Building Hype For My Startup
Joshua Davidson wrote this article
“When is the right time to start building hype for my startup?”
One of the questions most commonly asked by our clients here at Chop Dawg is when they should begin telling the world about their great idea and begin building early user signups (and well, hype!).
This is a tough question. Every idea warrants its own marketing strategy, especially with something that ties into its launch strategy. Some ideas that we work on require careful planning to ensure users are on the platform day one for it to work. For others, they need to keep things secret because of the intellectual property being built. You need to be strategic, but you also need to be smart.
With that mentioned, one of the biggest rules of thumb that we give all of our clients is to not share hype until the following items are completed (or in full effect):
1) Do not begin sharing your new startup until the branding and user interface design are completed.
This one should be a no-brainer. Think about what you are doing. You are giving someone a first impression of your new brand, your new product, the thing that you have poured your blood, sweat, tears, money and gray hairs into. When you announce something prematurely before the design of the product is finalized or a brand is in place, you often will not have a user seeing the full picture of what it is that you envision.
This is a bad strategy. Think about what happens if you decide to change the user interface design before jumping into code. What happens if you decide that your brand needs a better identity or a completely different name? The early viewers of your company would relate to you or remember you when it comes time to launch. Worst of all, no one cares early on about you changing the name of your company because you haven’t provided them with any value yet.
Don’t make this rookie mistake. Patience is a virtue — and especially when it comes to showing a product that will resemble the completed product later on, a brand that will remain constant for years to come, and a typeface + color scheme that people will remember. Don’t jump the gun and cause the equivalent of a startup false start. You can’t afford to lose five yards this early on in the game.
2) Do not begin sharing your new startup until you are into product development.
This is another huge rule of thumb we share with all of our clients here at Chop Dawg. Timing is everything. If you are sharing your product before you are into development, the chances are that you are months away from having your product available for people to use.
Digest that for a second. Months out before someone can use your product. Do you believe they will remember you six months from now once you launch? No, it is very unlikely. If you build hype too early, it will die out before you launch. Think of all the companies you hear about and forget. Can’t remember them? There is a reason to this.
So why wait until product development? Typically, this is the homestretch of product building. You are in the most straight-forward stage of a product, making things come to life and starting to see it become a reality (how exciting is that?!). You will not only be more enthusiastic about what you are sharing, but you can give a realistic launch date, it will be close enough to the time that you are sharing your company that people won’t forget you — and even the ability to offer alpha and beta test users if you choose that as a route that could work for your marketing strategy. This is your best bet for success, hands down.
3) Do not begin sharing your new startup until you know how to tell its story properly.
This is the biggest piece of advice that we at Chop Dawg can give. When you are building your product, you are still building your story. Being a good storyteller is one of the biggest pieces to marketing your startup, your company. If you can’t tell a good story, why should anyone care about what you are doing or how it could help them?
As your product is being built, the story becomes clearer. Do not mistake having a strong vision with having a story. The story comes later as you can see your product, begin using your product, and start seeing how your brand will interact with your target audience. You need the storytelling to properly build hype to begin with, to get people interested in what you are doing and why it can provide a positive impact in their lives too.
Three simple guidelines above, but guidelines that are highly recommended. Of course, as mentioned before, every company is different with different requirement. You may not want to be build pre-launch hype at all. That’s okay. If you do though, no matter what your strategy is, follow the guidelines step above. They will always apply and will ensure that you are focusing on the quality route of launching a new startup, not the quantity route.
Do you have any additional tips or advice to the guidelines provided above? Make sure to leave your thoughts and feedback in the comments below!