Most startup teams and founders firmly believe that they have good ideas – and they’re usually right. The challenge lies in proving that idea to the rest of the world. And without the right amount of visibility, that luxury is never afforded.
The Challenge of Standing Out
Standing out in today’s marketplace is difficult. But it’s not nearly as challenging as many make it out to be. You simply need an intentional plan that prioritizes the right message for the right people. Here are a few tips:
- Invest in a Good Website
With so much emphasis on social media, many startups make the mistake of neglecting their websites. (And what a mistake it is!) While social media might provide a bigger and more immediate impact for a startup that delivers a well-articulated message, it’s not something that should be pursued in isolation.
Here’s the thing: Social media is great, but you don’t have nearly as much control as you’d think. Consider what would happen in one of the following instances:
- Facebook decides that you’ve broken its terms and conditions and deletes your profile.
- Instagram suddenly experiences financial turmoil and closes down the platform.
- There’s a change in Twitter’s algorithm and you lose half of your followers overnight.
You might think these are unrealistic scenarios, but do you really want to hitch your company’s wagon so firmly to another company that you don’t have any control over? (That’s exactly what you’re doing by investing all of your resources into social media.)
By investing in a good website, you stake out your own piece of virtual real estate that’s fully within your control. Nobody can take it from you. And once you have your website built out and taken care of, then you can delve into social.
- Develop a White Hat SEO Strategy
Anyone can develop a good website, but you need a strategy that enables people to find your website.
“To succeed, every business depends on attracting new customers and retaining current clients. Today companies need every advantage to obtain, maintain, and grow their share of their marketplace,” this Long Island SEO company explains.
A good white hat SEO strategy can help in this regard. You can improve site speed, develop better and more targeted content, and improve your standing in the search rankings.
- Wow People With Your Service
At the end of the day, you gain traction by wowing people. And the number one way to wow people is to deliver exceptional customer service at every single touchpoint. Whether it’s blazing-fast shipping, a no-questions-asked return policy, or giving away free products and services to new customers, always be looking for ways to set yourself apart.
- Offer Top Quality
According to one survey of consumers, 53 percent of respondents rate quality as the single most important purchase factor. (For perspective, just 38 percent of consumers favored price as the top factor.) In other words, don’t be afraid of offering a high-quality product at a premium price point.
Many entrepreneurs operate under the assumption that the only way to build a business is to offer the cheapest product in the industry. However, it’s actually pretty difficult to compete at the lower end of the spectrum.
When you’re small, there are always going to be bigger companies that have better margins and the freedom to beat your price. And as they do, you’ll continue to see thinner and thinner margins. When you charge a premium rate, however, there’s much less competition. And assuming the quality justifies the price, you’ll actually find it easier to get ahead. You won’t need to move nearly as much product to earn the same revenue, thus it becomes more about quality relationships than quantity of leads.
Adding it All Up
The explosion of the internet has torn down the traditional barriers to entry that exist in the business world. It’s no longer an exclusive society where you need millions of dollars in backing and the support of an established brand to start a business and find success. There’s so much direct access to customers that anyone can come up with an idea and turn it into a business in a matter of days. But the irony of this evolution is the fact that fewer barriers to entry means more competition.
If you’re going to succeed in today’s highly competitive marketplace and gain visibility in spite of such crowded channels, you have to do the little things right and build a sturdy foundation upon which future growth can occur. The hope is that this article helps you cast some vision for the future so that you can move in a more positive direction.