India is ranked 3rd globally in the number of startups set up and is projected to hit 11,500 startups by 2020. However, more than 90% of startups established fail to do well in the market. With cutthroat competition and consistent disruption of the marketplace, it is more imperative than ever before that startups bring to bear every skill in their arsenal to take the industry by storm and sustain their growth.
Applying the right tools and techniques of NLP help gain that extra edge in the market to successfully out-pace your competitors, rapidly increase revenue streams and build a solid customer base. So, in a world filled in information overload, how can a startup market itself successfully and sign on the right customers with ease and speed? Here are the 9 powerful ways to quickly boost startup marketing using nlp framework and techniques:-
- Identify a niche market: Don’t seek to be everything to everyone. Startup marketing begins with the more niche the problem you solve, the easier it is to reach out to ideal leads and convert them to customers. Use meta model questioning to drill-down to the specifics of your target market. For example, if your product is a payroll management system, ask penetrating what, how, who, where and when questions to arrive at the characteristics of your ideal customers. In this case, it could be payroll management for (who) SMBs (where) in the city (what) who are unable to afford current market offerings (when) and are growing their employee base by 50%.
- Articulate a clear, specific value proposition: Your value proposition should be clear to your potential customers within 5 seconds of interacting with you, irrespective of the medium. Talk benefits, not features. Get in touch with potential customers and use clean language questions to pin-point their beliefs and attitudes to their current service and their vision for their business/life — “Is there anything else about…? What else would you like to have happen? Whereabouts is…? What kind of…is that?”
- Ensure product-market fit: The key to startup marketing is to map your product design, features and real-time benefits to a crucial problem in the market. The parts integration approach helps effect this connect between your customer and offering. Speak to a potential customer about their current pain points and growth strategy. Keep asking the question “what is the value behind that?” until you get to the very essence of what they want. Then, consider your product or service and ask the same question until you reach the core offering. This will help you identify the as-yet untapped gap in the market and set out focus areas for your offering.
- Define your goals early: The goal for each startup may be different based on the industry and your growth plan, but defining your marketing goals early is crucial. Well-formed goals/outcomes involve stating the goal in positive, specific terms that are compelling so it pulls you forward. Make an ecology check to make sure that all the internal and external variables required to make achievement a surety are available. One of the biggest threats to startup marketing is losing steam when faced with difficulties, so make sure that the goals can be maintained and the requisite resources are taken into account.
- Know your customer: Understand everything you can about your customers using the logical levels technique — their lifestyle/environment, behaviour, competence (skills & abilities), values, identity (beliefs & attitudes), mission & purpose. Understand what interests them, where they are most receptive, how they wish to enhance their lives, what they believe about the way they live or do business. Use this knowledge to develop a marketing strategy that will most appeal to them. Grab their interest and convert the lead to a customer.
- Be innovative: Set yourself apart from the noise and your competitors. This can be additionally challenging when faced with a limited budget. Model some of the most creative minds, the disruptors and trailblazers. Find out what makes them tick, how they find creative solutions, what they do when things go wrong. Plot what they believe about themselves and their environment. Create a blueprint of how successful startups, pioneers and innovative corporations changed the game to introduce a new way of living and doing business. Inculcate the beliefs, attitudes and thought patterns to ideate creative your startup marketing strategies.
- Engage your target market: Publish content that is relevant and of genuine interest to your target segment. Engage them through the power of metaphors, Milton Model language patterns and representational systems. Lead their thought process using sensory-based language and embedded patterns that get their attention, establish a rapport and guide them on the purchasing funnel. This quickly builds a connect with your target audience whether on your website, social media, at networking meetings or even investor pitches.
- Focus on your existing customers: Your existing customers are your greatest asset. Focus on providing amazing service to them and learn more about their meta programs in thinking and communication. Motivation programs identify if their focus is on ‘toward pleasure’ or ‘away from pain’. Similarly, if their frame of reference if external, they will want to hear testimonials. If they are categorised as small chunk, detail how your offering works and the step-by-step benefits they get. Speak their language and you gain repeat purchases, referrals, crucial feedback and evangelism.
- Have a system to convert potentials to customers: Funnel your prospects to increase your conversion rates. Detail the strategies they use when making a purchase — what emotions, visual or audio cues, memories etc., do they go through and in what sequence? What are your customers’ convincer strategies, buying strategies, starting strategies? Use the sequence and steps to guide your prospect into becoming your customer.
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