As a startup founder, you must do pretty much of everything yourself. You’re the CEO, CMO, CFO, and more.
Early days of any startup are a roller coaster. And one of the biggest challenges that you’ll face is generating sales.
Generating sales means revenue, it motivates you and gives you a feeling of accomplishment. Generating early sales is crucial.
I’m sure you’ve heard that nine out of ten startups fail. Analyzing startups that succeed shows that they focus on growth and the founder doesn’t ignore anything. Successful startups and their founders focus on growth by driving (initial) sales.
Sales don’t come without marketing.
You should forget everything about marketing and just focus on what works. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Use marketing techniques that have always worked. And what exactly are those marketing techniques?
Here we go…
1. Guest blogging
I’m a big fan of content marketing and guest blogging. When done right, guest blogging is more than enough to generate heaps of sales.
Guest blogging puts you, your startup, and your product in front of the right people at the right place.
You can write and publish 100 blog posts on your startup blog, promote them, share them, and do everything to generate leads and sales but it has no match with one guest post on a leading blog that is already read and trusted by your target audience.
Guest blogging helps you use someone else’s credibility to make your brand trustworthy.
You don’t have to publish several guest posts to generate sales for your startup.
If you play smart, one guest is all you need.
Jon Cooper received 400+ visitors on the first day when his guest post was published on Moz blog. When you have a great product, 400 visitors can help you generate quite a few sales.
You don’t have to do crazy stuff to be successful with guest blogging – just do what works.
Focus on sales instead of backlinks, social shares, or referral traffic. These metrics don’t pay you, right?
Why bother then?
As a startup founder, you should learn how to use guest blogging for sales – not for backlinks or referral traffic only. Before you start pitching blogs, create a sales-focused plan.
Ask yourself: “How many sales you’ll generate from this guest post?”
If your guest post has the potential to generate a single sale, go for it.
Write an awesome guest article, pitch it to the editor, and relax. Don’t panic if your post gets rejected. Move to the next best alternative.
However, if your article is well-written, interesting, and adds value to the host blog, it is highly unlikely that it will be rejected.
Infographics help you with three things:
- They generate referral traffic.
- They improve brand awareness.
- They improve your website’s search engine ranking.
KISSmetrics spent $600 per infographic and generated 2,512K+ visitors and 41K+ backlinks in two years from 47 infographics. These 47 infographics generated 41K tweets and more than 20K likes on Facebook.
Not a bad deal, right?
The real beauty of infographic is that you can talk about your product and startup in any way you like which is something you don’t get to do with guest blogging.
You can talk about the benefits of your product, how it compares to other products, what big challenge it solves, and more. I’m not saying that you should make it look like a blatant advertisement, but the idea is to deliver high-value content that people don’t hesitate to share.
Your infographic should be informative and interesting, and at the same time, it should talk about your product or startup (for sales generation).
You don’t have to necessarily promote your startup or recommend your product in the infographic. You just have to choose infographic topic smartly to presell your product.
Creating and publishing a high-quality infographic doesn’t guarantee sales, you have to promote it so that it is shared by leading authority websites that will send referral traffic to your infographic. You can then generate leads and sales.
The exposure you get with infographic marketing will help you several years down the road. It is, by no means, (only) a short-term marketing strategy.
3. Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is the talk of the town, and I’m sure you know a lot about it. An influencer can help you generate heaps of sales for your startup.
Minnie & Maxxie collaborated with 19 micro influencers to promote their products in Australia and New Zealand.
Forty-two Instagram posts generated 18K content engagement, and they reached more than 330K consumers.
Similarly, Bigelow Tea promoted its products via influencers. The influencer marketing campaign increased Bigelow Tea sales by 18.5%.
There are several ways to partner with influencers. However, the challenging part is finding the right influencers who have enough influence on your target audience. If your primary target audience doesn’t follow the influencer, your campaign won’t work.
What you have to learn is finding the right influencers to run your sales campaign. Once you have the right influencers onboard, rest gets easy and fun.
Generating initial sales for your startup through these three techniques will give you and your team the confidence to do more.
It isn’t about how many sales you generate but when you generate them. The earlier you do it, the better.
Because as time passes, you’ll start losing faith in your product. Imagine it’s been over a month since you launched your product and you haven’t generated a single sale. It will frustrate you, and you might end up behave unexpectedly that will, eventually, hurt your startup.
Don’t let this happen to your startup.
Focus on early sales.
A few early sales will give you the confidence and motivation that you need to do more – and more.
About the Author:
Sabih Javed is an inbound marketer and an experienced freelance writer for hire having specialization in digital marketing. He has written data-driven and actionable content for numerous B2B and B2C companies. His publications appeared in Yahoo News, Jeff Bullas, TheNextWeb, Business2Community, and more. Find more about him on his blog DigitalMarketer.pk, and catch him on Twitter @sabihjavedd.