Today, it is much easier to start a business than ever before. The opportunities seem limitless, so does the competition. Every product seems to have an almost exact copy out there in the market.
Having said that, how can your start-up stand out in such a crowded marketplace?
Some entrepreneurs believe that if their product is really good, they don’t need marketing. That is so far away from the truth, that it is almost funny.
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A great product is a good start. But if it needs to be successful, it needs to be constantly improved with feedback from its users.
Sales and marketing are make or break for any business. I have rarely seen a successful entrepreneur who is bad at sales and marketing. Many successful entrepreneurs prepare a marketing plan before they even build their product. This sounds like a crazy idea but it is true. You cannot sell a product that is not marketable.
Here are some simple ways you can make your product stand out in the marketplace.
#1 Be clear about your target market
“My target market is everybody,” says the amateur entrepreneur. If your target market is everybody then it is nobody.
I’ve always believed that your target market comes first, then your product. I’ve written an elaborate article about choosing a target market, you can access it here.
Initially, you might build a product that you think someone might like. It is usually driven by instinct. In those situations, you can experiment with different audiences. But eventually, you need to narrow down your choices and choose a market that works for you.
#2 Tell a story
The best products in the world have a story behind them. Take Apple, for example, everyone talks about Steve Jobs and how he made Apple into one of the finest companies in the world. You don’t have to be Steve Jobs or build the largest company in the world to tell your story.
Even local businesses have stories to tell. People would even love to hear stories of their local bakery or their local restaurant. Even your start-up has a story, and every start-up story is unique. Telling your audience how you started your business, and the inspiration behind it can build that emotional connect with your audience.
#3 Identify niche platforms to promote your business
There are so many places to promote your business. But unfortunately many of us think of the obvious platforms like Facebook or Google AdWords. If these work for your business and you are getting a good return on investment, then you can stick to them. If not, it’s time to explore other platforms.
Sergey Grybniak, Owner of Clever-Solution says “While you’re analyzing and applying your competitors’ best practices, register your start-up on lead generation platforms, which are either general purpose (like Opporty.com) or industry-focused (like ZocDoc or Vericost.com).”
#4 Do the opposite
If you are driving on a busy street, the best way to catch attention is to drive in the opposite direction. Of course, you’ll cause a traffic jam or even accidents but you’ll catch attention nonetheless.
In business, if you do the opposite of what everyone else is doing, it could be a great way to stand out from the crowd. Most people have a tendency to follow the crowd. Sometimes, it’s a bad idea.
Sales and marketing are one of the most important skills in business. Some entrepreneurs have even gone on to say that 60 per cent of your success comes from marketing. Unfortunately, most people are not trained in these skills. Putting in time and effort in building this skill can be extremely rewarding to entrepreneurs.
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