How creating a story and community can boost your business.
How to Market Your Startup Like a Guru
If you’re battling with marketing, acquisition, growth, awareness and beating competitors, then this week’s How Would You Build It podcast is for you. We sat down with serial entrepreneur, founder and marketing guru Dave Duarte, to chat about how to market a startup, build the brand and build a community. And it’s solid GOLD. If you are a founder, you have to listen to this one.
Some of the best bits…
1. Tell a good story and your marketing is done
Dave jumps straight in with the one hack that does all your marketing for you. He says not to leave marketing to the “arts and crafts” department, build the narrative of what you’re trying to do internally at the core of your product.
Sometimes a single line makes every sale so much easier. Uber’s was so good – “press a button, get a ride/taxi” – that it built the company to mega-scale, and even led to other startups comparing themselves to Uber – “we’re the Uber of the xxx space”.
It’s your job as founder to figure out what that one line is for your brand. Dave says to make your customer the hero of a story – “They are Luke Skywalker, your product is the lightsaber, get Luke to understand that he needs that lightsaber to save the universe.”
2. Identify your audience by eating your broccoli
Dave says there’s only one reliable way to find your user and that is to get in front of a whole lot of people you think might have the problem you’re solving and have a three-tier conversation: Who they are, What problems they’re facing and then Frame your product as the solution to those problems.
Then comes the acid test: If that person looks you in the eye and says, “Oh my goodness, yes! I want it, right now. Where do I sign up?”. Only then do you have your audience – everyone else is a mom (they like the idea of your product but they will never buy it).
The broccoli part is actually finding those people and getting them to talk to you – via video call, in person, whatever.
3. Startup marketing hacks
First off, you gotta actually have a plan and budget to build and test a suite of marketing approaches (channels). Then Dave says you structure it like so…
- Truths: Expend some of your budget and effort on doing the basics right: Create your story, have an awesome website, get a great product video, and engage with your audience on socials or wherever. Just make yourself look like a company you’d actually buy from.
- Trends: Test out trending marketing approaches – try TikTok, approach influencers, and run ads. You never know if you don’t try.
- Trifles: Keep a little bit of budget to do crazy, fun stuff you really want to do. The key is to just have fun – host an in-person event, try something whacky with AI – and just have fun with a bit of your marketing.
Then, bring it all together in a channel-based approach: Try different channels, measure them, see where you have success, double down on those and gradually just build a series of marketing channels that actually work for you.