Promoting your new venture

Every new venture has to tackle the pressing issue of building brand awareness. You may have developed the best product/service since sliced bread, but it’s no good to anyone if no-one knows about it!

Remember that we live in a heavily over-marketed society. People are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages every day and not surprisingly have become highly effective at screening them out. So don’t waste your limited budget on expensive advertising – find a smarter way to get noticed.

The Crowded Marketplace

It’s like being in a crowded marketplace where everyone is screaming out their wares. You don’t even notice most of the products or messages – they get drowned out in the hubbub. But there are some things you pay attention to: for example, your friend’s comments, your favourite store, a nearby fire juggler, your name being called, and a toy that would be perfect for your niece’s birthday.

In other words, we tend to only notice information that:

  • Comes from trusted sources (e.g. friend, favourite store)
  • Piques our interest for being highly unusual (e.g. fire juggler)
  • Contains elements to which we are sensitized (e.g. your own name, gift you’re looking for)

How to Get Noticed

If you’re a new stall-holder in this crowded marketplace, how do you get your message heard?

You can’t afford advertising with flashing lights or a megaphone, and they’re of questionable effectiveness anyway. Handing out flyers and shouting out information yourself might fit in the budget, but will you get noticed? Nobody is sensitized to your brand name yet and may not even know that your product/service exists. You could teach yourself to juggle dangerous objects – that would get attention, but probably won’t sell anything (except for juggling equipment or lessons).

Fortunately there is a better way – tap into trusted sources.  This includes getting written about by a major newspaper, interviewed in a trade magazine, referred by a friend, mentioned on a well-known blog, or endorsed by an established brand. These are cheap and effective ways to build awareness of your new venture.

What to Do Next

Don’t rush headlong into the advertising or attention-seeking trap. Believe in your product and tell your friends about it. Approach carefully selected bloggers, journalists and influencers with a pitch tailored to them and their audience. Consider how you could form alliances with established brands. And most importantly, ensure early customers are delighted and want to tell others. 

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