An entrepreneur’s main challenge is how to best position his brand or products against competitors who have the luxury of more resources and budgets. In competitive markets, it can be easy to get lost in the crowd. One of the biggest problems for entrepreneurs is standing out from their competitors. How do startups with low budgets, small teams, and few customers compete against giants in their industry? They do this by turning their weaknesses into strengths. Marketing in new, unusual, or aggressive ways is the best way to illustrate what makes a business unique.
Marketing is one area where startups are declared-winners when it comes to innovative content, and this is called Entrepreneurial Marketing. It is the art of highlighting strengths and hiding weaknesses. In the beginning, a startup has minimal resources in its arsenal. Using and showcasing those limited resources in a way to best position a brand or product is a marketing approach that entrepreneurs take to save costs and maximize impact. Some of the strategies entrepreneurs use include:
- One to One Marketing – Customers are marketed to as individuals. All marketing efforts are personalized.
- Real-Time Marketing – Uses the power of technology to interact with a customer in real-time.
- Viral Marketing – Places marketing messages on the Internet so they can be shared and expanded on by customers.
- Digital Marketing – Leverages the power of Internet tools like email and social networking to support marketing efforts.
One of the most substantial assets for a startup is always – The Entrepreneur. Customers should remember the entrepreneur first, then the product or the brand. Entrepreneurs must be their brand’s face and a part of all marketing campaigns in its initial stages. Customers love that the CEO of the startup interacts directly with them. The cheapest and fastest method is to self-promote your business.
As an entrepreneur, you must always be looking at leveraging your knowledge, vision, expertise and marketing them through multiple channels to promote your brand. What I mean is, you’ve got to be the face that everyone will relate to with your startup or brand. To do this, a lot of effort must go into self-promotion:
- Be Shameless – If you fear “what people will think of you” or whether “you don’t look good enough” – then it’s time to shed it. Entrepreneurs have got to be out there in the market at all times, interacting and networking. Sometimes you ought to be on stage at a conference, or facing a camera for your YouTube channel or clicking that profile picture with a big fake smile. It is natural, with all this limelight, to feel humiliated or embarrassed, but this is how it works, and you will get accustomed to it.
- Get Personal – Talk about your experiences, success, and failure stories. You can build a stronger link with people through your tales. Just make sure you don’t sound like you’re bragging, but do it in subtle ways.
- Make predictions – One of the best ways to command authority in a group is by forecasting or making predictions and being right. If you’re an expert in a particular field, don’t be afraid to make predictions. Back it up with logic and references. And if you predict something correctly, people will remember you forever and may even come to you for advice in the future.
- Quote from books – You can always sound smarter by referring and recommending books in your conversations. Letting people know that you are well-read is the best opportunity to self-promote.
With these strategies, you can start practicing the art of Entrepreneurial Marketing right away.
Founder || CEO || Coach @Startup MC
Nitesh is an innovator and entrepreneur with 10 years in business leadership. He is an expert in all aspects of business formation, operation, finance, marketing and management.
Nitesh, is currently the Founder, CEO and Coach of Startup MC – An intellectual accelerator for startups and entrepreneurs supporting them in their journey through training, consulting and market research services.
He is a visionary product developer with deep knowledge in research and marketing. An effective communicator, motivator and a relentless optimist who believes “There is no failure, only feedback.”
Nitesh holds an MBA in Digital Marketing.