Startup life can be tough. Even if you know you have something that people want the hardest thing can be getting noticed by your target audience.
Getting noticed is the first stage in the sales funnel. You have to get people to get to know that you exist otherwise they’re not going to ever be interested in buying something from you.
But it’s tricky because people don’t really want to be interrupted with information. Even if you have a really good product or service you’re going to make people angry if you interrupt their busy lives with advertising or a spammy email you got from buying a list.
No, it’s much better to work on creating serendipity. This means putting your brand in front of your audience by being where they are spending their time.
Here are a few ways to do just that and the great part is that these won’t cost you a thing.
1. Podcast Interviews
I’ve been taking time to experiment with podcast interviews lately. I’ve only done a couple. The first one I did was the first step in the experiment. It was a great chance to discuss blogging and also share the story of Ghost Blog Writers.
I thought I might get an inquiry or two as a result of people listening to the podcast and noticing GBW and reaching out for the service. To my surprise, about a dozen or more businesses reached out with in a few days.
After that response I realized that podcasting was something to pursue so now I have more interviews lined up.
It makes sense. These podcasts have built-in audiences. They’re waiting for new content and you can be that content by pitching your story or the helpful content you can share to the podcast hosts.
2. Quora, Open Forum and LinkedIn Groups
I’ve had success by going to popular forums like Quora, Open Forum and LinkedIn to answer questions. You’re paying it forward by offering your answers to questions your target customers have.
They start the conversation by asking a question. You get noticed if your question is the most helpful.
Simply go to these sites and search using keywords related to your industry. For example, I search for terms related to marketing and small business. I find questions that people are asking and try to provide really amazing answers.
Focus on actionable answers; things people can read and do instantly. It seems to be more valuable when people can do something with your answer.
That will earn you respect and trust and it will also allow those people to notice you and your startup.
3. Guest Blog Posting
Like podcast interviews, guest posting is a great way to get in front of established audiences. Guest posting kind of got out of hand once SEO became the focus. It was all about getting as many links as possible and any time you do that with any tactic you’re going to get in trouble.
So guest blogging has cooled a bit, but that’s just fine. It’s still an amazing tool for getting noticed by your target audience. It has nothing to do with Google or search engines.
My guest posts are all about getting myself in front of my target audience. If you want to get noticed you have to go where your audience is. For me, I find sites that discuss small business and marketing. I’ll look at the site and see what the popular topics are. From that I’ll formulate an idea for a post and will try to write the best piece of content I can; again with actionable content.
Once it’s published a guest post can really impress readers and they’ll think, “Who is this person that wrote this?”
They’ll notice you and will dig into you and your business. That leads to new customers.
4. Co-Branded Industry Guides
Chances are you know someone that has a bigger following than you. You can help each other by creating a really amazing co-branded industry guide. For the other business, the one that has the audience, you can help them by doing much of the research and writing. You could even do it all and give them half credit for the content. That’s fine because in return you get access to their audience.
As as co-author you’ll get exposure to a huge audience and that will mean traffic for your website and interest in your business. This tip is a lot of work, but if you do it right there is little to no cost. It just takes your time and research.
Again, focus on providing actionable content that readers will want to take while reading. That leaves them feeling like they really got something from the content.
Take the step-by-step approach to the guide so your readers can take action as they read.
5. Your Own Business Blog
Finally, I have to say (even with bias) that your own business blog can get you noticed online. It’s really the main way we get new clients for Ghost Blog Writers. We write blog posts and over time they bring in traffic through social and search. It takes time. It’s a long-term strategy, but it really pays off in the long run.
You put up posts each week or even each month and over time the inquiries trickle in…and they don’t shut off. That’s the great part. Your blog posts are always published; always bringing in new traffic.
And posts don’t interrupt your audience. They are the ones looking for your content. They search for keywords online. They ask questions online. They use search engines and social media to find information.
Be a creator of that information with your blog and you’ll get your audience to come to you.
It’s called inbound marketing and it really works.