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Starting / Business startup

Four things I learnt from starting my business

When starting my new business recently, there were four key things I learnt – and did – that really kicked it off to a flying start. Here they are.

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If you’re planning on launching your business soon, I recommend the following four ways to get your business noticed. They helped launch my small business reporting tool, Informly, and I’m sure they’ll help get your business off to a great start, too.

Get early customers

For the few months leading up to launch I got around 200 active users to use the app. This meant I had feedback on all of my changes so I could build a better app, and I also received some great testimonials to include on the launch page. A lot of these people were also happy to share the news when we launched.

Engage with your community

In the months leading up to the launch I made an effort to hang out (online and offline) with people who were interested in the app and who would eventually help with the launch. When it came to launching, these people were more than happy to mention it on social media and help out. Most of the buzz on social media came as a result of people I’d actively engaged in the months leading up to launch.

"Try to identify the key people of influence in your industry and give them a reason to blog and tweet about you, or interview you for their podcast."

Reach out to influencers

For the few months before launching I had a list of potential influencers who I engaged with on social media. I took every opportunity to help them and get in front of their audience. Here are three examples:

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  1. I followed US internet entrepreneur Jason Calacanis on Twitter (who has over 162,000 followers) and managed to get onto an episode of his podcast This Week in Startups where you can ask him a question.
  2. I wrote a guest post for a leading US software entrepreneur who ended up tweeting about my app when I launched.
  3. In the months prior to launching I engaged with journalists. When it came time to launch I contacted some of them and I was lucky enough to be covered in local press.

Try to identify the key people of influence in your industry and give them a reason to blog and tweet about you, or interview you for their podcast.  

Create a lot of content

Instead of locking myself in a room for a few months while I developed the tool, I created a lot of content on my site about what I was up to.

In the few months leading up to launch I created around 10 videos, 20 podcast episodes, an infographic and probably around 60 blog posts on my blog and others. This is an awesome way to prove your ability and get in front of other influencers who are producing content as well. I was already getting 5000 visitors a month to my site before I launched. This momentum continued into the launch week when I got an additional 3000 in that week.

My app has been mentioned on a number of my favourite podcasts, most likely as a result of having my own podcast and engaging with other people by creating a lot of content.

What are your tips?

Have you launched something recently? How did you do it and what did you learn?

Dan Norris

is a four-time Amazon best-selling business book Author. His dry humour, ruthless honesty and genuine talent for storytelling make his books interesting and fun but the focus is always on being actionable. His fourth book Create or Hate is a great reminder to soloists that 'Successful people make things’. Connect with Dan on Facebook and Instagram.

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