- Decide on a name for your company/product/service
- Register .com and .se addresses for all important names
- Register accounts on all social media sites for your company and product names
(maybe you don’t want a Facebook-site or Twitter-account for active use, but you really don’t want anyone else to register your name and speak for you)
Create your product pitch
Who is your ideal user of your product and what problem do you solve for that user? How do your product differ from what your competitors offer? Work this down to two short sentences that are crystal clear and impossible to resist for your ideal user. Test it. Make it better and test it again until it is award winning.
Polish your personal profile
You as a person are of vital importance for the launching of your start-up. If you are online; clean up your profiles on all social media. If not online; register with at least LinkedIn and create a good-looking updated profile. What have you done before that matters to this start-up? Who do you know that boosts your status and give you credibility?
Attend meetings and conferences and go to lunch with people with the sole purpose of telling them (not SELLING them) about what you are up to. Ask their advice and get the word out that you are starting something interesting. If you are not alone in the start-up accept that one of you will be more visible than the others – all bands have a lead singer, all companies have a CEO.
Optimize your website
- Make sure your website talk about the benefits for the user, not the features of your product.
- Make sure you have optimized every page and picture to Google’s liking.
- Make sure your have added ”share this” buttons everywhere.
- Make sure you have included links to all of your social channels.
- Make sure you have pictures and names and contact information for yourself and every staff member in a prominent place and that you tell your background story. Why have you started this business? Why are your team the best people to do this?
- Make sure you invite visitors to get in touch.
Make it easy to write about you
Have pictures that are free to use for press and bloggers. You need pictures of the founders, the team and the products and preferably some really fun pictures of the founders using the product.
Write your background story in a simple but compelling way and offer up some quotes about your business and about being an entrepreneur. Don’t forget to update your background story when new interesting things happen – like your first order, new partnership, new hire etc.
Practise your pitch
Practise a long and short version of what you do so that you can pitch in a stunning way. Make sure your presentation is about the problem you solve for your ideal user and why you are the right people to succeed with this mission you have. Ask for help if you are not completely comfortable on stage – what you say and how you say it matters a lot.
Get professional presentation material
Unless you’re starting a communications agency, get a professional to design your presentation. What you look like on stage matters. A lot. If you can’t afford the fees of the big agencies turn to students or fellow start-ups. But no clip-art power points. Please.
Spread all good news through your own channels
List bloggers and journalists that cover your topic and start building a relationship with them – complement them on something they wrote, suggest a person to interview (not yourself). When the relationship is established, start sending them personal notes with news once in a while. Thank them if they write. Don’t ask why if they don’t write.
Comment on news regarding your business or region to get your name out as someone who knows and cares. Thank people who comment on your news and thought, build relationships.
Apply for awards, grab opportunities to speak in public and make sure to spread the news about such events before, under and after for maximum PR.
And, as a clever man says: Be honest and do good shit!
For international readers: This blog is normally in swedish, but this entry was written for the international startups we work with at Science Park Jönköping and I wanted to publish it on my own blog. Any questions, please e-mail me or ask on twitter. Thanks for reading!