How to start a startup without spending a fortune on marketing

If only there was a one-size-fits-all way to guarantee a successful launch start and sustained traction. Newbie entrepreneurs are eager to label their companies as “Apple of X” or “Uber of Y” in order to reach these rankings faster.

While there are many variables that come into play, there are actually some commonalities that entrepreneurs can use as a springboard to start-up success without spending a fortune on marketing.

Start waiting list

There are many ways to define idea Because it is related to the field of entrepreneurship, but in a nutshell, it refers to identifying a problem ripe for disruption and action. This is what fascinates the audience the most. As we all know, Facebook was originally developed for college students to connect. Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia of Airbnb want to make lodging cheaper and more convenient.

Interestingly, you don’t need an over-target use case to be successful. For example, Pinterest founders Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp, and Paul Sciarra simply wanted to create a product that anyone could use, not just techies.

In the case of my own startup, Walnut, we started with two founders and an MVP. We started researching some potential audiences to validate our idea, and they liked it. Upon their request, we enthusiastically put them on the waitlist.

This is where initial traction comes into play. Even if it’s a pre-product, someone is excited about the problem you’re trying to solve, and you want to spread the word.

It is at this point that many entrepreneurs may create a series of fancy digital properties and paid campaigns on Google and Facebook. This is a very good approach, but my co-founders and I chose a different route: build minimal assets and very short, concise pages that are optimized to gather interest and add more to the waitlist name.

Put on your seed stage hat

Send newsletters and participate in numerous group discussions on networks like Facebook and LinkedIn. From our “seed list” of potential customers, word spread quickly and the waitlist started to grow – still without spending any money.

One of my bold moves is to launch one day, although it’s premature in terms of product. As it turns out, boldness paid off. In an explosive day, a popular product listing site featured our seed round on their homepage, and we were featured in nearly 20 news articles. It resulted in a longer waitlist of 700 names and three term sheets to extend our $6 million seed round.

When your goal is to disrupt an industry, your first launch will have an astronomical impact on your success. lead to uproar.

Don’t Avoid Marketing Completely

Of course, there are many companies that do very well without having a marketing infrastructure in place. While this is possible, it does put more pressure on the differentiating factor of your technology, and it turns into a gamble in the early stages when you rely on word of mouth to work its magic.

This approach has worked well for Wayfair, which makes huge profits by cleverly buying hundreds of domains that match common search terms. Tech companies like Atlassian and SurveyMonkey have also achieved the success they currently enjoy on their own. All of these companies have humble beginnings without massive marketing efforts or successful launches.

At the end of the day, it’s entirely possible for you to shine in your respective industry and gain traction without spending a fortune on marketing, but it’s definitely not an easy task. If you ask me, I’d say that as a first-time entrepreneur, you’re better off at least dabbling in the marketing element to some degree than not doing it at all.

Artfully presenting your value proposition, building a product your audience really needs, and outperforming your future competitors with a strong brand are all avenues to early success for your startup.

CEO Walnut and Forbes’ “Tech Marketers to Watch.” Entrepreneurial mentor at the world’s top accelerators.

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