Are you stuck and wondering if you've covered it all ? I know the feeling...
As an entrepreneur, you are always looking for ways to improve and that never ends. As Jonny Nastor regularly expresses at the beginning of his podcasts, “Hack The Entrepreneur”: “Sometimes we need to stop and look back at what we have accomplished.” So, If you’ve already launched your business, this checklist will help you acknowledge what you’ve accomplished so far.
But if you just started your business, this checklist will help you save time and sleepless nights.
Here’s the Startup Marketing Checklist for Entrepreneurs:
1. Pick a name that will work long-term. Make it simple, memorable and unambiguous. Avoid dropping vowels or adding dashes.
2. Put up a simple website. Make sure to use a content management system (CMS). It doesn't have to be super fancy. The idea is to put enough content to start the Google clock.
3. Get some links to your website. The goal is to start indexing your site and start buidling some authority and trust for your website domain. If you have a personal website, link to it from there. Ask connections and investors to do the same.
4. Set up your twitter account. The same should match your company/domain name. Link to your Twitter account from your main site and to your main site from Twitter account.
5. Set up an email subscription. Allow your website visitors to be notified of updates by e-mail. Raphael Paulin-Daigle is an expert in buidling an email list. You should read his blog.
6. Get a nice logo. Don’t obsess over it. You can run a contest on 99designs or hire my friend Christine Joy Décary from Parallel Branding. But if you need a logo right this second, you can use Squarespace Logo Builder.
7. Set up a simple Facebook business Page. It’s also known as a “fan” page. Add a simple description and link back to your website.
8. Create a simple Facebook URL. Facebook allows specifying a custom URL. For bonus points, set up a sub-domain and re-direct it to your Facebook page. Here’s what I did: facebook.eliemourad.com.
9. Kick off a blog. Put your blog on blog.yourcompany.com or yourcompany.com/blog. This way you will control on the SEO authority for your blog.
10. Write a blog article. It’s hard at first but it gets easier. Talk about why did you start this business? What makes you different? Just make your self write. To find the right topic, use Alltop to help you search by keyword or by topic to find the most popular publications in your industry.
11. Set up Google Alerts. Do this for at least the following: your company name, link:yourdomain.com and “industry term.”
12. Set up SiteAlerts. It’s similar to Google Alerts but tracks more things than just mentions. It’s a great way to track competitors too.
13. Find your closest three competitors. Now find three more. Of these six, pick the two that have the most marketing savvy: grade >90, a blog with followers, a twitter account they actually post to and a website that you can envision people using. You can use SimilarWeb to help you find insights about your competitors.
14. Update your LinkedIn profile. Mention your startup and add a link to your domain.
15. Find relevant Twitter users. Use the twitter search feature to find high-impact Twitter users in you industry. Start forging relationships and building your network. I personaly used this method to connect with Dan Martell, a serial Canadian Entrepreneur.
16. Find the bloggers who are writing about your topic area. Subscribe to their feeds. Only leave valuable comments and participate in the converstation if you have something useful to add.
17. Start building some business contacts on Facebook. Organize your users into groups — one for your business and another for friends/family. This will come in handy later.
18. Grade your website on Website Grader. You sould be able to get 50+ just by doing simple things it suggests. Your goal within the first six months is to get 80+.
19. Install web analytics software. You need to start tracking your website traffic. The most popular option here is Google Analytics (which is free).
20. Engage your blog commenters. When you start seeing blog comments, make sure you engage them. This demonstrates that you care about the conversation.
21. Promote your promoters. When someone links to you or writes about you on his or her blog, help get him or her more traffic. Tweet about it. Stumble it. Digg it. Helping others helps you.
22.Grab your company name on Youtube. Just like grabbing a domain name and a twitter account.
23. Create and post a video or screencast. Record a simple and short “how to” for something related to your industry. Write a blog article with some explanatory material, and embed this video in the article. Subscribe to Dan Martell’s newsletter at danmartell.com and you will see exactly that.
24. Make a list of the people in your industry. Convert this into a blog post. Example: “17 Real Estate Rockstars I’d love to have coffee with.” This is good, because it helps those that read your article and it increases the chances that the people you mention will notice your article and visit.
After reading “Inbound Marketing” by the Cofounders of Hubspot, I was inspired to write this article so I could share some tips that were useful to me. If you found this article practical, click on the heart to recommend it and share.