As a multimillionaire, Marco Robinson could have stopped after starting his first successful business. Most entrepreneurs can’t stop though. Robinson didn’t rest. He launched more successful startups, wrote a bestseller, and now moonlights as an EDM act.
Every entrepreneur has passion. It is what drives them to succeed, even if the odds aren’t in their favor. More businesses fail than succeed. However, some entrepreneurs seem to have a Midas touch.
“Most entrepreneurs fall in love with their idea and focus on why that idea will succeed,” said Marco Robinson. “That’s not bad but it’s not complete. Success comes from knowing what’s ahead, how something might fail and having the passion to make sure it doesn’t.”
Marketing a startup is a unique challenge. Almost every entrepreneur explains it a different way. Renée Warren, the Co-Founder of Onboardly, describes it as the “sweet spot between content marketing and PR.”
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Yet, there are some common characteristics seen in every successful startup. “A successful startup identifies its target audience, creates a unique voice for its content, understands its position relative to competition and keeps customers engaged,” said Robinson.
Identifying a target audience is the first step. What motivates a potential consumer and why they make decisions is important to know. Everything starts here. Strategy is then based on the traits of the ideal consumer. Having the patience to do research in the beginning will pay off in the end.
Creating unique content isn’t as hard as it may seem. The wheel doesn’t need to be reinvented. In fact, almost everything has been done before.
A startup is a blank canvas. Some see that as a disadvantage but really that is a tremendous advantage. Consumers have no preconceived ideas of what the content will be. Use that to surprise and excite your audience. Remember that most content isn’t that unique — how it reaches and engages with the audience is where it can become unique.
Competitive analysis is obviously important. An old way of doing this, a SWOT analysis, is still effective. Marco Robinson said, “Knowing your strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats that may exist, will leave you better prepared to succeed.” Preparation is vital.
Strength and weaknesses are easy to understand. Opportunities are where a competitor may be vulnerable. Threats are where your startup may be vulnerable to moves from the competition.
Keeping customers engaged is crucial. Engagement is a giant industry buzz word but for good reason. Whether it’s capturing emails, providing purchase incentives, or utilizing social media, a startup has to make sure it converts attention in to customers. Being top off mind becomes increasingly important as more and more companies have access to exposure with social media.
These tips are a great place to start. Most entrepreneurs struggle with the patience to do the necessary research. They are passionate, they want to do things immediately. “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t,” said a student in Warren G. Tracy’s class. Follow the advice of Marco Robinson and other successful entrepreneurs and make it happen.
Jeff Barrett is an experienced columnist and digital public relations professional. He has been named Business Insider’s #1 Ad Executive on Twitter, a Forbes Top 50 Influencer In Social Media and has contributed to Technorati, Mashable and The Washington Times.