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Start-ups: 6 SMART ways to promote your company

Last updated on: April 8, 2011 16:02 IST

Start-ups: 6 SMART ways to promote your company

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Shradha Sharma

One thing which is common to every start-up is the limited resources at their disposal (like money, people and reach). The question that pops up in every start-up entrepreneur's head is: How do I promote my venture with limited resources?

An interesting question indeed, especially when you see big entrepreneurs in the same domain making a lot of noise because of the access to unlimited funds. Let me share with you some real tips (which I have learnt working for my own company) on how to make your disadvantage work for you and more importantly sell your start-up story well.

Shradha Sharma, Founder, YourStory.in. YourStory is India's largest entrepreneurship web site in India. 


Photographs: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com
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1. Dedicate some time every day to promote others

Yes, it means exactly what it reads. Promote Your Peers, Friends, someone on your Social Network who is doing something new. It doesn't matter if all of them do not promote you back. But sooner than later, you will find the buzz around you and people will return the favour.

Call it law of returns or just providence. But you have the ability to make your surroundings promote you. What you need to do is, just promote others.



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2. Be a specialist not a generalist

Increasingly we are moving towards a world of specialists and top it up with very less time. What it means is that as start-ups we have to be a walkie-talkie of our business and go for that killer two-minute elevator pitch whenever we meet anyone/ everyone.

Nobody has time and if we cannot convert in the first two minutes we most likely will not get the second chance. See every meeting, interaction and phone call as your pitch. You cannot be casual, not know an answer or do not know about some aspect of your venture. Soon you will see how the word starts spreading about you: S/he is an intelligent entrepreneur, knows everything to the domain, s/he will make it. Once your surrounding believes in you/ admires your capabilities, trust me it will reach your prospective clients.

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3. Convert your first client into your PR agent

Yes, wow your first client, s/he has to be your champion. A super satisfied business client who is ready to testify on your capabilities is the biggest PR you can get for your venture. It's a human psyche, we all like to buy a tried and tested product or deal with a known entity.

Your first client has the power to make you a known entity. Concentrate on building the 'wow' factor for him. Incidentally, this is such a tried and tested method that even the world's biggest brands use this to affirm their position in the market.

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4. Attend events

Yes, virtual connections are good but nothing beats the face-to-face interactions. Make it a point to attend all relevant events related to your industry. While you are at it, don't forget to wear your start-up's T-shirt. Representatives from world's top 10 brands do it, so why shouldn't you?

5. Go for everything which is free

This means get yourself covered on all the blogs, web sites, print publications which promote start-up stories. Be on all the social networks. Go and speak in colleges (with almost all colleges that have E-cells, it should not be difficult), attend all networking dinners and keep an eye on all the free passes which most big events dole out. 

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6. Have a blog on your web site

It is easy, cheap and your very own space to tell your story. Keep updating it regularly. Please ensure that your last post in not a month old. Yes I know you are very busy but so is everyone who visits your web site. They have to get the most updated information; they have to know you are just around in case they need to talk. 

Done all the above? Then start doing it consistently and regularly, all the above should be a part of your start-up DNA. Once you master it, we will talk about the next level. 

Let me know what works best for you.



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