Your Startup is Your First Product!

Consider your startup as a product to determine your goals, create momentum, and validate your idea before your product is fully developed

Your Startup is Your First Product!
What a product!

How to Use Building Your Company as a Marketing Asset‌‌ - Entrepreuneurial series #8

Entrepreneurs often struggle to talk about their product at the beginning of their journey because it has not yet come to fruition. However, your startup is your first product! Consider it as such to determine your goals, create momentum, and validate your idea. This reminds me of the early days of Ponicode when I hired the Marketing Manager. She asked me what to do because she did not see a product or solution to offer to customers. There is so much to do to promote your future company!

The Startup as the First Product

When launching your startup, it is crucial to consider it as a complete product. Your company is the first product that you must sell to all stakeholders: investors, potential customers, business partners, and especially future employees. To do this, you need to determine your goals, create momentum, and validate your idea before your product or service is fully developed. In fact, your startup already has a story, vision, mission, team, culture, visual identity, website, and social media presence, and maybe even a first draft of your product. All of these elements are sufficient to build an effective communication and marketing strategy to talk about this first product: your company!

The Benefits of a Startup as a Product

By treating your startup as a product, you can identify what works and what needs improvement. You can adjust your strategy accordingly and make rapid progress with each iteration. This was highlighted in my article on creating momentum for your startup. Furthermore, considering your company as a product is an additional opportunity to validate your idea. Before launching a product or service in the market, it is crucial to ensure that your idea meets a real need and that your target audience is ready to adopt it. By presenting your company as a product, you can test market interest, obtain valuable feedback, and adjust your value proposition accordingly.

Strategies to Promote Your Startup as a Product

To promote your startup as a product from the start, you can use different strategies. Here are six of them: (this list is not exhaustive, of course)

a) Create an attractive website: Use images and videos to illustrate your story and value proposition. Be personal and as authentic as possible - it shows! Make sure your website clearly presents your mission, (future) product, values, team, achievements, customers, partners, and goals. Don't forget to include call-to-action buttons to encourage visitors to contact you or sign up for your newsletter.

b) Use social media to promote your startup: Create accounts on the most relevant social media platforms for your startup (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) and start publishing interesting and engaging content. Share news about your startup, useful tips and tricks, testimonials from potential clients, photos of your team in action, etc. Don't hesitate to use relevant hashtags to increase your visibility. Tell the story of your startup journey.

c) Attend relevant events for your industry and target customers: This can be trade shows, conferences, meetups, hackathons. Attending these events will allow you to meet prospects, investors, partners, and get your name out there to your community. Be present as much as possible and everywhere! :)

d) Create content for your startup: Write blog articles, white papers, infographics, videos, podcasts on topics related to your industry and offer. Choose the media that suits you best - you can't do it all at the beginning! You certainly have a preference or a type of content that suits you. For me, it's writing, but I know that younger generations (and yes, I'm old ;) ) are much more comfortable with Instagram or producing serious and humorous video clips. I love the little clips thatthe Ponicode team made at Station F, very cool! This content will not only demonstrate your expertise but also attract traffic to your website and strengthen your credibility with your prospects.

e) Use word-of-mouth to generate interest and trust: Ask your friends, family, former colleagues, and first customers to talk about your startup. Word-of-mouth is a powerful way to create authentic interest and inspire confidence in your company. Talk about it all the time and everywhere!

f) Build your core team and recruit talent: Your core team is a powerful marketing tool to talk about your project and recruit talent. This point is crucial for the success of the project. Presenting your company as an attractive product not only helps attract the attention of investors and potential customers but also sparks the interest of exceptional talent who want to join your adventure. Make sure to highlight the vision, culture, and development opportunities within your startup to attract the best profiles and build a strong team.

In summary, considering your startup as a complete product will help you determine your goals, create momentum, and validate your idea before your product is fully developed. To promote your startup as a product, you can create a cool website, use social media, attend events, create fun and serious content, use word-of-mouth, build your core team, and recruit talent. By using the appropriate tools and communication channels, you can attract the attention of investors, potential customers, and business partners, and create a solid foundation for the future growth of your company. The entrepreneurial journey can be fraught with obstacles, but by taking an unconventional approach and considering your startup as the first product to promote, you can stand out from the competition and maximize your chances of success. So, don't wait any longer, you have your first product!

Keep exploring!