“How can I help kickstart your startup?” is a question I often get from friends and family. Basically, these people are asking you for easy, low-cost things they can do to help you. In the beginning, I didn’t really have an answer for this apart from ” buy a painting“. This is obviously not that easy or low-cost. So I put together this list to share with your friends when you’re starting your business. The list is basically built on the concept of Social Proof.
1. “Like” like crazy
When you hear about a new company these days, it’s either through Social Media or through friends. It’s quite common for people to look your company up Social Media after they initially hear from you. So I think one of the first steps your friends can help you with is simply liking and following you on different media. This will create proof for other people that your website is a legitimate business and there are actual people behind it. Also, liking blogposts or updates can generate a huge difference in how many people are being reached. See for example this Facebook example. One post has 2 likes and less than 100 people have seen it. Another post has 11 likes and has reached over 400 people. So, ask all your friends to “Like” like crazy 😉
2. Share to kickstart your startup
When your product has reached a Minimum Viable Product (or better, Minumum Marketable Product) it’s time to share it with the word and create traction. You either have a kick-ass, super sexy innovative product, or you will have to rely on your network to get the first buzz going. So yes, ask your friends personally to share your website or latest blogpost on their social media or directly with friends and family. Sharing can be as easy as one single Facebook or LinkedIn share, a Retweet or can go as far as an e-mail to their friends, family and colleagues.
Another great way to help a friend’s startup is to write a review for them. For example, Google+ are a good way to start. Again, it proves your company is active and it exists. At some point, you will want all your happy customers to write reviews, but friends and family can be a great place to start 🙂
Here you see the difference between a company with great Google Reviews and one with 0 reviews 😉
Hint – google accessART Amsterdam and you can leave one 😀
4. Talk about your concept to others
There is no better advertisement for your early-phase startup than Word-of-Mouth. I’m not sure what the conversions are, but they must be much higher than any digital advertising possibility out there 😉 . What I experienced with accessART is that I would sometimes meet new people and they had already heard about accessART. So cool! So yeah, ask your friends to spread the word. Even better – give them a business card or flyer so that they have something to hand out. We give friends and family this business card format hand-out with general contact information.
5. Connect you with their network
Warm introductions are everything. And not only to investors. In our case, some of our first artists we found through friends, former colleagues and family. Do your friends know any people with connections in the media world, who have expertise in online marketing or that are working on a similar concept? Go have coffee with them – you’d be surprised how much they could do for you.
What have you asked your friends to do to help you kickstart your startup?