Being an entrepreneur is hard. There are so many questions and so few answers. Luckily, we are here to help. We talked to the CEO of IdeaPros, Fred Cary, about overcoming your entrepreneurial doubts.
Which Old School Marketing Strategies Should I Use In Case of Major Social Media Outages?
Outages like the one that happened are rare and don’t last more than a few hours. You don’t need a backup plan for that, but you should move your advertising around. Don’t rely just on one platform. If Google Ads are down then think about Bing. If Facebook and Instagram are down, go to Tik-Tok. Have the arsenal available and rotate it when needed, so when something goes down, it won’t affect you overall. Use email marketing or push notifications on your text messaging. They are effective and have a 98% read rate. Don’t forget to get backups of everything you do.
Do You Have Advice About Setting Up an LLC?
Having a corporate structure is beneficial with your expenses as bills can go through your company. If you have partners, an operational agreement establishes each one’s duties and predicts how to handle the end of the partnership. Also, when you are not acting as a sole proprietor, the liability ends at the corporate structure. You can set up an LLC anywhere. Wyoming, for example, has few requirements on how to set it up, what you need to report, and what the annual fees are. But always consult an accountant before you do anything as tax implications are depending on the location.
How to Develop a Pitch Deck?
First, understand how you are going to use it – if you are presenting or sending it off to people. When presenting live, keep the words to a minimum all you need are a few bullet points that you will elaborate on. Strike a conversation, tell them why you are cool, and why the product is revolutionary. If you are sending it out, keep it succinct and to the point. Get people interested.
“If you don’t have people interested in the first couple of pages of your pitch deck, they’re not getting to page three.” – Fred Cary
Stick to the basics: problem, solution, and how are YOU addressing that solution.
- What traction do you have?
- What’s the market like, and how’s it growing?
- How are you going to compete against them?
- Who are the competitors?
- What’s your vision?
- Who are your team members?
If you are using it to get funding, let them know how much money you need and who you are going to deploy it. When you have a more experienced team, feature it closer to the beginning to get people’s attention. If you are a new startup, focus on how you are going to solve the existing problem.
Y Combinator is an accelerator with a great pitch deck. It is simple and goes straight to the point. You need to show you have a product people want and that you can compete. Be clear on how you plan to dominate the market or its sector and turn your competitor’s 1-star reviews to your advantage.
When Is a Niche Market Too Small?
You want to go into a marketplace that allows you to make a living and change your life. It is not always about the money or the size, rather it is about making an impact. Whatever it is, it should be meaningful for you.
“You can go into a very narrowly focused marketplace and do well.” – Fred Cary
Should I Scale Quickly, Capture, and Protect Market Share or Go Slow and Steady While Preserving Capital?
Depends on your financing. If you can capture a significant market share overnight that’s a good thing. But if you don’t have the capital for it, you can start intruding into a marketplace and have protectable assets that will remain that way as you grow slow and steady. Most people start slow and steady because they don’t have a $10 million advertising budget or $50 million to establish a presence around the country. Just be careful you don’t get swollen by big players.
What’s the Most Important in Marketing: Social Media, PR, Influencers, or All Three?
They all have different applications. PR establishes your brand and gives you the authenticity and credibility you seek. It’s probably the most important thing besides the naming and branding in the beginning. The problem with PR is that it doesn’t make sales.
“When you go out there, you want to start making money.” – Fred Cary
If you have the money to do all the things then do them all. But if you are short on resources, go out and find people that want to buy. People reading a PR piece are not in a buying mode, but if you do a Google ad to a hundred people already looking for a solution, you have much more chances to sell.
Influencer marketing is a good tool, but you should understand influencers’ engagement with their followers. It’s not always about quantity. It is about the quality of the communication. Find someone that people listen to. As far as social media, Instagram seems more impulsive than Facebook. You scroll, click and buy. Facebook is a two-step process, as no one goes there to shop. Educate people first and then convert them to customers.
What Should Be My Budget For That?
Your online presence is your store. Nobody is going to find it if you don’t direct them there. It is like having a new star in the universe – no one even knows it is there. The only way to get people to know you is to drive traffic to your product and that takes money. If your budget is scarce, try affiliate marketing websites like Shareasale.com or Commission Junction. Usually, they review your product or app and get a percentage if someone buys it through their site. The good thing is you don’t pay them until you’ve been paid. The downside is it can be hard to manage, and it takes some homework to prepare.
How to Be Patient On an Entrepreneurial Journey?
Substitute the word patience with determination. You’ll have delays, re-engineering work, and bad prototypes, etc., as you are building something that doesn’t exist. The process is neither pretty nor perfect. But the bumps and losses are a part of your road to success.
“If you’re not determined, you’re not going to make it as an entrepreneur.” – Fred Cary
Talk to your teammates with a smile on your face. Understand everybody is going in the same direction. Learn to let go of some of the reins, figure out together how to get to the next step, and in no time, you will be the great leader you are meant to be.
The “Idea Pros” at IdeaPros have the resources, experience, and tools to help you at this step or any step in the entrepreneurial journey. We partner with entrepreneurs at any stage and who are ready to invest their ideas. Apply for an interview and let’s explore partnering together.