How To Market a Start-Up Brand When You Don't Have Time

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Time is your most valuable resource.

The side effect of trying to intern with myself, and hone my craft of copy and content writing, is that I work with a lot of small brands, one-person-shops, and entrepreneurial spirited individuals who are at the early stages of developing their idea.

It's always nice when they hire me for the standard kit of content they'd need; web copy, some nicely written mission or purpose statements, tag-lines, etc. Those people figure they need content, they can't (or don't want to) do it themselves, so they outsource it.

But in some cases I think they're missing the point.

The Message > The Delivery

Having something polished and perfected is obviously what everyone wants. But I'm of the opinion that anything will do if anything is all you've got. I'm not saying that grammatically incorrect or incoherent rapid-pass content is the only style that matters... but there's a place for it, just as there's a place for professionally written editorial style articles or PR.

My opinion is that the two aren't mutually exclusive

So getting ideas out there, as "in the moment" as possible, is the easiest way to start engaging or starting a conversation... particularly when time to sit down and write/record/post content is limited.

The "See What Sticks" Hybrid Strategy

Create content (in whichever medium is natural to you) with specific people in mind. Like actual people... that you know or know of. If you write (or speak) as if you're talking to someone directly, I feel it's easier to nail down something of value; rather than risking sounding too safe and vanilla.

Post it all the time, everywhere you can, and see what kind of engagement you get. Promote it if you can or have the budget for it. Just make sure you're targeting that specific "type" of person you're writing to -- that way when you get responses or engagement, it's at least the eyeballs that belong to the type of person you had in mind to view it.

See What Sticks... then use some super glue

After you get some response, positive or negative, go back and edit or refine the content/creative and publish it again. This rinse and repeat method can make it less daunting to come up with new content to publish... as it's a process of refining or focusing your narrative. By always changing it a bit to acknowledge new perspectives, viewpoints, or questions it'll still be fresh and up to date. Lastly, by using actual human thoughts on the content from comments or DMs you've received will make sure your on target to your demo.

DIY Marketing

This is all stuff you can do yourself. Even if you suck at it, you'll get better. Really the only difference between you and a professional is that we like doing it... so we have a higher tolerance to keep grinding through it to slowly get better and better over time.

Once you have the extra budget or ability to hire dedicated people to write/record/publish you or your ideas that can take some stress off your shoulders and generally upgrade the quality of your individual pieces. That said, your experience from DIY will keep you knowledgeable enough so you can still audit and gauge the future performance or quality of the creative.

Ryan CaldaroneComment