There are startups budding left and right. There are also startups dying left and right. Like a dying sun, they collapse under their own weight. Turned off, shut down. Entropy is unavoidable.
Startups and old, mammoth companies have embraced social media to try and connect with consumers. But it’s the consumers, the people, who now decide when, how, and in what manner they interact with brands. Billboards and TV spots are slowly being phased out, as well as banners. As more people get more screens in their lives, the more they ignore banners and other crude advertising mechanisms.
People are the lifeblood that fuels any business’ success. People are also fickle beings, and can always divert their attention to anything else in the market. Thus, cutting of the hydrogen supply from beneath a star startup – and forcing it to meet entropy’s sweet kiss of death. Apparently, that’s really scary to all business who are desperately trying to succeed or stay alive.
But! There are lots of ways you can prepare and outmaneuver the inevitable end, and maximize your chances for success. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, so don’t expect this to be easy.
1. Know your customers
“Customers” is a funny word. It can become just a number, a financial statistic that can cloud you from the fact that these are actual people with their daily troubles who decided to spend their money on your services. “I am not a number” you might hear them say. And they’d be right. Find out who they are, what their habits are, search their #lifestyle, and define them in key demographics. Because if you don’t, you might as well be creating a company in the darkness of a Lovecraftian void.
2. Tell Stories, not propaganda
The most basic mistake you can make is to talk about promotions, discounts, banners and ads. No. Stories are what kept humanity sane and drove our evolutionary progress forward. Stories first appeared as painting in caves of animals and the things cavemen saw and did. Our ability to transfer emotional and meaning is what sets us apart from any other species. And that’s exactly the power source you need to tap into.
Tell people WHY you do what you do. Then talk to them about HOW you do it. And only then, can you finally tell them WHAT you made and where they can buy it. Buy starting at the root of the problem you’re solving, people can relate – and you can get to them through that emotional component.
3. Speak in layman’s terms
Ogilvy, the mastermind of advertising, once famously mused in his book Ogilvy on Advertising that copy in all ads has to be written as plainly as possible. Always use the second face when writing copy, and keep the tone light, as if you were talking to your wife. Imagine talking to Lana Del Rey while she pouts pensively in her seat, intent on hearing only what she’s interested in hearing. Which is either money, power, or glory, if her songs are to be believed.
4. Test your speed
The necessary ingredient in any new business venture is quality bandwidth. You don’t see Amazon building its empire on 56k modems? You’re going to need serious networking power to create optimal growth conditions for your business. But how can you judge if you’re running at optimal capacity? Just use a robust and reliable mobile speed test to figure out if and where you need priorities networking upgrades.
5. Use social media effectively, and sparingly
Don’t worry about over-posting or over-promoting on Facebook. They’ve got excellent algorithms in place to stop companies from spamming news feeds. You can always pay, of course, to curb these algorithms a little, and you should. Though keep it light. Don’t blow your budget mindlessly. Invest in key target groups, or promote to your page’s fans who liked it.
Use these 5 pillars of thought as a guide to set up a thriving environment for your business. And with hard work, a little luck, and good strategic planning, you’ll be able to grow your business organically. And then you’ll be able to later say “you did it with ease.”