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10 common startup mar comm mistakes

Ooops All too often, there are a few basic mistakes marketing  communications overlooked by startups.  These little oversights just drive me batty.  Below please find my list of pet peeves/easy mistakes often made by startups.

  1. Put an "About Page" on your website. Tell me about yourself. Who are you? Where are you in life/funding? Is your offering live?  Is there a link to as assets page, so I can grab pictures, screengrabs etc and share with clients or teams? Help me to help you!
  2. Link the logos on your "Clients" page to either your products live in market with these clients or case studies outlining your contribution.  Tell me your story!
  3. Never claim to be "the only", "the best", "best in class" or "industry leading".  These words mean nothing to anyone with any experience, and are often far from true.
  4. Make your contact information clearly accessible.  Put a phone number, AIM ID and a contact name and email address on your site. DO NOT make me go to Google Maps to back-trace your listed address or domain registration address to a phone number.
  5. Return requests from information from prospects quickly.  Returning a message 6 months later will get you nowhere (and this happens ALL THE TIME!). 
  6. If you've got a lead, even if you aren't quite ready for their business, keep the conversation alive. Invite them into focus groups.  Get them enthused.  Keep them excited.  Never turn away a lead.  Embrace the people who will be writing your paychecks once you're past VC funding.
  7. Sell your business benefits, not just your tech features (courtesy of Chris Kieff and Mike Spataro)
  8. Know your place in the market. This requires having a clue what your competitors are up to.  Make sure the faces of your company, your sales staff, is equally well educated.
  9. If you're getting a lot of questions, put up a FAQ page.  
  10. Bring in a full time marketing communications specialist, hire an agency, or at the very least use a consultant (hat tip to AY Fuld) Mar Comm is an art, not a technology play.  Technology enables conversations, people make them happen.  You may have the coolest tech in the world, but without the ability to tell your story in the right way, to the right people, you're only hope is to befriend Arrington or Pete Cashmore.  And THAT is not a sustainable mar comm strategy.
photo credit here