One of the big questions we’re asked by early-stage startup founders is:
“Will creating social media content help me get early-adopter customers, and if so, how should I go about it?”
In many cases, the answer is “yes,” and the way to go about it is simpler and less expensive than you might think.
First of all, let’s address what you need to avoid:
- Forking out thousands of dollars to an agency to create marketing materials for you. While they might make things that look pretty, at this early stage, you risk spending money on messaging created by a third party that doesn’t serve you.
Plus, those pretty posts aren’t what’s going to move the needle with your early-adopter customers – only you are going to be able to do that and it doesn’t have to come with flashy graphics, specky websites, or high-end video editing.
- Running ads. Social media content doesn’t mean ads on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. This is not to say you can’t or shouldn’t ever use ads, but it’s important to use them at the right time for the right reasons.
Usually, this “right time” is closer to when you’ve achieved Product-Market Fit. You should not have to run ads to get to Product-Market Fit, and there’s likely to be something wrong with your startup-building process if you believe you have to.
In the early stages, it’s important to create your own organic marketing to test out specific ideas with the audience you’re building.
“Organic” means without putting dollars behind the content to drive traffic.
That then begs the question – “How do I create effective organic marketing when I’m not a writer or a marketing expert and I’ve never really put myself out there before?”
Again, it’s easier than you might think, and with a simple framework in place, you can become efficient at creating content that gets noticed by the right people.
The first step to complete is what we call the “10 Myths Exercise.”
Ask yourself, what are 10 myths, misconceptions, or false/limiting beliefs my ideal customer has about either:
- The type of solution I’m creating
- The situations they face in trying to solve the problems they’re experiencing
As an example, I’ll share with you the 10 Myths List we made for LeapSheep based on the myths, misconceptions, and false/limiting beliefs we’ve discovered many founders have when it comes to building a startup.
- They believe they’ve got to build a product and get it to market as fast as possible to be successful.
- They believe if they can find a great software developer, they’ll build a hit product that thousands of people can’t wait to buy.
- They believe they’ve just got to create an amazing pitch and investors will throw money at their idea.
- They believe that hiring a great marketing agency will get them to Product-Market Fit.
- They believe they don’t need strategic help to grow their startup, just introductions.
- They believe the main indicator of progress is revenue growth.
- They believe they know what Product-Market Fit is.
- They believe they know what an MVP is.
- They believe their developers can manage a product roadmap without a product manager.
- They believe they’ve got to raise capital or build a great product before they can get good startup-building advice.
These 10 myths underpin almost every piece of content we create at LeapSheep and your 10 myths can do the same for you.
Once you’ve finished creating your list of 10, flesh out the experiences your ideal prospective customers have had to make them believe in those myths and misconceptions.
Then write out the stories they tell themselves and others to justify their erroneous beliefs.
After you’ve got those down, it’s easy to identify the mistakes they’ll make as a result of their beliefs and the problems and challenges they are likely to be experiencing as a result.
It’s these problems and challenges that you’ll use to create problem-aware content with the spotlight on the ideal customer and the situations they’re likely to find themselves in.
This is much more powerful than content about your product and the features and benefits it may have. (There’s a place in your middle-of-funnel content for this, but it’s not what the chief focus in your top-of-funnel content should be).
As for the format of your content, we’ve discovered two types of short-form content to be clear winners when it comes to creating cut-through messages on social media.
- Carousels. These are the types of posts where you can swipe left to see a story told or a point made using a series of images.
- Reels. These are the snappy portrait-orientation videos pioneered by TikTok but that you now see across almost all social media platforms.
Shooting them is easy using a free app like CapCut. The “record/pause” button makes recording a sentence or two at a time easy. This saves you having to shoot the whole thing at once or do any post-production editing.
As for choosing a platform to get started on, we’ve found LinkedIn to be very effective for early-stage startups for founders to connect with both user research candidates and early-adopter customers.
But at the end of the day, it’s less about the platform you’re using and more about the way you’re talking to the audience you’re attracting on the platform you’ve chosen.
Problem-aware content with the spotlight on the ideal prospective customer (rather than having the spotlight on yourself or your product) is what moves the needle the quickest in terms of triggering the right people to reach out to you.
If you’ve got a great startup idea, but you’re wondering exactly what content to create around it and how to get the marketing of it off the ground, we can help.
Our marketing strategists create organic marketing systems with startups daily that result in ideal user research candidates, early-adopter customers, and a clear path to Product-Market Fit.
Fill out this short questionnaire to tell us about your situation, and we’ll get in touch with your next steps.
Whenever you’re ready, here’s how we can help you.
If you’ve got a startup idea, or you’ve already embarked on your journey – you might be facing one or both of these situations.
- You’re struggling while going it alone. Worse, you’re wading in the muddy waters of some not-so-great advice.
- Perhaps you’re trying to raise capital for your startup and you’re hitting a dead end. Raising capital is a notoriously difficult thing to do. Globally, only 0.74% of startups manage to raise capital at Seed stage. Despite this, 16% of startups we’ve worked with were able to raise capital at Seed stage.
If you’re ready to step up and get the help you need, our Startup Builder™ program was created especially for you.
The Startup Builder™ process is specifically designed to take you all the way from idea to global success – in a way that’s simple, sustainable, and scalable.
If you’re ready to grow your revenue, profit, and social impact faster without wasting time and money on the wrong things at the wrong time, click here to request your Startup Builder™ Strategy Session.
Did you find this article valuable?
Go here to sign up to receive future weekly editions in your inbox.
On LinkedIn? Click here and press “follow” to get notified of the startup insights I share.