Friends, there comes a moment with your startup when you need to start sharing what you, as a solopreneur, have created, with the no, not just your cat, your children, your family, and your friends, but with the world wide web and the big wide world.

You have already:

  • Decided you wanted to live big and make your dreams come true
  • Created a plan for how to make that happen
  • Gathered your tribe around you for support as you begin your wild ride
  • Organized your finances and attended to legal and administrative details
  • Created a workspace and workflow
  • Decided on a target audience
  • Created a product or service
  • Set up a website and
  • Started to develop your web presence

Maybe you have already had a client or two.

The Moment Has Come

Now you need to promote. It’s no good creating a masterpiece if no one knows about it, after all.

5 Low-Cost Tips From Around The Web to Promote Your Startup

First of all, read startup blogs. They are packed with high-quality information. You can find a list of good ones here.

Second, from Marshal Kirkpatrick, Technology Journalist:

Reach out to bloggers, but before you do, write an FAQ:

Writing a pre-launch FAQ is one of the first things I advise any company does before reaching out to bloggers. I believe a good FAQ includes all the basic background information that would be communicated in a solid telephone conversation: company history, funding, executive backgrounds and possible if not already available use cases of the product. Based on my experience covering startups at TechCrunch I found the majority of telephone conversations with CEOs to be frustratingly long, slow and unneeded. Tech news and review bloggers are hungry for content and if you give them all the info they need to write, in an easy to consume fashion, they will appreciate it and be more likely to write about you. This FAQ document should also include a good logo image and screenshots that can be included in any write up. An embeddable screencast or demo video is great but good looking screenshots go a long way too.

Third and fourth, from oDeskblog:

Find the interested. Got a tech product or new app? Then search out those early adopters who are always looking for the latest and greatest. Some sites that can help you reach them include Betali.st, Startupli.st, and inspiredBeta. Design a landing page just for this audience and offer a beta test experience. Then see if those users will do a write-up for you. And if they refuse, find out why and try to fix the problem.

Offer a referral incentive. Just because people like your business does not guarantee they will actively tell their friends about you…unless you give them a good reason to do so. Provide that reason by offering some type of reward or discount for referrals. Be creative in the reward offered and tailor it to your customers’ needs. For example, Dropbox offers extra storage space for those who refer new customers, and Omaha Steakhouse ran a campaign where they threw in 10 extra burgers for each customer who referred a friend.

Get Human

And, finally, lucky number five from the bird (that’s me, COLIBRI) herself: go offline. Yes, that’s right, people. You need to network. Go to meetups, go to dinner, go dancing or join clubs related to your persona (target market). COLIBRI doesn’t care which activities you choose, as long as you do at least one non-digital event per week.

Oh, and bring your business cards and don’t forget to be friendly.

Your Turn

There are tons of great ideas out there for promoting your startup. Tell us some of yours.

Citations — Because Nobody Does It Alone

Camenisch, Julia. 8 Free Ways to Promote Your Startup. oDeskblog. March 26, 2012.

Kirkpatrick, Marshall. Thoughts on Product Launch Promotion. Marshall Kirkpatrick, Technology Journalist (blog). August 6, 2007.

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