Derek Distenfield is the Co-Founder of GSD Venture Studios. He travels the world investing in resilient teams bold enough to #GoGlobal.
I recently wrote an article about the five lines of effort that startups must possess to become successful. One of those lines includes marketing, which I want to dive into deeper.
In the early stages of business, founders must develop effective strategies to establish market share, aggressively achieve results and ultimately turn a profit. Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of guiding hundreds of outstanding technology startups and helping them scale across multiple industries ranging from technology, blockchain, cannabis, payments, advertising technology and legal technology.
In this article, I will explore how you can turn your small online business into a success by following these five simple marketing tools:
Speak to your target audience’s emotions.
I believe psychology plays a crucial role in advertising, and incorporating basic psychological principles can help gain your audience’s attention and drive them to act. The ultimate goal of advertising is to provoke and cause the desired action from the target audience. You can achieve this in various ways, such as evoking pleasant memories, earning consumers’ trust, and playing with color and font.
Fear, for example, can be a robust motivator. The familiar tagline “fear of missing out” illustrates that many people seek to be part of what’s current, stylish and modern. If your product is limited and you wanted to employ this approach as a result, you might use phrases such as “limited edition” or “only a few left,” which communicates to your consumers that they need to act fast or miss out.
Consider running paid advertising.
In this modern age of technology, there are many ways to run paid advertising for your online business, one of which is social media. Social media marketing allows you to place daily, weekly or monthly ads at a fee.
One of the advantages of using ads on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter is that the platforms allow you to select the details of your target audience. As a small-business owner, you need to maximize your ads by reaching the desired location, age, etc. of your audience.
Network your way to the top.
Building your network and making connections is crucial for the success of your startup or online business. Networking can help you generate new leads, deepen connections with your contacts and get a pulse on your market. Start out with a goal in mind. Because there are many results you can achieve with networking, you must start with the intended purpose.
Once you’ve established your purpose and goals, spend time fostering these connections by getting to know people. Often, opportunities present themselves. But, there are a few common mistakes when networking that you should watch out for, such as asking someone to support your company too soon (or not asking at all).
There is a general rule of thumb: Give, give, give, ask. Make supporting others a part of your regular networking routine. When the time is right, make the ask. You will be surprised at the support you receive.
Set achievable goals.
In our fast-paced world of technology, remaining relevant is key to the success of your online business. Compounding your success means carrying out small but smart moves to reap huge rewards. Setting achievable goals in your business and ensuring consistency over a long time promises higher payoffs than large but short-lived changes. Aim to set an annual goal, then quarterly goals, then monthly and weekly. Breaking them down ensures you have a solid plan. Measure success regularly, and make adjustments along the way if needed.
Systemize the scaling of your marketing.
The dream is to have your online business grow and begin to earn you enough income; however, as your business scales up, more often than not, the amount of work increases. By systemizing your business, you are essentially building a well-oiled machine that can run on its own.
Some of the ways to systemize the scaling of your marketing are by identifying the working systems and repetitive duties. Then, determine the smartest way to execute them, and create a sequence. Make sure to document your processes. Finally, test your systems.
Ensure you remain relevant, recognize when your consumers’ needs change and adjust as need be to stay successful.