Unfortunately, the MBA program rejected my appeal to attend the BDW startup class for class credit. Fortunately, with the help of Sharon Matusik, I created an independent study class where I’m going to write a paper on entrepreneurial curriculums. Part of the research includes attending the BDW startup class and interviewing the students and teacher.
I attended tonight and Robert Reich, a serial entrepreneur and instructor of startup, shared a great article on marketing for startups. One of the first lessons I learned as an entrepreneur is that when you build it, no one comes. As such, I really think marketing is one of the most important things a startup can do, but not marketing in a traditional sense, marketing for startups is different because it usually costs nothing.
Use the article above for ideas, and think outside the box!
When launching my first real company, MyNiceTie, I made horribly under-produced how to tie a tie videos before YouTube was an internet staple. Eventually the videos got traction and today they have over 15 million views and they account for most of our revenue and profit. When launching my next startup, HappyFreebie, I formed two teams of bloggers who embed giveaways and discounts into their blogs, which allow their readers to enter to win and buy without ever leaving a blog they trust. Both of these techniques cost me nothing but had a big impact.
In the end, the most important marketing you can do is build a killer product that people will share because they love it so much.
If you want to read more about startup marketing, here are some other good posts:
- Why a New Startup Shouldn’t Market by Brad Feld
- Marketing by Fred Wilson