At a recent dinner on bootstrapping with Suzanne Noble, the founder of the aptly-named Frugl, the only platform connecting Londoners on a budget with great events and offers, gave her fellow diners some great advice when it comes to PR for your startup. First and foremost, always remember:
PR is the quickest way to get brand awareness
Bearing this in mind, you don’t want to launch until you are 100% ready. If you’re not completely good to go you may well expose a flaw which could in turn kill your business. Timing is, therefore, key.
As no doubt you’re already aware, paid for editorials cost A LOT, so when you’re bootstrapping you need to find other ways to spread the word about your business and build up your brand awareness. Here are Suzanne’s top tips for promoting your business:
- MEDIA TOOL KIT – is a must. Make sure you have information about your business in a handy, downloadable folder (think easily accessible, a download via your website or in Dropbox). Journalists work flat out and also right up to the eleventh hour so you need to be able to give them whatever they need at the drop of a hat. Everyone’s media tool kit will vary slightly depending on the business but always ensure you have high-res head shots and biographies of key people, as well as a boiler plate about your business.
- SOCIAL MEDIA – get it in order. Make sure they are all up to date or delete them, otherwise you will look unprofessional. Decide on what channel(s) are important to you and concentrate on them.
- YOUTUBE – create videos about your business to get the word out.
- BLOGS – the more contentious you are, the more likely you are to be picked up. If you have an opinion and can talk on your subject – do it.
- If writing’s not your strong point, hire someone who can tighten and sharpen your copy – it’s worth the expenditure.
- OUTSOURCING – don’t get others to do your social media at the start of your business. You know it better than anyone so use social media to get people to understand and feel what you are doing.
- SURVEYS – are a really good way to get the word out; the media love a good survey story. Align with a competition if you can too as people like to win stuff.
- BE CURRENT – if there’s a news story you can piggy back off, do it.
- PRESS RELEASES – you don’t necessarily need these as journalists rarely have the time to read them properly. Find a cheeky way in, use your email subject header to get an answer. Be short, no more than two paragraphs to focus on the problem and solution of what you’re selling. Find the fine line between being too formal and too informal – do your homework and refer to anything they’ve written before that’s relevant.
Suzanne finished up with a few nuggets of advice for the best way to utilise social media channels to your advantage:
Twitter is great for stalking journalists – DM them. Search #journorequests on Twitter and get in touch with them, if it’s relevant.
Facebook is fantastic for finding opportunities. Check out groups like londonstartups.
To hear first-hand the great tips and knowledge from our wonderful speakers, join a TableCrowd dinner today.