As a tech company co-founder and advisor I get a lot of approaches from people who have launched “the next big thing” on the web and naturally want to share it with the world. My advice is always the same. Build a fantastic product that customers love and start writing and talking about it – a lot. Here’s a couple of other tips for getting noticed.
Let’s face facts, most geek developers would rather have their heads in a pile of code than a mountain of words. But somebody in your start-up needs to be handling marketing and profile raising. When a start-up company first launches there may only be two or three founders to share the workload and evangelising tends to get pushed to one side. Fatal error! /end business.
At iwantmyname we began with the venerable tripod of “finder, minder and grinder”. The finder was our web marketing and product development guy. Minder was yours truly, taking care of financial, legal and operational matters. Grinder was our CTO, who spent many long nights bashing out code in his spare bedroom. But none of us ever forgot that we were all salespeople for our business. We each contributed articles to our blog (and other blogs) and we showed up at every cool tech event around town to share what we were doing.
If you really want to reach a global audience with your web venture, you simply must get comfortable with authoring on the web. Find out where your target audience hangs out online and get engaged. Google gets smarter all the time and the ever-growing tsunami of blog spam is coming under closer scrutiny from the search behemoth. If you want to get ranked, you need to be generating fresh, engaging, relevant content and posting on a daily basis. Talk about what’s new in tech, interview other start-up founders or chat about how you play with everyone in your community. Fresh content that adds real value to the reader, gets way more traffic and is the best way to pimp your startup and take your marketing to the next level.
New web entrepreneurs sometimes forget that they are competing with hundreds of millions of other online addresses. Other than producing high value content another way to earn recognition is find yourself a unique and memorable domain name. Whilst .com is often touted as the dress circle of internet addresses, sadly all the best .com real estate is almost gone now. Recently the internet governing body ICANN began releasing hundreds of new top level domain extensions into the wild. .app? .auto? .photo? .guru? There’s almost certainly a new domain name that covers your field and it’s a fun way to show your creativity and extend your brand.
Happy blogging and domain hunting!