Startups that make it often do it on the backs of their founders and founding executive teams. Essentially, startups rely on these ‘heroes’ to bring in all of the initial business. They have a gift for drawing people in, explaining the product or service, and getting them to sign on as clients. This sales method, however, has a ceiling - that ceiling is driven by a number of factors: type of business, the product or service, the human capital required to on-board a new client, etc.
At the same time, hiring (sales and) marketing talent is prohibitively hard. The reasons for this vary, but most founders and founding executives don’t know how to trust what they hear from marketing, and marketers are profoundly bad at understanding the key data points that allow them to effectively set expectations. At 45/RPM, our founders are marketers and we understand how to successfully develop trust with our clients and properly market for them.
That combination makes this transition - from Hero Selling to Lead Gen - unnecessarily hard for many new businesses. So, what’s the secret to going from founder selling to effective marketing?
We have worked with over 50 startup companies. We have watched many of them shoot out of the gates and flame out, but we have had the pleasure of watching many of them succeed and grow resulting in incredibly successful and large business or exiting via acquisition. The ones that succeed share some common characteristics, strategies, and tactics. There are three steps to succeeding in knowing your target. Bottle lighting, figure out the brand story, and then create a strategy and plan. In our upcoming blog posts we will further explain these steps.