This is the second part of a three part series. Click here for first part
Find the audience and pitch
Build Twitter network: Find high-impact twitter users in your industry. Start following and forging relationships with them. Start building your twitter network. Resist the temptation to mass-follow or follow a bunch of random people just to get your follower count up. Your twitter count hardly matters at this stage; instead, get some high quality relationships going.
Subscribe to the Linkedin Answers category: Subscribe to Linkedin Answers categories that best fit your area of interest. Answer a question a day or more. Be consistent and don’t promote yourself.
Find the bloggers: Find and connect with bloggers that are writing about your topic area. Subscribe to their feed, and read their stuff regularly. Leave valuable comments and participate in the conversation. (If you can’t add useful comments, don’t comment - just help them share their blogs). If you are aiming to build a relationship with a super big shot, it will always be difficult so be careful while choosing your target blogger.
Once you establish certain relationship, share interesting facts, stories about your ‘coming soon’ product. If possible, give them beta codes to experience your product. If you have a demo video, nothing like it. If you manage to impress, ask them to promote your product, ask them to share it with their network, and write blogs about your product. You can also invite these people to take part in private beta testing.
Be persistent when emailing back and forth, and don’t be afraid to follow up, because it’s easy for influential people to get lost in an over loaded inbox. (Needless to say – ‘don’t be annoying’).
By now you should have got decent number of users on your ‘coming soon’ and social network pages; and they should very clearly know what problem area you are trying to resolve.
Write guest posts: Guest posting is having a post about a certain topic on other people’s website. Instead of posting in your own blog, you post it on other people’s blog. Why? It’s because other established websites have larger audience whereas your blog is only subscribed by your friends and families. This should expose your start-up to large audience with an opportunity to earn more users and relationships.
Where to guest post? Websites covering start-ups and the ones specifically covering your industry would be the ideal sites for you to post on.
What to post? Post about your journey and experiences; how you got to this point, what problem you’re hoping to solve, why you picked this problem, how can others reach to your current position faster, etc.
How frequent should the posts be? Write once a week or more.
Start a company blog: The blog should be on the same subject as mentioned above but it will be posted on your domain. Your company blog can also talk about company culture, your first employee, first customer, etc.
Create a Demo Video: If your prototype isn’t ready, a demo video can help you unlock many doors. It will help you pitch blogger, twitter follower, PR, friends, family, everyone.
The last part in the series will follow tomorrow.
About the Author
Pallav Parikh, a corporate professional with 10 years of experience intertwined with 3 attempts at starting up. Pallav is an avid reader about the startup space and especially in the internet domain.
Twitter handle: @pllv