Advertising startup style

Members of a startup discuss a new project
A first experience of free-of-charge services can be much more effective than an advert

What’s great about startups is their out-of-the-box thinking.

Listen to many CEOs of major firms and sooner or later you’ll hear them discuss how within their own companies they try to nurture — and most importantly maintain — this highly creative mindset.

From experience, they know that it’s when resources are scarce — and for startups, this is often cash — an innate aspect of the human condition kicks in and somehow we come up with the goods.

One innovative startup approach to the need to secure all of the benefits of much needed advertising is to offer a potential long-term customer a first experience of services free-of-charge.

This strategy is similar to advertising except:

  • — the target audience is made up of a single prospect
  • — payment for the advertising is with time rather than cash

Some might say that advertising to just one prospect is crazy, as is working for free. But the fact is that even though Adwords and Facebook campaigns have the potential of reaching millions, their actual conversion rate is often miniscule.

However, if the offer of a services free-of-charge in the first instance is correctly targeted, here the conversion rate can reach 50-75%.

Furthermore, if the service delivery was good not only are the chances very good that this will become repeat business, but almost as important the entire process will have a highly positive reputational impact.

Indeed, it is how startups are spoken of and the values their are seen to be associated with that can make or break their new business.

A high quality product with excellent, proactive customer service and simply being pleasant to work with — if a startup just focuses on these, the chances are very good that long-term sales will take care of themselves.

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