things everybody says you should be doing. Search results overwhelm you with tips and ideas of what you absolutely must be doing when you have a startup - you have to be on all social media, you have to be at every networking event, you have to be on every website, you have to make 50 calls a day. So naturally, the general, abstract concept of “marketing” falls way down in the list, or is defined by the logo and ads, that’s it.

I’ve been working with startups to show them how they can use marketing to grow their business quickly and effectively. The below are the top four misconceptions I keep coming across.

1. You have to spend a lot of money on advertising

“Just throw money at Facebook and Instagram ads, and you’re good! A LOT of money!”

As huge as these social networks are, people often believe that to get through all the noise and get noticed, they need to spend a lot of money. If they throw more money at advertising than their competitors, then surely they will win the audience over and win more business.

So a lot of startups either put aside a huge budget for advertising, or - and I am not sure which one is worse - they give up on advertising altogether, because if they don’t have the thousands of pounds to spend, they don’t see the point.

You don’t need to spend the most money to be successful. If that were the case, there would be no point in starting a business at all, because there are huge companies in every industry who can spend a lot more than you.

The truth is, you don’t need to reach every person on every social media channel in order to be successful - so you don’t have to spend all that money. By targeting niche audiences on specific channels, you can spend very little on advertising and get plenty of leads at a very high ROI.

2. You don’t need marketing that badly - at least not yet

You’re a small company. Just a startup. Most of your first clients are going to come from connections anyway, so why do anything for marketing?

Unfortunately, with all the other things they have to focus on, entrepreneurs often think that marketing doesn’t need to be a priority, and they’d rather invest the money elsewhere. But as an entrepreneur or a young company, you stand to benefit the most from marketing.

It’s true that most your clients will come from connections or word-of-mouth - but once they are initially engaged with you, they will Google you. They will look you up on social media. And if your presence isn’t up to par, they won’t think you are credible enough to work with. If your competitors have invested in marketing and have made sure their online persona matches the quality of their work, they will easily steal clients away from you.

That’s why you need marketing to ensure your online presence does your business justice and is complementary to your other client-winning efforts.

3. Brand is not important, it’s about the quality of your product or service

While your product or service has to be top notch, especially considering you will be relying heavily on testimonials and word-of-mouth, your brand is what people who haven’t worked with your will see first.

Your brand is your digital business card. A strong brand creates a sense of security in your prospects and makes them want to work with you. The brand isn’t the social media profiles you have or the homepage copy you have written, but the feeling a customer gets when coming across these things. Do you look credible? Do you look prestigious? Will they be proud to have worked with you? Do they want your brand associated with theirs?

Before they even consider how great your offering is, your prospects will be affected by how great - or not - your brand is. So you must make sure that your brand helps sell your business, from the very first second someone lays eyes on it.

4. Marketing is so ridiculous and overwhelming

But it doesn’t have to be! Yes, there are hundreds of tools out there, and ten times as many articles and posts telling you what you should or shouldn’t do. At the same time, agencies can charge you hundreds of pounds just for their service, before even mentioning the hundreds of pounds they’ll suggest you spend on advertising or PR.

You need to find a partner to help you navigate all of this, who understands the needs of a startup or young business, and has a price plan tailored for you - no retainers, no “hostage” costs.

Let me be that partner - I will analyse your business and competitors, create a plan for you, and show you how to implement it, so you don’t need to pay a monthly fee.

I want to empower you to grow your business through marketing - contact me now to discuss how I can do that!

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