I’ve assisted quite a few companies in launching new products. That means I have the rare opportunity of seeing what goes right – and what goes wrong – on quite a few occasions. If you’re starting a business, especially one with a product or service that you sell online, there are a few key steps that you’ll want to take before you leap. Read on to find out how to build your audience before you ever go live with a new company:
1. Put up a landing page to collect email addresses. If you have a business name, you’ve probably already secured a domain. But what should you do with it until you’re ready to launch? The answer is: put up a pre-launch landing page. These landing pages can give descriptions of your product and pique the interest of potential customers, asking them to sign up to be informed when the product goes live. Use a service like LaunchRock to get a good looking pre-launch landing page quick and easy – and free.
2. Get active on social media. If you’ve taken the steps to understand which social media sites you should have a strong presence on, the time to get started is not just days before your product launches. Choose a few platforms that you have the capacity to manage and build a real presence. I’m not talking about simply setting up the sites, but build your audience and start interacting with them, too.
For example, if you’ve chosen Twitter as one of your platforms, secure your handle, and put a description of your product with a “coming soon” message in the “About” section. Make sure you direct interested parties to your new landing page, too! Start following industry experts, potential customers, competitors and whoever makes the most sense for your business. Reach out to them on a 1:1 level – ask for tips, share their content and make them feel loved. Building relationships before your launch ensures that you’ll have an audience watching when your product is announced.
3. Get listed. Backlinks to your website are important: they bring you traffic and increase your SEO scores and Google rankings all at the same time. An easy way to get backlinks before you even launch is by submitting your business to directory services such as Like to Share. Be sure to browse this compilation of the top 20 places to list your business online and choose the directories that make sense for your business.
4. Organize your contact information. You probably have a handful of different places where you keep contact information – make sure you merge anyone that should know about the launch of your new business and sort their email addresses accordingly. The very best new business launches have quite a few people to announce their new company to via email, in addition to social media promotion and press releases.
Are you planning to launch a new business soon? What creative ways are you planning to announce your launch? Leave a comment below and let me know!