It seems congratulations are in order. You’re here means you’re going on the right path. You didn’t curb your curiosity, instead, you spread your wings, embraced creativity and innovation and found your own startup. However, come to a halt before you let the excitement get to your head because the hard part is not over yet. In fact, this is just the beginning.
Building the product is not the hardest part. The hardest part is generating the sales. Before, you go out there ready to take on the world remember there are thousand or at least hundred others like you. When it comes to generating leads and eventually making sales, even expert marketers are not invincible. Even landing your first few customers is a rigorous chore, let alone a hundred.
To become the best, follow in the footsteps of the best, that is, draw experience from real-life examples, learn from the mistakes of those who have come before you. And learn from success stories of other startups who have made it big by acquiring a generous amount of clients or bagging deals with world’s top companies and executives, namely Fortune 500.
So, there’s no need to fret. Don’t let go of your zeal and upbeat spirit. Read these points closely.
This blog talks about ways to get 100 customers at an early age of your startup
1. Reach Out To Your Targeted Audience
If you’re mindlessly reaching out, before actually analysing and knowing about your prospects then you’re simply wasting your time. What you need to do is to first observe your niche market closely, before diving into connection-building head first.
For example, say, you are advertising your lead generating software on a page mostly visited by college going students, then you’re not really getting any output despite marketing tediously. In order to avoid this, ensure to document a list of your prospects and targeted audience.
Take note of their internet habits and the pages they visit. And most importantly before reaching out to the prospects, note down the relevant points suggesting the reasons why you’ll be beneficial to them.
Etsy, an e-commerce website mainly focused on handmade and vintage items and supplies, is a classic example of why reaching out to your targeted audience is necessary. Its founders did their homework early on, before actually launching their website. While they built Etsy, they engaged in projects on other craft communities like getcraft.com and craftster.org to connect to their large user base.
So, when they launched their own website, they were already backed with a user-base and the received a lot a traction even in it its early days.
2. Say Yes To A “soft-launch”
While launching a beta version may take up additional cost, it is something you should consider doing, especially if your product is SaaS.
You must be wondering that funding your startup is already worrisome. On top of that, why would you add up the cost of launching a beta version?
Let me tell you why.
You’re just launching your product, it means you’re relatively unknown in your niche. But if you opt the hard route and launch your beta version before the actual version, you might end up generating massive connections and the prospects will already be familiar with your product by the time you launch the actual product.
Then there’s the case of pesky bugs. In case your software is infiltrated by a few bugs and anomalies here and there, it can get tested by the customers itself, after all, at the end of the day, your product will be used by your customers only.
Let us take an example of Aeroleads, a startup that acquired over 250 B2B users and boasts of a humongous client base of 6000 businesses including IBM.
Before going all the way, Aeroleads sought feedback and validation by launching a beta version. This resulted in proving their mettle in the market and they got umpteen reviews, some suggesting changes and some reviews served as validation.
All in all, the profits earned by a soft-launch far outweigh the expenditure.
3. Grow Your Startup By Leveraging Twitter
Twitter is a cauldron of emotions. This might sound absurd but people often use Twitter to express their problems, to complain and to vent out their anger. This might come out harsh but you need to leverage on their problems.
Suppose, you’re trying to sell something that competes with “Paytm”. Now all you need to do is, search something like “Problems with Paytm” in Twitter.
These are the few results that came up:
Now, you know what mistakes to avoid and the who are your prospects. Try to talk to them directly, analyse their problems with Paytm and suggest how your product will help them out. Keep in touch with these prospects and keep them updated about your product.
This way you are killing two birds with one stone, on one hand, you’re doing your research and on the other, you’re building a connection with prospects.
4. Content Is The King
The whole of the internet is inundated with blog posts and amidst all this chaos getting noticed is tough. But if you put some real effort into blogging, you’ll see the results real soon.
Buffer, a social media management platform, astonished their friends and rivals both when they acquired over 100,000 customers for their BufferApp, in just 9 months. They achieved all this by leveraging blog posts and exceptional content marketing guest blogging strategy. In fact, its co-founder himself wrote over 150 blogs within 9 months.
How does blogging give you an edge over your competitors?
You can use blog posts to tell your story to your targeted audience which will result in developing a relationship and building connections.
Use your blog posts to write something that might be helpful for your audience, in some way or the other. This way you’re bound to get an immediate feedback.
Blogging establishes your importance in the market. Moreover, it cements your position as a thought leader among your audience which leads to prospect generation.
If your blog becomes successful then your online searchability increases and you can enjoy a lot of traffic coming your way.
5. Don’t Be Afraid Of Cold Calling
This is something that you can’t avoid. Sooner or later, in fact in the case of a startup, sooner rather later, you’ll have to reach out to your prospects using the tactic of cold calling and emailing.
There are many examples of the failure of cold calling/emailing, however, for every failure, there’s a success story as well.
Things to do while cold calling
Take some sufficient time to get your facts right before calling or emailing the prospect.
Point out why you are beneficial to them and how you are there to help.
Keep your focus on helping the customer not selling your product.
Try to alleviate your prospect’s doubt in the best way possible.
Things to avoid while cold calling
Don’t behave like a pesky salesperson. Remember that people hate overt advertising.
Don’t reach out to someone who has no need for your product. You don’t want people hanging up on you, do you?
Do not just regurgitate the features and benefits of your product as if you’re simply reading them out. Let the prospect talk, understand his problems and give your output and suggestions. The prospect should feel that you know what you’re talking about.
Following the aforementioned tips and tricks will result in great success. Remeber that all companies start off on the same ground. If you don’t compromise in your quality and creativity, coupled with a right amount of wit, there’s no way you won’t find success.
Lest you fail to find success in first few months, don’t just give up. As the Japanese adage relays, “Fall down seven times, get up eight”.
Deepti is a senior content writer with AeroLeads. She spends a lot of time brainstorming ideas and writing marketing and sales content. She also has a knack for writing and reading about politics and prevalent social issues and regularly pens letters to the Editor of The Hindu newspaper. When she is not working, you’ll find her socializing with friends or binge-watching Netflix. (And devouring sushi).