As some of you already know, in 2021 I created a startup called Garage Online Sale. It’s an online marketplace for selling gently used designer furniture and premium home decor. Today we are the #1 furniture reselling platform in Canada.
As a serial entrepreneur and a startup founder, I know how crucial good PR is for startups. At the early stage, it helps you build brand awareness, increase your visibility in social media, create more opportunities for publicity. Bootstrapping a startup is more challenging than one can think. When you don’t have a budget to promote your business, these FREE opportunities can help you get more visibility:
1. Online community. There are thousands of communities created to support niche projects. They are all focused on helping specific categories of business (small businesses, female-owned businesses, tech startups, etc.). Find your top 5 communities and build your presence. It’s an excellent opportunity to find support, like-minded people, free advice on fundraising, growth, or partnerships.
2. Free publicity. Top-tier media (like Inc, Business Insider, Forbes, HuffPost, TechCrunch, etc.) always look for good stories about critical social issues, success stories, new technologies. As a startup founder, you know what problems you solve and how you can help millions of people. Structure your pitch short and clear, identifying the key problems and specific solutions. A journalist (just like an investor) should understand why your product or technology is important today. Explore your local media outlets, talk to your local bloggers and opinion leaders, move to national media and TV stations. Quality media coverage will help your startup establish trust, brand awareness and grow your audience.
3. Social media presence. Lack of human resources is not a reason to stay away from social media. Be smart and focus on 1-2 channels. I would recommend Instagram and LinkedIn. From Instagram, you get consumers, from LinkedIn - potential partners and investors. As a founder, you should do it all. Your voice is the strongest and the most inspiring. Create social media channels that talk about your product, solutions, benefits for communities, and don’t forget to put a human face behind it.
4. LinkedIn is a powerful platform for building a quality business presence, finding supporters, team members, and potential investors. It offers a variety of speaking opportunities, classes, and free online courses to help you grow your startup.
For questions and ideas, please, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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