When I first started out I had no idea what I could be doing to get my idea infront of the right people. I instead just sort of built a website on my own, started writing and decided to share on social media.
Was I on the right track? I had no idea. I wasn't event thinking about what else I could do until, I decided to take a break and look at what I've built and then I started pondering on what I could do to make it better. So, I am going to share what I picked up in the early days and hopefully it will benefit you on your start up journey.
Here are some of the tips I have picked up on the way:
Build a mailing list – This is something I didn't think too much about back then, but the benefits to having one is amazing. I have opted to using simple newsletter sign-up boxes at the end of my blog posts. This will reduce that imposing feeling on your readers and eliminate that annoying pop-up most websites have. At the end of the day, you want genuine readers who will appreciate your next piece of content. A mailing list will also increase website views as your reader clicks over to read more, which may also end in a cheeky sale for you.
Add social media icons to your website – I needed to spread my wings I thought, so out popped my social media icons. This keeps a continuous flow of exploration for your viewers. So, they land on your site from a search engine, has a look about and just as they are about to go, they see your social media icons. Some may click over to Facebook and follow, while others may click over to your Twitter feed to keep up with what you have to share.
Use a social media scheduling tool – If I could tell you how excited I got when I found a scheduling tool. You will be able to decide when you want the tweets or Facebook posts to go out, what you want it to say and how often. Then just sit back and get on with other work while it does what you told it to do. Awesome! I use Buffer – absolute gem!
Collaborate – I used to have a very hard time communicating with strangers, even if it may benefit my business – being an introvert is tough when trying to grow a start up. But, if I can pull myself out of my hole enough to meet amazing people, you can too. By collaborating you can open yourself up to a whole new audience of people who may fall in love with what you have to offer. It's generally free to collaborate, but the benefits are amazing, something as simple as a blog post could make such a difference.
Build a website – I have rambled on about website views, when really you need a website first. I stand by Squarespace, it took me a little while to create something I was happy with, but I am happier for it now. Creating a website for your startup doesn't have to cost you hundreds or even thousands – for those that remember Asos in the beginning will understand what I mean. Perfection is awesome, but it's not realistic. Build it as simple as you can and grow from there, you will learn so much along the way.
Take on volunteers – We all need some help now and again, so don't be afraid to ask. I wrote so much content for my website, I was running out of fuel and fast. So, I took on an intern for a while, then another etc...this will free up some time for you to get on with all the odd bits you wanted to complete or focus on any new strategies you have been thinking about. I used Work in Startups quite a fair bit – you will be surprised how many graduates want to just get their feet wet and would do it just for the experience.
This is just a dose of all the things I picked up in the early stages of starting out. Being a start up business takes guts and a lot a big f-it attitude. Too many of us aim for perfection first time, so we never get started in the first place. I had no idea I could schedule my tweets when I first started, so I spent a lot of time tweeting manually, which took up so much time out of my day. Don't get stuck in that comfortable zone, I genuinely believe that discomfort is a good thing, because it keeps us growing and searching for solutions, which is exactly what you need doing. If you have any handy tips that I didn't cover, please do share below – I look forward to reading them.