Why Founders Should be on the Marketing Frontline and Making an Impression to Drive Commercial Impact!
As an entrepreneurial spirit and founder of your own startup, I am sure that at some point on your journey you were inspired by a fellow founder. I am certain that this person would have been actively involved in networking groups, in the media and social media. How else would you have had the chance to admire what they were doing? For you to have noticed them, there was something about them that instilled recognition in you. The story and passion they shared resonated with you and you wanted to lean in and hear more. This is the type of founder that you want to emulate when it comes to personal branding and the marketing of your startup. For me, it’s Cindy Gallop.
Statistics show that the total market value for startups has grown by 239% over the last decade. That is a lot of startups competing for the attention of investors, customers, and the best of talent. Research by CB Insights also shows that 14% of startups fail because of poor marketing.
If your MVP is underway and your startup is starting to grow, you do not want to be part of the 14%, so it is essential that you have a plan to promote who you are and what you do. It is vital to get your external communication right and to show that you care about what you are doing. If you as the founder are not stepping into the limelight to shout from the rooftops about how incredible your startup is, who else will?
More than just sharing a message, having a person represent the business elevates the message to something that resonates with your TAM. It is not enough to say WHAT your startup does, and HOW it works but your audience needs to understand the WHY – and who better to share this than the founder?
Here are my top five suggestions of how you can start to improve your marketing and promotion efforts
- Think about your journey and your brand as a story. Why does the startup exist? Why should stakeholders care? How can you tell your story in a compelling way that will win your audience? Write it down, learn it, you should be able to share your story at any time – and tell it well. Consider Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer who has authored the bestselling book, Lean In. Sheryl taps into her own personal experiences and is someone that we recognise and can relate to. She has recognised that generating empathy and being honest is key to empowering her readers and audience to achieve their own dreams and goals.
- When you get an opportunity to share, take a step back and consider the opportunity you’ve bagged – a media interview, podcast, panel discussion? Who is the audience? Why are they there? What matters to them? What is the topic you will be discussing? You’re not there to sell, but rather to bring something that is of value. Be sure you are doing that. Think of those who have gone before and who have created memorable experiences. The late Steve Jobs, founder of Apple was a true visionary who had the ability to captivate audiences when on the stage. He was charismatic and always brought value to the audience.
- Dig deep into your personal and startup story bank – what examples, visions, facts, insights can you think of that will resonate with the audience? Can you connect the dots between what matters to them and what matters to you and your startup?
- Gain some training to help your body language and verbal presentation be on point – audiences switch off quickly if they’re not reassured in an instant that someone is confident, credible, and authentically themselves. Their attention needs to be kept by you being engaging. Prepare a killer introduction and compelling ending. Audiences concentrate most here! Watch others who are excellent at delivering verbal presentations. People like Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey and Tony Robbins. You will be able to learn something from each one of them, whether it is their charm, honesty, tone or professionalism.
It is possible to be a great storyteller, even if this is not something that comes naturally to you. If you know your facts, are passionate, and put yourself into the audience’s shoes, you will be reminded of what is required from you!
About the Author
Rebecca Jabbar, CEO & Founder of Brand Champion Bootcamp
Media relations expert Rebecca Jabbar is the ultimate ‘business’ best friend you want in your
corner. As a coach and trainer with 25 years’ experience in helping over 130 international professionals and brands craft their media messages, Rebecca is personable, encouraging and hands-on, and works with senior leaders on not only what to deliver to be successful, but also how to deliver their “Brand Champion Message” through the Brand Champion Bootcamp: an eLearning course which delivers training onthe world-leading “The Rebecca Jabbar Method”.
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