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So you’ve got a great new product that is going to disrupt an entire industry. You’ve secured seed funding and have the team and building blocks in place to take the world by storm. Now you just need to tell them about it, but have only a vague notion of how to get your message heard loud and clear. To help you out, we’ve put together this list covering 6 tactics you can implement today to increase the impact of your communications.
1. Share your vision
The most important thing you can do as a startup is to share your vision for your offering with all important target audiences. Whether you are presenting to VCs, interviewing potential employees or pitching to a prospect, having a clear vision for the short and long term of your company is key to building trust and excitement for your business. Let your passion shine through and let your vision pave the path to success.
2. Tell stories
Though it may be an old tried-and-true method of being memorable, it doesn’t take away from the fact that telling a story is one of the best ways to have information be remembered. By turning your value proposition into a story, you can give an example and/or case study of how your offerings solve problems, tailor the story to the audience, and make a lasting impression all at the same time. No need to write a novel, 200 words or 2 minutes is all it should take to tell a compelling story complete with backstory, problems to overcome, climax, resolution and happily ever after.
This may seem like a no-brainer but startups are often so new and different that there is not a quick and concise way to explain their value proposition in one sentence. Even if you follow one of the many formulas (“My startup, [name], does [offering] by [secret sauce]…”) it is still hard to be sharp, unique and brief all at once. If possible, use an early customer’s testimonial. They often talk about exactly what problem your product solved for them.
4. Be internally transparent
Communications with your own team – and investors – are just as important as those to the outside world. Your employees are fundamental to your success as a company and as such should be kept in the loop as much as possible. While they don’t need to know about every phone call and email exchanged by management, they do need to hear company news, both good and bad. Being transparent with your team members shows commitment and integrity, things any good businessperson values.
5. Be consistent
Stick to your core message. While you may feel the need to customize communications for various audiences, whether they are VCs, media, prospects or the general public, it is essential to stick to 3-4 talking points to ensure your message is received in one piece. Repetition is the key to memory so by sticking to the facts you want to share you can eliminate extraneous information that may cloud understanding of your message.
6. Hire professionals
Though it may be difficult to justify the expense at an early stage, professionals have been through it all before and can help to generate the buzz and critical mass needed for that next round of funding and could have the perfect media contact to get your story shared. Whether you opt for an internal hire or an external agency, communications pros help you rise above the noise and effectively reach target audiences.
A solid communications strategy is absolutely critical to any successful startup enterprise. Now that you have some effective tactics under your belt to implement, you need to create a comprehensive strategic communication plan. Download our free step-by-step communication plan template and set your messaging straight.
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