There is no silver bullet

I can’t afford a SuperBowl commercial to launch my start up, can you? Even if I could, I’d be laughed out of startup land for wasting so much money on a one-shot deal, despite the fact that, if your 60 seconds are good, they’ll be seen on YouTube for years, like this one.  Best. Commercial. Ever. I still get chills.

But back in reality land, where every startup is trying to squeeze as much mileage out of every marketing dollar as possible, well, that’s just not possible.  So what’s a startup to do to get the word out?  The answer is success by 1,000 touches.  It’s not the one big moment, and there is no silver bullet.  It takes time, effort, and creativity.

Here are five examples.

  1. Volunteer to setup Atlanta Startup Village. As your “pay” you get 30-seconds to pitch your stuff to 250-ish people. Then meet as many of them as you can. Don’t cost nothin’.
  2. Wear your company logo shirt everywhere. Of course, it has to be a good looking shirt that people will look at and like…and ask you about. Polo to the work place; t-shirt on vacay.
  3. Tweet, blog, or otherwise socially post (FB, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.) about your startup every single day, once a day.  Takes discipline, but if it were easy, anyone could do it.
  4. Physically go where your customer audience is, and just talk to as many potential customers as you can. You’re not trying to sell them right there. You’re trying to expose your product or service to them.
  5. Make a video explaining what you do.  You’ve heard of Mailbox, right?  A little different in that they spent a good amount of money producing this video, but it set them on fire. DropBox bought mailbox for upwards of $100M before Mailbox ever brought in one dollar in revenue. That’s not likely to happen to you, but you’ll never know unless you put something out there. The original DropBox video was not nearly as impressive.
Dream big. Start small. But most importantly, start!

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