Startup Marketing Tips For Credibility
By Tawny Autumn, TPL's 2020 Entrepreneur in Residence.
As an Online Startup, it's important to appear credible to a customer. The majority of online shoppers research their product online before purchasing.
A website and social media presence are essential to your credibility. Be sure to populate those platforms with good quality content that is targeted to your audience.
Here are some easy and low-cost recommendations for building credibility, including a list of resources where applicable:
- A website, sales lead page, or eCommerce "home" for your business; even if it's a "coming soon" template. Resources: Wix, WordPress, Leadpages, Shopify, & Etsy. Check out the book Influence: The Art of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini Ph.D. for a better idea on how to use your online platform to influence and sell.
- Create business accounts on social media using Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Build an audience and tell your brand story in an appealing way to connect with your audience. Consider using the "Promote Post" button that will be featured under your posts on Instagram and Facebook to get more exposure and reach more eyes and ears. Read Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff to master the art of storytelling.
- Build an audience and become searchable with hashtags. For more on this, read Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crushing It about leveraging social media content and becoming searchable. Resource for hashtags: all-hashtags.com.
- Get customer reviews and testimonials. Users love to know that there are other satisfied customers. Capture what your audience is saying in writing, in a photo with writing over it, or on video. Resources: Canva app & PhotoGrid.
- Try commercials, trailers and explainer videos to pitch your product or service solutions. Take photos and videos of your product and create a "trailer" or "mini commercial" for social media and ads. Resources: Perfect Video to DIY or fIverr.com for someone else to do it on a budget. Check out Gary Vaynerchuk’s Jab, Jab, Right Hook to learn more about selling with your online content to develop a sales funnel.
- Use photo editing apps for simple yet professional results. Resources: Afterlight, Snapseed, VistaPrint & Moo Cards.
- Establish credibility with blog posts. Resources: WordPress, Tumblr, Instagram long-form captions, and vlogging on YouTube. For more on this, read The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss. It’s a comprehensive book on tools, resources, credibility and outsourcing for Startups!
- Partnerships/Collaborations: leverage other people's audience (if they are similar to yours) by working together.
- Staying connected: collect emails and create a list to send out mass emails with promotions, announcements and call(s) to action.
- Case Studies: illustrate examples of how your product or services have solved an issue for a client. You can do this with writing, photos and quotes (in the captions) or an explainer video.
- Domains: Pick a memorable and easy to remember (and spell!) domain name that doesn't always need to be your name (ex. tawnysells.com vs thisisselling.com). Resource: www.domains.com
Recommended Reading List
Influence: The Art of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini Ph.D.
Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff
Crushing It by Gary Vaynerchuk
Jab, jab, jab, right hook : how to tell your story in a noisy, social world by Gary Vaynerchuk
The 4-hour work week: escape 9-5, live anywhere, and join the new rich by Timothy Ferriss
Pick a combination of 1 to 3 resources, a “killer combo” of sorts, to execute your marketing but also avoid getting overwhelmed with all the possibilities. Also, get quotes where necessary to assess your options and timelines; for example: Wix costs money, but Facebook Business Pages are free.
Make sure your website or social media page provides an easy and seamless experience.
Your web page should have a clear:
- Product or service offering with pictures (stock photos are ok for services)
- Pricing or quote options
- Ability to buy and/or connect with a representative
- Delivery and shipping options for products
- Credibility and social proof like reviews, followers and testimonials.
Consider including FAQ's in a "pinned" post on your Facebook page or on your website’s “Contact Us” section to avoid getting the same inquiries and to speed up the buying process for your customer.
Also, you can promote special offers to drive sales. This can include something like free shipping or 10% off your first order.
Don’t forget to watch a replay of my program The Startup Toolkit where we discuss these resources.
Now go make a million dollars!