Starting a business is no longer a secret.
Anyone, no matter their situation, can decide to pursue an entrepreneurial career and start their own business.
Whether your goals are to build a small, lifestyle business that frees you from the 9-5 life (or the rat race, as some like to call it), or to build a massive, VC-funded, fortune 500 company, you can decide to start now.
There are businesses you can start for free, while there are also many you can start with millions of dollars in the bank.
However, the biggest problem entrepreneurs face is monetizing their business once they've built it.
Finding customers for a business is much harder than starting the company itself.
Starting a marketing agency can be done overnight - getting the clients is a different story.
Starting a Shopify dropshipping store can be done within a few days.
Driving quality traffic to your business can take much longer.
You can launch the business, but then what?
It's important that you tackle the problem of distributing your product or service before you've fully built and launched a business.
In this article, we're discussing how you can build hype for a business before you launch it.
Create social media accounts
The first and most important thing you must do is learn where your customers (or ideal customers) hang out and meet them there.
In almost every case, your audience will have access to social media of some sort.
The most effective platforms business owners use are:
These platforms collectively have around 6 billion monthly active users, making them the most effective way to reach large volumes of people, quickly.
Simply creating and setting up free social media accounts on these platforms gives you the opportunity to build up a small community of people who are looking forward to the launch of your product.
It's a great way to build a community and keep in regular touch with those who support you.
There are enough users on all platforms to build a massively successful business.
In fact, most users overlap, and so the users who use Instagram most likely also use TikTok.
Choose a platform that works best for you and focus on growing it, building a small, tight-knit community.
Open beta testing
It's difficult to get people to trust your products or services, especially when they have nothing to go off of.
That's why many companies do private reveals, or beta testing sessions so that their closest supporters can try their products or services before everyone else.
Not only is this a great way to get 'super supporters', but it's also a great way to get any feedback necessary for improving your product before launch.
Many people take an assumptive approach to building a business by 'guessing' what their audience might like and building based on those assumptions.
A lot of the time, the products and services built this way never reach a point of product/market fit because the assumptions the founding team had made were wrong.
While a minority of teams may work on iterating their business to fit the market's needs, other teams will completely give up hope on the business.
Doing an early beta will debunk any assumptions you may have made about your product or service and give you the opportunity to test it before your alpha launch.
When I was working on Condensr, I had the opportunity to show a prototype of the application to around 40 entrepreneurs.
Many people loved the concept, however, they provided a ton of feedback which would have helped me develop an application worth downloading, had I decided to pursue the business further.
This small group of early users can also help you market your business and build hype around your product launch by sharing information with their close connections.
While only a small group of people will get access to the beta test, you're able to document the journey and update your social media followers on any progress made.
Distribute online content
It's almost impossible to gain any traction when you don't have content on the internet.
That's why it's crucial that you focus on creating and distributing content on social media and through other content outlets, in order to get the word out about your product or service.
Not long ago, I wrote an article about podcast marketing.
I mentioned how podcasts are one of the most effective ways to grow an audience online as you're able to hyper-target your audience.
Podcasts are built around a specific interest or topic, so it's easier to find the right people to target through them.
However, SEO-optimized blog posts are very effective too.
Google is the largest search engine in the world, and billions of people use it every day to find the things they're looking for.
Massive companies invest heavily in building content teams, specifically focused on writing and distributing blog articles in order to rank higher on Google and drive more traffic.
It's important you do some research on your audience to learn about what they like, and what they engage with.
From here, you're able to put together a small content plan that goes over what content you will create, and post, on which days of the week.
When I started creating content in the form of blog articles around 6 months ago, I had around 100 visitors in the first month of blogging.
While it's important you focus on one platform at a time, you're able to spin a blog article into a short Tweet, into a podcast episode, or even turn them into short TikToks or YouTube videos.
Content is king, and it's important to leverage it to build hype for your business before you launch it.
Bring on ambassadors/influencers
The most effective way, in my opinion, to build hype for a business before you launch it is through influencers.
An influence can be any single individual online who has an online following.
An ambassador, on the other hand, is an influencer who represents an organization or brand.
These influencers can have an audience ranging from 1000 followers to 300 million online followers (however this is more celebrity status).
Building an audience is very difficult - it can take years and years, especially if you're on a small marketing budget.
However, it's much cheaper and faster to go directly where your audience has already congregated.
These collections are then managing to sell out within a matter of minutes, some stretching out over a week, due to the hype they build-up prior to launching.
Launching an influencer campaign is simple, and it can be broken down into 5 steps
- Put together a list of ideal influencers
These influencers should match your niche, and have relevance to your product or service
- Reach out to the influencers
Whether it's through email or social media, create a personal outreach message and send it to the list of influencers.
- Strike a deal
Going into these conversations, you want to know what you're willing to give up in return for a successful partnership.
Many people simply pay influencers, however, others give free products or long-term benefits.
- Plan the content
Work with the influencers to create content that your audience will love - the right influencers will have a good idea of which sort of content works well.
- Share it!
Now the content is ready to be shared! Let the influencer share it with their audience, and you can use it as a case study for your audience or platform.
Read my article on influencer marketing to get a full, 360-degree view of how influencer marketing really works.
Involve your audience
Building an audience is pointless if you're not constantly engaging with them.
Tons of businesses are competing for attention, and so the competition is fierce.
You can lose a follower faster than you gain them.
That's why it's crucial that you implement creative strategies that get your community involved in order to keep them engaged and excited for your product launch.
One of the easiest ways to get people involved is by running giveaways.
Around a month ago, we ran a small giveaway for a hiring company I work with - while the engagement on social media is low, this single post got much higher engagement than the rest.
The boost in engagement shows online platforms that people are enjoying your content, and so they push it out to more people who may also like it.
All giveaways involved a 'tag X friends' step so that your followers can share your company with their followers, exponentially building momentum.
While giveaways can work in the short term, many people believe that a lot of the followers who enter giveaways end up leaving once the giveaway has ended.
Contests, on the other hand, add an extra layer of engagement to your marketing campaign.
Those who take part in contests are much more likely to stick around afterwards, becoming long-term supporters of you and your brand.
It's difficult to generalise what a contest may look like, so you should put your thinking cap on, and get creative.
Companies like Canva, for example, may create a design contest that their users can take part in.
Think of contest ideas that are relevant to your business and audience.
Those were 5 ways to build hype for a business before you launch it.
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