Startups don’t have the financial prowess to invest in larger than life billboards or primetime commercials. Unless you have a product that has surprisingly been endorsed by some celebrity and you can showcase that on Shark Tank or some other reality show, your startup enterprise will still lack the exposure that it needs to grow. Very few people actually manage to walk into a meeting with Peter Thiel and bag half a million bucks in hedge fund investment, that too for a fledgling but promising social network like Mark Zuckerberg. You have to brace for the worst but hope for the best. As a startup, you need to figure out ways to attain the elusive exposure, among your target audience and also among potential investors.
Here are a few cost effective ways for startups to get the necessary exposure.
1 Social media, social networks and free media/press are your best bets. Social media and social networks don’t cost a penny to sign up for. All you need is time, effort and dedication. Keep reaching out to more people using different types of content and social media will get your startup some exposure. You may not get famous but you will become relevant.
2 Your second best bet is free press or media. We all know that the mainstream media is heavily biased and is seldom interested in helping anyone or anything that doesn’t help them back. Independent blogs, experts in your niche or enthusiasts who have a great following and would be willing to try your products or services can be your ideal ambassadors. Don’t expect them to keep writing blogs and press releases for you. Some of them may just tweet once or post one comment. That may be all you get but try to capitalize on it. You are free to use the development and cite the reference in your future course of marketing.
3 Startups should be at events, regardless of the nature of the enterprise. It could be tradeshows, consumer fairs, any kind of industry specific event or it can be an exclusive event being organized by the startup. Events always help companies get some tangible exposure. The virtual exposure doesn’t always resonate in reality but when you combine it with real exposure, the impact is effective, if not lethal. Special events at strategic locations with meticulously chosen audiences will always help a startup get the much desired but elusive exposure.