Starting a new tech business is a lofty endeavor and can be very rewarding for those who decide to try. Just like with any business startup, one of the biggest obstacles is differentiating your business from others and elevating yourself in the eyes of consumers. Once that hurdle has been overcome, it is easier to continue to grow and build a very successful business.
The question that stands is; how in the world does one ensure that they are going to stand out as a startup tech entrepreneur? Here are 6 principles that you should stand by if you want to rise above the rest and begin on the journey to a successful tech business.
1. Have clear values and incorporate them into your messaging + culture
A stand out business brands themselves with a message that reaches others. This is a message that they use to market themselves to the masses, by crafting slogans, logos, and holding campaigns that promote their message.
The message is made up of company values and is a way to show consumers who you are and what matters to you. People today want to support businesses that care about the things they care about. By showcasing your values through your message, you are essentially telling consumers what you stand for.
Not just that, but you may also attract top talent to create an organizational culture that, for example, values community just as much as profits.
My own company, Key Medium, is a great example of that. We continue to grow with values-aligned talent and clients alike, and this makes for meaningful work and relationships towards a higher purpose.
2. Increase visibility by knowing your target market and being where they are
No business will be successful without being visible to their target market. This is because the target market consists of the consumers that are most likely to become customers of a particular brand based on a number of things such as a message that resonates, a product they need, or a specific price point.
In order to be visible to your target market, you need to be where they are. The vast majority of consumers utilize social media platforms. It is the perfect place to connect with your target market, showcase your message, and gain followers that could easily become conversions.
3. Be relevant
Once you have increased your visibility to your target market by utilizing the various social media platforms, you need to ensure that you will gain and keep followers by making yourself and your message relevant to them.
Use your posts to freely provide information that is helpful and interesting to your market. This relevancy will ensure that they continue to follow you and value you as an expert, as well as share your posts with others which further serves to increase your visibility.
4. Create content, consistently
In order to keep your followers around and gain new leads, you need to make sure that the relevant content you are posting is consistent. Develop a schedule or time frame for your posts and stick to it.
Some businesses post once a day, some post three times a day, and some post once a week. Whatever you determine is best for you and your business is fine as long as you are consistent with and make sure that you are following it. Your leads will come to count on your useful and informative posts on a regular basis, and the last thing you want to do is show them that you are not consistent.
5. Be authentic
Authenticity is the name of the game in business today. Consumers want to believe that they are supporting real and honest businesses. They want to know that their purchases matter.
Being authentic means showcasing who you are and what makes your business unique. It means not hiding and not trying to be other companies or entrepreneurs. It means being you. Letting yourself and your message shine.
6. Make yourself transparent and provide a meaningful connection
Being authentic also means being transparent. Don’t hide your mistakes and your faults. Let consumers see your business behind the scenes. Tell stories about your false starts. Show your target market that the people behind your brand are human.
Your honesty and openness will help to breed connection, which is the number one thing that consumers want. Connection helps them feel like your business is not just a name and a product, but that it is a bunch of authentic people who understand them and have a passion for offering products that will help them in their life.
Values, visibility, relevancy, consistency, authenticity, and connection make all the difference.
The best time to get STARTED is now!
STARTED is a framework I posited back in 2014 when I founded Key Medium. It worked and helped me personally understand that I did in fact have the resources I needed as a cash-strapped entrepreneur and technical founder, how to use them, and how to minimize distraction to ensure greater likeliness of success.
Basically, you must strive to be as efficient and effective as possible. Getting STARTED involves deep self-development and the following:
- Skill: expertise and talent. What a person brings to the table matters. Keep developing skills parallel and even opposite of what you know. Why not? Results may inspire more startup ideas. More importantly, skills are essential — just as vitamins are to the body — to create, maintain, and grow.
- Time: efficient and effective use of one’s focused time. For me, I am best at hyper-focusing when I compartmentalize, organize, and complete tasks as soon as they come to mind, without chronological order. As Ben Franklin used to daily, ask yourself; “What good did I do today?”
- Ambition: how hungry are you at succeeding? Your capacity is only limited by your resources, unlike your ambition. Ambition’s capacity is limited by just your imagination!
- Relationships: friendships and bonds are awesome for social feedback and maybe leads and beyond! They can lead to introductions to investors, business owners, and maybe even future fun/life partners 😉
- Tools: what you use. Gizmos. Software.
- Envisage: the ability to envision a future where specific startups may thrive.
- Determination: unwavering consistency and purpose; while still remaining rational and open-minded to feedback.
In the meantime, if you still need a good job to pay the bills while starting your side hustle before it becomes your main hustle, you can check out some good jobs on CO.CAREERS (or share it with friends or family).
This was originally published on October 14, 2019, on Key Medium and was updated on May 4, 2022.
Ali Jaffar has been building dazzling websites and creating amazing online experiences for over a decade. His mastery of the latest innovations in web development results in world-class website experiences set apart by show-stopping style and seamless functionality. A highly sought-after consultant, Google Analytics qualified individual, and fifty-time award-winning web development guru, Ali lends his talents to build and bolster digital experiences for a wide array of clients, with a keen focus on web design for nonprofit organizations. When Ali’s not helping his clients grow or providing pro bono services via his Coding For Causes program, you can find him doing yoga, walking his dog, exploring beautiful open spaces, enjoying a nice bike ride, or writing pieces about technology and the world on Huge Thinking.