I was overly anxious to get my beloved Krina handbags out to market…and social media was only a glimmer on the horizon…we’re going back about ten years. So my partner and I had to rely on human contact to make any inroads in the fashion industry – a super-important but near-impossible task. After all, the first step in building a network is to establish contact…but how were we supposed to find these people…the ones who would determine the fate of our bags?
Finding the Influencers…
Today, startup business owners can easily locate and connect with influencers in their target industries, although now we have a different issue…way too much noise. How do you navigate around it? In some instances, the scale definitely tips in the direction of the startup CEOs in that we have a plethora of information available with the stroke of a few keys. Conversely, it becomes that much harder to stand out from the crowd.
Now, I’m an author so I think in terms of books…
Ten years ago, I could write a book, get it published by a traditional publishing house and it would land on the shelf at a Barnes & Noble where customers may pick it up, peruse the first couple of chapters and if they like it enough, buy it. Pretty simple. Finite number of choices, not an overwhelming amount of competition.
Today, if you’re perusing the web for a book, good luck. The choices seem endless and the market is saturated. And this doesn’t just apply to the publishing industry…it’s much more far-reaching.
Cutting Through the Noise
With tons of information comes a larger mass of information-CREATORS. Even if you have a great product, how do you get the attention you need without spending a fortune to get recognition for said product? At the end of the day, what makes someone click to buy?
Heed my words…be careful…do plenty of research…perform your due diligence…spend CAUTIOUSLY.
Trying to launch anything is a daunting task. I’d have paid a small fortune for a plan that laid everything out for me…a checklist of items I could tick off that would catapult me to the land of success and celebrity. How nice would THAT be?
A Bit of Free Advice
Learn from my mistakes and haphazard spending. Connect with people who have been successful, study their patterns, follow industry influencers to see how they accomplish their goals, try to get them to notice you, be persistent but don’t stalk. That will just annoy them.
Make a list of free promotional options and try those routes first. Then, sprinkle in some lower dollar cost alternatives. There is no guarantee any of these will yield sales but test them out and study the results to create and refine a publicity campaign that works for you. For example, lots of entrepreneurs swear by video to make human connection with a target audience. I’m personally not an advocate. I don’t really watch videos and I definitely don’t like to appear in them. Yeek…nope, definitely not a fan. I’m no Gary Vaynerchuk. But if it works for you, go for it.
The key is to assemble a plan and work through it. When I was running promotions for Krina, I was all over the place…trying to boil the ocean. There was an utter lack of targeted focus. I’ve since smartened up and while I still don’t know the magic formula for “what works,” I definitely know what doesn’t.