So you’ve decided to start your own business. Congratulations! Becoming an entrepreneur/CEO of a startup can be an exciting and challenging process, even if you’ve had exposure to business classes. An MBA may prepare you for the risks associated with creating your own business, but nothing compares to firsthand experience gained while out in the field. Taking the plunge by operating a self-run business can often feel like a rollercoaster ride, but the return on knowledge and wisdom can’t be matched.


With all the daily preparation that goes into building your business, a major component can sometimes go overlooked. The key to making your startup grow rests in the marketing plan. That’s right, the often most underestimated component of the business plan actually determines the growth of the entire company! The exposure your business gains by implementing a marketing campaign can make or break a business in those crucial first years.


Maybe public relations/marketing/advertising all sound like the same kind of mystery to you, or perhaps it’s your specialty. Either way, there are certain things you can start doing  to ensure long-term success for you business.


1. Develop a Social Media Strategy

Social media in incredibly important for today’s marketing strategies, but it involves much more planning than a Facebook post here or there or a Tweet every once in a while.

Ever heard of SEO? If you haven’t a clue what goes into Search Engine Optimization, you may want to consider investing in hiring a professional to help you expand your efforts.  There are now startups designed specifically to consult you on how best to market your business using social media. This individual should also be able to advise you on platforms, such as Google Analytics, as well.


2. Consider Crowdfunding.

If you’re creative and a star at fundraising, crowdfunding vehicles may help you gain exposure in your community, both physical and virtual. “Indiegogo” is a platform in particular that allows you to pitch film projects with unique perks added as incentives. Even if you’re not a filmmaker, crowdfunding can benefit your company in much more than a monetary sense. “Kickstarter” and “Crowdtilt” are just a few other crowdfunding sites to consider implementing into your marketing campaign.


3. Invest In Nontraditional Advertising.

Yes, fliers and brochures are still acceptable forms of communicating your business goals to the public, but why not think outside the box to attract more of an audience? This might include creating a short film to promote your business or developing a separate blog  to  establish your relevance on the daily. Why not hire a team member to blog about your company and publish articles under your business name?

Try enlisting guest bloggers to generate hype regarding your products. This allows you, in turn, to develop a partnership within the blogging community and secure more niche advertising.This type of positive press gets consumers thinking about your services much more than a one-time promotion or product placement. Whatever it is, get your name mentioned in a big way, without doing anything illegal, of course.


4. Pick Your Network Wisely.

Most importantly, surround yourself with a healthy team! Just like you choose your mentors wisely, continue to pick out the best team members for your business. From partners to interns, everyone on your team should want the same goals for your business as you. Don’t hesitate to weed out toxic people from your life or your business; if you want to move forward with your goals, you need the best representation possible. Each member of your company is a reflection of your business to the public; choose wisely.


What do you think of our marketing tips? Do you have anything to add to this list? Share your thoughts in the comments or tweet me @Kelseymbro