You are starting a business – wow! Congratulations! When you wrote your business plan, you included a marketing section. However, more often than not, that marketing section gets neglected until you are ready to launch. This often means it’s a scramble to implement a last-minute, half-hearted marketing and communications strategy to get the word out about your business launch. We have five ways for you to launch PR and marketing on your first day of incorporation, rather than waiting until the day you open your doors.
Build Your Website – And It Can be Simpler Than You Think
This is your turf. This is where you control the first line of messaging as well as the story about your brand and company. Building your website is one of the very first things you should do. However, this first version of your website does not need to be more than a simple splash page providing the very basics on who you are, a place to capture email addresses (see below), what services you will provide and contact information. We love Squarespace!
Build an Email List
One thing you do want on your website is a pop-up or designated area to collect email addresses to start building your email list. Building an email list is vital for a brand. These are the people opting in to hear all the awesome things you have going on and want you to contact them directly. We recommend MailChimp, which is free until you have 2,000 subscribers. MailChimp will walk you through the process of creating your website’s pop-up window and when you are ready to send out an email, detailing critical business updates, teasers, information about opening, the templates and campaigns are very easy to use.
There’s a reason why a picture is worth a thousand words. Even if it is just a sketch on a napkin that gives a small glimpse into your idea, take a picture of it. The earlier you can start building your photo library the better. You’ll never regret taking too many photos, especially to chronicle the building of your future empire. This will help create more engaging and eye-catching social media posts, newsletters, usable content for media, website fodder and more. This is also a great time to invest in headshots, so find yourself a photographer and say cheese! Email us for a recommendation!
Get Smart and Get Social
We live in an age of social media and as a business you will need to be on social media. The first thing you need to determine is which social media networks you need to be on. Check which networks your competitors are using. This should provide you with guidance on where you might be able to reach potential customers. Before your big launch, social media is a great place to tease and offer a behind-the-scenes look into you building your business. Let your future customers get to know you as the person behind the brand. Don’t give away everything here. Just a little tease every now and then will be fine.
Press Release #1
Time to announce who and what you are. This first press release is very standard and does not need to be more than one page. It should include the name of the business, where your business is located, if you have a physical location, what the business is, who owns the business and when your tentative opening/season will be. I recommend giving yourself a season, instead of holding a specific date. Often times the opening will be pushed back due to construction, permitting, website, applications, employee or other issues. It’s much better to give yourself a three-month window. Once this is written, send it out to your local media publications and any applicable industry/trade publications. You can also use this information to create an email blast and a social media post.
Need help? Feel free to email us or check out our shop for templates to help you launch.